Dynamic Duo: Edition 3 – An offensive powerhouse

Sydney Soofer

Wyatt Barker (left) and Francesco Cico (right) are all smiles in the pool
Wyatt Barker (left) and Francesco Cico (right) are all smiles in the pool

Junior Francesco Cico drives the ball down the side of the pool, dodging defenders left and right. Junior hole set Wyatt Barker calls for the ball, and like it’s second nature, Cico lobs the ball right into Barker’s hands. Without hesitation, Barker launches the ball into the top right hand corner of the cage and the ball sinks into the back of the net. Redwood secures its lead, and both players and spectators can feel the vibrant energy emitted from Cico and Barker.

This scenario is a common occurrence for the varsity water polo team, which is currently 10-2 in the standings.

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“Our energy pushes each other and translates to our teammates,” Cico said. “When T-bone [Barker] and I are pumped for a game, the energy level will definitely rise for the entire team and we ultimately play better.”

Cico has been a key player on the team, a varsity starter since his freshman year.  He brings a sense of steadiness and experience to the squad.

By contrast, Barker is a first-year varsity water polo player. Despite his inexperience on varsity, he performs strongly in the “hole set” position, an offensive position in front of the goal that is very difficult.

“[Barker] adds a lot of depth to the team,” Cico said. “He hasn’t been coached by Rudy for as long as the rest of us have, so he brings a different and fresh perspective of water polo.”

The duo has been teammates and friends since the third grade, giving them a “leg up” from their fellow team mates because of their deep chemistry.

“I feel like I always know what he is going to do before he does it,” Cico said. “I can always count on him to come through.”

Barker echoed Cico’s sentiment, reinforcing the strength of their relationship.

“I’m willing to put [myself] on the line for Cico in order for him to step up his game and play well,” Barker said.

 Redwood is currently third place in Marin County, behind Drake and Tam. Despite the strong leadership and skills that Cico and Barker possess, they were not able to pull through a win against the #1 seed, Drake. However, Redwood managed to beat Tam 14-8 in the MCAL playoffs.

Drake has always been a strong team, and a challenge for Redwood to beat.

“In the Drake game we were both super pumped to play against our friends and play good competition,” Barker said “That was by far the best game we ever played. Even though we didn’t win, we fought as hard as we could.”