Sanchez signs to play Division 1 water polo in college


Valery Barrera

Senior Amelia Sanchez smiles as she officially commits to Long Island University to play water polo. Sanchez is the first DPMHS athlete in five years to play on a Division 1 sports team.

Senior Amelia Sanchez took the statement “once a shark, always a shark” literally after committing to Long Island University through their water polo team. 

“I’d say I’m ready for college plus in the end, I’ll be a shark through and through,” Sanchez said.

She has attended Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) for all four years and she has also been on the Birmingham Community Charter High School girls water polo team throughout her whole high school experience. Sanchez is the first DPMHS student in five years to commit to a four-year university for sports from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. On April 22, she had a signing ceremony committing to Long Island University. 

When college applications began during the fall, Sanchez applied to seven schools with an unclear image of where she wanted to go. The process felt scary considering that everything was virtual and there seemed no hope for a return during this time. Even through this, she pushed forward and continued to focus on her studies while sports were paused. 

Fast forward to second semester, Sanchez received four acceptances and among them was Long Island University (LIU) located in Brooklyn, New York. This school had caught her eye because of their Division 1 water polo team. She must have caught their eye as well because they offered her admission through the team. LIU was recently ranked #24 in the collegiate water polo rankings in the nation.

“It’s a great opportunity for her and it’s something she’s worked hard for,” Principal Armen Petrossian said. “I’m really proud of her.”

After the four years of being on BCCHS’ girls water polo varsity team and being captain for two, her friends, family and coaches believe this was a rightful award for all her hard work in bettering herself and her team. 

Varsity Team Captain Amelia Sanchez prepares to aim the ball into the net during the City Championship game against Palisades Charter High School on Feb. 20. The game was held at Los Angeles Valley College. (Valeria Luquin)

“It’s going to be a big change and I am going to miss all my friends and family,” Sanchez said. 

Sanchez was one of those who led the team to victory against Palisades Charter High School in the CIF Championship her junior year. With hours of being in the water and countless sore muscles, being recruited by a division 1 team proved to be more than enough to acknowledge the talent that grew over these four years. 

She will be majoring in political science while attending LIU but her career pathway is still unclear. Luckily, she has a couple of years in the big apple to figure out her route. 

“I am hoping she has the best time, kicks butt and gets an education while there,” her mother Christina Sanchez said.