Boys Water Polo Season Preview

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John Torosian

Starting yesterday, tryouts for the LFHS Boys Water Polo Team were held and will continue on later today. Although there will be no cuts, the coaches hope to set a varsity and JV roster not only based on grade in school, but also based on skill.

With eight seniors from last year gone, varsity boys water polo hopes to rebuild this year. In particular, the absence of captains Kevin Donahue and Zachary Boveri from a season ago will certainly force some of the current seniors to step up and assume a leadership role. Donahue was last season’s MVP as well as the recipient of the All-Conference and All-Sectional awards, and his hard work and encouragement will surely leave a void to fill.

In addition to losing last year’s seniors, head coach Tom Saleh has departed from the team during the offseason. Saleh, who was also the assistant coach of boys swimming, demanded only the best from his players, and the results attest to his fantastic coaching. “Losing Tom is incredibly tough,” said senior Andrew Gherlein. “He was a great coach and a fantastic role model.”

However, all is not lost. Varsity Swimming Head Coach Cindy Dell has assumed Saleh’s role and looks to further continue his legacy. Also, notable returning big-time players include Andrew Gherlein, last year’s recipient of the NSC Sportsmanship Award, Charlie Mickey, the most improved player of last season, and Beau Waligora, a diver for the LFHS Diving Team. Michael Rourke, Harmon Raft, Will Paschke, Andre Josephitis, and goalie Charlie Capps round out the returning seniors for this season.

Finally, senior Stuart Kelso, also known as “The Kelsonater,” will be returning from his one-year drought. He suffered a torn ACL last year during the winter, and unfortunately was unable to play water polo. This year, Kelso joined the varsity swim team and improved his times dramatically. However, his true passion has always been water polo; he told The Forest Scout, “I am so pumped to be back. I’m going to be kicking some serious tail.”

Last year’s team boasted a record of 13-10 and placed fourth in Conference, but this season, the gentlemen on the LFHS Water Polo Team hope to perform even better. “I’m not happy with anything less than 23-and-0,” said senior Beau Waligora.

The first meet for the Scouts will be March 6 against Libertyville. Further notable match-ups include Warren on April 4, Stevenson on April 10, and New Trier on April 19.

Be sure to support the Boys Water Polo Team by coming to a meet and/or following the team Instagram (@lfpolo2k18).