Updated October 4th, 2020
All our practice groups are assigned by the coaching staff. During our fall season, we practice at MICDS, twice a week: Wednesday nights from 8 to 10 PM, starting August 12th, 2020, and Saturday afternoons from 3 to 5 PM, starting August 16th, 2020. We also have a team Zoom meeting on Mondays at 7 PM, starting August 10th, 2020. These are mandatory to attend or view the recording before the Wednesday practice.
We are, of course, subject to all applicable state and local orders concerning COVID-19 and will abide by them as well as USA Water Polo and SafeSport best practices and guidelines concerning athlete safety.
The Lions are a USA Water Polo registered club, currently structured to accomodate and train girls in the 18-under, 16-under and 14-under team age groups. All of our players will have at least Bronze Athlete status with USA Water Polo, meaning they can play in any local or regional competitions. In addition, we offer Silver Athlete and Gold Athlete status, which allows national and/or Junior Olympic competitions. The Lions are part of the Midwest Zone in USA Water Polo, consisting of several states including Missouri.
Coach VerMeer grew up in St Louis where she swam and played water polo for 15+ years. She graduated from Lindenwood University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Graphic Design. While at Lindenwood she was the captain of the women's water polo team, and an All-American water polo player. She has also played for Clayton Men's Masters team since 2016, where she earned the Masters Female Player of the Year in the Midwest zone from USA Water Polo. She is currently working full time as a graphic designer, as well as coaching boys Swimming at Parkway Central High School, and girls water polo at Ladue High School. She will be graduating in December 2020 from Lindenwood University with a Masters degree in Sports Management. She is very passionate about water polo, and especially about growing the sport in the Midwest.
Coach Jagodzinski is from Homer Glen, Illinois where he began swimming and playing water polo his freshman year of High School. After high school he went on to play water polo at Lindenwood University for 3 years, helping the team win two CWPA D1 national championships. During his time at Lindenwood he began coaching water polo at Ladue Horton Watkins High School as the head JV coach. After graduating in 2018 with a BA in mathematics he added on the additional responsibilities of coaching the girls swimming team and teaching mathematics at Ladue. He is very dedicated to the growth and development of players from a variety of backgrounds and believes anyone who puts in time can be successful at the sport.
Coach Boccia was born and raised in Southern California where she began swimming at a very young age. At the age of 12 she decided to pursue water polo instead and immediately fell in love with the sport. Throughout her high school years she played as a starter and served as a captain while also making First and Second Team for her division. After graduating high school she was recruited to play water polo for Lindenwood University. She quickly became a key player for the team and was both a starter and captain throughout her collegiate career, while additionally receiving all Midwest Division First Team from the Collegiate Water Polo Association.
She is currently entering her senior year at Lindenwood University double majoring in Criminology/Criminal Justice and Psychology with honors. She will graduate in 2021 and plans to further her educational career and work towards her Masters in Forensic Mental Health Counseling.
Coach Clay has been involved with water polo since beginning playing as an 8th grader in 1998. He played high school water polo at Parkway North High School in St. Louis county, before playing college club water polo at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at Wisconsin he served as captain/coach for this junior and senior seasons. After a short break, Coach Clay began coaching the Ladue JV water polo team during the 2011 season. In 2015 Coach Clay took over the Varsity coaching duties and has been head coach of the program since. Highlights during his ten years with the Ladue water polo team include three final four appearances (2011 as an assistant, 2017, and 2018), two championship appearances (2011, 2017), and earning Missouri Water Polo Coach of the Year in 2018. Coach Clay strongly believes that relationship building, character development, and commitment to developing players of all ability levels creates the best possible experience for players. He wants all of his players to reach their highest potential as polo players by teaching skills, developing confidence, and enhancing character traits.
Dave Miller, a lifelong St. Louis resident, brings nearly 50 years of coaching and directing experience to the Lions, having managed age group through masters water polo programs, including USA Water Polo clubs, and high school, college club, senior men’s, and women’s water polo teams. He is a certified USA Water Polo Gold Level coach, has served on the USA Water Polo Board of Directors, is a past president of Missouri Water Polo, and is currently a member of the Missouri Water Polo Hall of Fame.
He most recently served as the head water polo coach of the Lindenwood University men's and women's programs starting in September 2015. He took over a Lindenwood program that had won the 2014 Collegiate Water Polo Association Men's Division I Club Championship and guided the Lions to their second straight national title in 2015. He also led the men's squad to national championship victories in 2016 and 2018.
He also was the head coach at Mehlville High School in St. Louis as well as for MOA Aquatics (Gators Water Polo) since 2013.
His list of achievements is quite extensive. He was the USA Water Polo Volunteer of the Year in 2001 and the Midwest Zone Elite Coach of the Year in 2000. He served as Assistant USA Water Polo National Youth Team Coach from 1999 to 2001, was Director of Player Development in 12 states for the USA Water Polo Midwest Zone, and he was led the USA Water Polo Midwest Zone Youth and Junior Teams, developing five national team members in the process. Miller was the head water polo coach at Oakville High School in St. Louis from 1991 to 2000, leading the program to a .890 winning percentage. He led the Cape Swim Team in Cape Girardeau, Mo., to three undefeated seasons from 1975 to 1978, and headed the Southeast Missouri State University water polo team from 1974 to 1977.
He also compiled a great track record as a high school and college player. He earned All-Conference awards every season in that span, played in five AAU Senior Men’s Championships, played and coached on three consecutive Missouri State Championship teams, played on two consecutive California Community College Athletic Association teams, and was named to the All-Southwest U.S. Team in 1977.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Physical Science from Southeast Missouri State. He also spent time at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California.
Scott Summers has been involved in water polo since 1978 as a freshman at SLUH. Following a successful high school career he went on to play at the University of Kentucky.
Scott is currently a coach at Marquette High School and a member of the Clayton Men's Masters team.
He has two daughters. The oldest, Danielle, played at Lindbergh High school. She then went on to play at Colorado State University and Notre Dame College.
He is excited to be involved with the Lions girls team here in St. Louis and advancing the sport in the area.
Coach Peglar was born and raised in St. Louis, and started his 47-year involvement with water polo as part of the Missouri State Champion water polo team at Ladue High in 1973. He graduated from Wash. U, in St. Louis, with a B.S. in Computer Science, as well as two years of graduate CS study, and played and refereed summer club polo, traveling extensively to national-level tournaments.
He is a certified USA Water Polo coach and referee. He counts as his coaching mentors two legendary St. Louis area coaches; Don Casey and Wally Lundt, and his refereeing mentor, the USA Hall of Fame member Paul Barren. He refereed several Missouri High School State Championship finals as well as numerous USA Masters and collegiate tournaments in the Midwest.
He currently coaches both boys and girls water polo at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, and also coaches boys and girls swimming and diving, helping to lead the Ladue girls to 3rd place at Missouri Class 1 State Championships in 2020.
He founded and leads the Lions for the purpose of growing girls' water polo in St. Louis, and beyond, and is dedicated to seeing student/athletes mature and become outstanding young people.