With no prior experience in water polo and only a limited amount of swim training, Spencer Bell did not hesitate to dive head first into Orange Lutheran’s water polo program as a freshman.
Now a senior, Bell has made a connection with the sport that holds a prominent place in his family.
“My dad played, and my uncle played and still coaches,” says Bell. “It’s a great group of people, and it’s a really fun sport.”
Bell also plays on a club team with many of his Lancer teammates, but he acknowledges that there is something special about competing for his high school.
“It feels a little bit more important to go to a game and play as OLu during the season,” says Bell.
In the spring, Bell also swims for the Lancers, focusing on the breaststroke events. But his time as an athlete is only a small part of what this 17-year old is up to on campus.
A member of OLu’s STEM Academy, Bell worked last summer as a participant in Boeing’s internship program, and he is taking, or has completed, most all of the AP courses offered at the school. He holds down a weekend job at a local hobby store, where he supports his interest in remote controlled cars. And he serves as a member of OLu’s Ambassador Team—all while maintaining a 4.5 GPA.
“I think water polo has mostly helped me with time management, responsibility and character building,” says Bell. “All of the stuff combined has helped to keep me focused. That’s really been helpful.”
Bell’s ability to balance the challenging aspects of being a student athlete has allowed him to excel in his many areas of interest.
"Spencer embodies all of the things we are trying to achieve with our program,” says OLu boys water polo head coach, Steve Carrera. “Of course, winning is important. But having great character, being focused on academics and showing commitment is more important. Spencer is everything that is great about OLu."
After graduation, Bell is looking to study mechanical engineering. The Anaheim resident will always be grateful for his parent’s encouragement and his father’s introduction to the sport.
“Both of my parents have helped to keep me focused,” says Bell. “They are the main support structure that I’ve had.”by Jenelyn Cunningham Russo ‘88