As soon as Orange Lutheran senior Beau Bradley could start playing water polo, he was in the pool. The intensity of the sport, both physically and mentally, is where he found a connection and is what has kept him in the water since age 10.
“I just like the competitiveness,” says Bradley. “That’s my favorite part. It’s very competitive, but it’s also very intense. It really challenges you to think, and I like that.”
Bradley typically slots in as a utility player for the Lancers, a role where he can use his skill set in any way that benefits the team.
“It gives me the most variety and [allows] me to help the team in the best way possible by being in the spot that they need me the most,” says the two-year varsity player.
A natural leader both in and out of the pool, Bradley’s goals for his senior season include a CIF ring and putting in the type of effort that leaves no regrets. The Lancers begin pursuit of that championship this week in Round 1 of the Division 1 CIF-SS playoffs.
“Beau is a tremendous athlete and student,” says OLu boys water polo head coach, Jacob Moore. “He pushes himself to the limits every day in the pool. Beau is a ‘follow by example’ type of leader who does what is asked of him and helps lead his teammates through practices and games in a positive and cheerful manner. He is the one player on our team who everyone knows, and if he is speaking then we need to listen.”
Managing chronic asthma and earning playing time have been ongoing challenges for Bradley in water polo, but he feels that learning to manage those challenges have been instrumental in building character, as he has had to work for everything he’s earned in the sport. He credits his teammates for creating an environment that has allowed him to thrive.
“I’m definitely going to miss our team and culture,” says Bradley. “I really like everyone on the team.”
On campus, Bradley is in his second year as an Ignite Mentor. He appreciates that prayer is such an integral part to the OLu water polo program and acknowledges that his time as a Lancer has helped him explore his faith.
“Since coming to OLu, and with the help of the Theology classes, I’ve really come to find interest in Christ,” says Bradley. “It’s helped me at dark times, especially in sports.”
The Huntington Beach resident spends as much time at the beach as possible, and he has a strong interest in playing water polo at the collegiate level. But Bradley’s first priority remains academics, and while he is undecided on a career path, he is considering psychology.
The 18-year old feels fortunate to have had a number of significant role models in his life, including his father, who introduced him to sports at an early age. The former high school wrestler sees many similarities between water polo and wrestling, and he has been a source of strength and inspiration for his son.
“He definitely shared his passion for sports with me when I was younger,” says Bradley of his dad. “It didn’t rub off on me then, but it’s definitely helped me now.”