Orange Lutheran senior Cole Harvey doesn’t remember a point in his life when he wasn’t in the water. After learning to swim at an early age, and with a father who is a former water polo player for Long Beach State, it was a natural choice for Harvey to also pick up the sport.
“It’s really competitive, it’s physical and it’s really rewarding,” says Harvey of water polo. “It’s challenging, and I find myself in a better mood after working out and training and lifting. It keeps me busy.”
Even with the demands of playing a sport that requires a significant time commitment, Harvey spent his freshman year commuting from his home in Los Angeles County so he could attend and play water polo for OLu. He has since moved closer to campus, but would not have changed anything for the chance to be a Lancer.
“The best part about competing for OLu is being able to pray,” says the 17-year old. “We always say, ‘we pray before we play,’ and that’s been a huge impact on me. Being super competitive but having that faith mixed in has been a really awesome combination.”
The three-year varsity attacker hit the same rough patches over the summer as most high school athletes did with COVID-19 restrictions in place. But being around his teammates and helping each other stay motivated have helped him keep his focus through all the uncertainty.
"Cole is the glue of our group,” says OLu boys water polo head coach, Nestor Nunez. “He does a great job balancing accountability and leading by example. He is the type of leader that says few words, but they always seem to resonate with the group. His leadership is vital to our team culture. I look forward to seeing him showcase his abilities at the next level."
Harvey’s favorite moment playing water polo is when he and his Lancer teammates won the Trinity League title in 2019, and he hopes for the chance to compete in some league matches again in the coming months. The postponement of his senior season has added some difficulty to the college recruiting path, but he remains positive.
“I lean on [my faith] by just knowing that I’ve been put in this situation, I’ve been put in this time and the Lord has given me the strength to go through it,” says Harvey. “I really enjoy competing, and I thank him every day for it. It’s my outlet and what I can do to take my mind off of things. It’s something I really enjoy.”
Harvey has served on campus as an Ignite leader, and when he’s not in the pool, he enjoys surfing, fishing and skateboarding. Water polo has taught him that with life, “what you put into it is what you get out of it,” and he is grateful to be surrounded by fellow Lancers who inspire him.
“My role models are my teammates,” says Harvey. “Especially my freshman year, I was surrounded by very good players. I wanted to be like them, and they were always the nicest guys. They were smart and really good at water polo.”
Click HERE to see Cole in "The Walk".