ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) – Lance Clark has to keep his eyes on the ball at all times while defending his goal and stay afloat while doing so.
'I think I enjoy winning and when I heard these guys had a chance to win a national title and had a use for me I couldn`t resist,' says Lance Clark, Goalie.
He`s a member of the Lindenwood Lions men`s water polo team taking in a practice at the St. Peters Rec Plex.
'We`re a two-time defending national division one champions,' says Dave Miller, Lindenwood University Water Polo Coach. 'Good players, good support from the university and we`ve got some of the best players in the country that come from all over the world.'
Not to mention some of the oldest.
'I don`t know how I feel about being in this story because of my age,' says Clark. 'But yes I`m 47.'
You heard right, a guy almost half a century old is splitting goaltending duties for the top ranked team in the country.
Keep in mind, as these guys kick and tread water, it`s physically demanding, considered the toughest sport in the world.
'It combines swimming, you can`t touch the bottom or the sides,' says Miller. 'There`s a lot of wrestling going on holding and grabbing.'
Clark caught the water polo bug in high school and played in college at the University of Missouri on a club team.
But he is new to the MBA program at Lindenwood, and decided to become a Lion, waiting in the water to pounce on a ball and strike it out of the air.
Every morning the team begins practice at 6 am, then the goalie goes to his day job in the medical pharmaceutical industry.
There`s also afternoon practices and classes, and spending time with his three kids.
'I wanted to play long enough for my kids to see me play at a decent level and my youngest is seven so I think I`m getting there,' says Clark.
He might be getting there and bringing a bag of tricks that only an older more experienced player might have.
'We got a bunch of young college guys and they got a lot of vim and vigor and they`re pushing and shoving,' says Miller. 'I think Lance brings a lot of, maturity is probably the best word for that.'
It`s said you can`t beat experience, and this 47-year-old has plenty of that.
'Keep the ball out of the net, that`s the name of the game,' says Clark.
Friday November 11th, they`ll try to complete a first, a three peat.
They`ll head to Notre Dame as the top seed in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Men's Division I Collegiate club championship.