The new slogan for USA Water Polo, "There is tough, and then there is Water Polo TOUGH!" describes who I am as an athlete. I grew up in the water entering my first swim meet at the age of 4 and could barely get across the pool. The following year, I joined a club swim team and that following summer, I broke all the neighborhood records as a 6 and under competitor and then again as I entered each age group. When I broke my arm during a Memorial Day Marine Mud Run I thought my summer of sports was over. Well, I was able to swim and compete for my club team and neighborhood teams with a cast. My mental toughness and desire to compete is what kept me going. I learned quickly that mind over matter is what determines your outcome. My parents have always taught me that pain is temporary.
I have played many sports (travel basketball, youth football and soccer) but always stuck with swimming. After many years of staring at the black line at the bottom of the pool, I decided to try water polo. My older brother played and I wanted to join the fun. I still enjoy swimming, but my passion has moved toward the love of the game of water polo. I am always surprised the way this sport challenges my endurance, physical and mental capabilities. I am reminded of how tough I can really be.
I was beyond excited when Illinois sports was able to begin again. The pandemic shut my state down and it was difficult to train, swim and play in the summer of 2020. I went to California and trained with CCUnited during our shutdown. It was a great experience and I cannot wait to have that opportunity again in the future.
Freshman year was a COVID-19 year with many restrictions and we were unable to have a full academic and athletic schedule. I was able to swim for my High School and represent our varsity team. I competed at the DVC Conference and placed 2nd. I also earned a spot on the Water Polo Varsity roster and was a starter for our team. I scored 19 goals out of 18 game season. I also stole the ball 18 times, while assisting 16 additional goals. I was named All Conference and selected to the 2021 Illinois Water Polo All Sectional Boys team and earned Academic All Conference honors.
My Sophomore year was exciting! I moved to California and trained with Tony Azevedo at his 6-8 Elite Water Polo Academy for the Fall Semester. When I returned home, my high school season was about to begin and we had a 29 game schedule. I finished the season with 96 goals, 78 assists, and 75 steals. I was ranked 4th overall in the country for total points and goals, 2nd in assists and #1 in Illinois for the spring season. My stats can be found on MaxPreps. My hard work, dedication to the team and intense training that I had from the 6-8 Elite Academy are paying off in the water. My goal this season was to be a game changer and a great defensive athlete. I accomplished my goals and looking forward to setting new standards as I approach my Junior year as a Varsity athlete.
My goal for college recruitment is to play water polo at a competitive collegiate level alongside my academic career. I intend to major in Business Economics and then pursue a Master of Business Administration degree.