Freshman’s goal for water polo

Before finishing his first year at Biola, freshman Josh Semple has already laid the groundwork for a future water polo team at Biola.


Photo courtesy of Adam Washington

Keaton Moore, Writer

The many changes on the horizon for Biola includes the possibility of adding men’s and women’s water polo to the list of school sports, led by the passion and hard work of freshman Josh Semple. Over the past six months, Semple has pushed for the creation of a water polo team and hopes to see it become an official sport.

Love for Water Polo

Semple’s love for water polo began a few weeks before his freshman year of high school. As the door closed for baseball, a door opened for water polo and he was able to see God work through those next four years. Semple played water polo all through high school and earned spots on a local club team as well as an international team. Once it came time for Semple to pick a college, God made a way for him to attend Biola.

“I really wanted to play college water polo, but I suffered two severe concussions my junior year of high school,” Semple said. “Then Biola happened through church and prayer.”

Although he received a spot on Biola’s swim team, Semple knew his true passion was water polo. With that desire, he rounded up a small group of water polo players and lay the foundations for a future team.

“I came to Biola and swam for the first part of my first semester, but I was not thoroughly enjoying it and from there a couple of the guys and I started to think about water polo,” Semple said. “Three months later with a couple of meetings with our club advisor and Student Programming and Activities, we got it done.”

Bigger picture in mind

What started as an idea slowly took shape, thanks to the dedication of Semple and the group of water polo players he has fostered. Although Semple is pleased with the progress the club made, he stills keeps Christ and the bigger picture in mind.

Not only does Semple view this club as a great way to get in the water, he also sees the missional value that a water polo club can have for Biola. A water polo team would bring in a new group of students who ordinarily would not have any interest in Biola. As Semple saw in high school, the water polo community is one in desperate need of the gospel because of its largely secular atmosphere. A water polo program will bring those students into a Christian environment and allow them to be absorbed in the Word.

“It would also be a good mission opportunity that could reach out to a large number of people and a lot of good could come from it,” Semple said. “Especially down here in Southern California with the capital of U.S.A. Water Polo in Huntington Beach.”

Diversifying Biola

Since there are only four Christian colleges with a water polo program on the West Coast, Semple anticipates Biola will have no trouble attracting top-level recruits for the team.

“Doing so will help diversify Biola,” Semple said. “There are only four Christian schools in New Mexico, Oregon, California and Arizona that have water polo teams and Biola would be the fifth.”

Only time will tell if one of the changes Biola institutes will include the addition of a water polo team, but Semple envisions a team that will not only bring students closer to each other, but also bring glory to God.

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