John Riggs, Jr., a member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Southeast Portland, blocks a pass during the Junior Olympics in Orange County, California, in July. The 14-year-old was recruited from his David Douglas High School swim team to compete with the Lake Oswego Water Polo Team. (Courtesy Riggs Family)
John Riggs, Jr., a member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Southeast Portland, blocks a pass during the Junior Olympics in Orange County, California, in July. The 14-year-old was recruited from his David Douglas High School swim team to compete with the Lake Oswego Water Polo Team. (Courtesy Riggs Family)
Fourteen year-old John Riggs, Jr., a member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Southeast Portland, joined other local teens for a chance to compete in the Junior Olympics in Orange County, California, in late July.

The teen, a student at David Douglas High School, was recruited to play with the Lake Oswego water polo team during the competition.

“It was really fun being chosen and representing Oregon in California,” said Riggs.

The team played five games while there, placing 17th out of the 50 teams in the division.

“I was nervous at first competing against more advanced teams,” he said. Still, Riggs likes the competition and the environment of water polo.

“I like being around the water,” said Riggs, who plans to swim and play water polo throughout high school and beyond.

Tina Riggs, John’s mother, says he started swimming at around 3 years old. The family had a boat and wanted little John to know how to swim.

“The river’s dangerous,” said Tina. “So, I said, ‘You’re not going into the boat without swim lessons.’”

John’s been swimming ever since.