Shinnick to play water polo at Davis

   Taylor Shinnick spent four years on Ramona High School’s varsity swim team and three years on the Bulldogs’ varsity water polo team. She will continue her water polo career at the University of California, Davis.

   Shinnick will play for the Davis club team rather than the National Collegiate Athletic Association varsity team. 

   “I didn’t want to make that commitment,” she said.

   Playing club water polo also ensures that Shinnick will be playing the sport if the university’s plans to drop aquatic sports due to budget considerations become a reality. 

   “I love to play,” she said.

   Davis’ A-level club team members commit to four practices a week and training while the B-level club has no practice commitment and is primarily for fun rather than competitive. Shinnick will try out for the A club. 

   “If I’m not going to get to play, I’m going to play B,” she said. “I don’t want to sit.”

   Shinnick lived in Chicago for 10 years and Minnesota for three years before moving to Ramona, and the University of Wisconsin was her top college choice. 

   “Tuition was a little pricey,” she said.

   Shinnick will major in international relations at Davis. 

   “I really like Northern California. Davis is the right size, but it’s a college town,” she said of her decision to attend the university. “It’s really outdoorsy and it’s a good location.”

   (Shinnick noted that Davis is near Lake Tahoe and San Francisco, among other places.)

   Shinnick was in eighth grade when she moved to Ramona, and she began playing water polo as a high school freshman. 

   “I had never even heard of it before, but I’ve always loved to swim,” she said.

Shinnick has 10 years of competitive swimming experience. 

   “It was just a long time to swim straight through the year,” she said. “Water polo was just a break.”

   Shinnick spent her freshman year on Ramona’s junior varsity team, although she was called up to the varsity for Ramona’s CIF playoff game and participated in that contest. She made the varsity as a sophomore and started on the varsity as a junior.

   She was the only returning starter from 2008-09 on the 2009-10 team and was Ramona’s team captain during her senior season. As a senior Shinnick earned first-team Valley League honors and was named Ramona’s Most Valuable Player at the post-season banquet.

   Shinnick considers her ability to lead the team as a senior as a major water polo highlight. 

   “Everyone really got along well,” she said. “We accomplished a lot more than we thought we would.”

   Shinnick did not play any fall sports at Ramona, spending fall as well as summers participating in club swimming and club water polo. She began club water polo with the Bulldog Water Polo organization as a high school sophomore.

   Shinnick had previously been a camp counselor in the Midwest.

This summer she is an assistant coach for Bulldog Water Polo.

   “If I really like that, maybe I’ll do that again next year,” she said.

   
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