Homecoming: Varsity Water Polo

Julia Bouchut, Staff Writer

“Homecoming is a big day. It’s the biggest crowd of the year, so everybody should be very excited about it,” Varsity Water Polo Coach Michael Duffy said.

The Varsity Water Polo team will play Riverdale this Saturday. The team has played six games in the season so far; they won five and lost one to Staples High School.

The team’s main goals are the same as they have always been, Duffy said. “Work hard, have fun, and we’ll see where that takes us.” 

They have not yet played Riverdale this year, so they do not know the team’s strengths or weaknesses, Duffy said. “If we play the way we’re capable of playing, we’ll be fine.” Last year, the Lions played Riverdale on Homecoming and beat them 25-2.

Because the team doesn’t know what to expect from Riverdale, they plan to start the game with strong defense, Duffy said. “If we play some really good defense, we’ll get some turnovers and then that will feed our counter attack.”

To prepare for Homecoming, the team has been working on fundamental skills like individual pressure defense and teamwork, as well as conditioning — the team tries to swim at least 1000 yards each practice.

If the team does not swim quickly, they cannot get back to the other side of the pool to defend properly, Jared Contant (12) said. The team has also been practicing new strategies like sloughing – double teaming the hole set – and blocking by putting the defender in front of the hole set, he said.

“Scoring is not a problem, but getting back on defense and stopping them is,” Noah Catillo (10) said. “So we’ve been working a lot on ball security.” 

Even though the team lost to Staples, they played a good game and had some successful moments come from it, Contant said. He and a player from the Staples’s team matched up evenly and defended each other the entire game, he said. “At the end, we high-fived and made one of those little connections.” 

Other players on the team have also been doing very well, Duffy said. Goalkeepers Oliver Konopko (10), Contant, and Rohan Mahajan (12), as well as Castillo and Alex Lautin (12) have improved their skills, he said. 

Captain Max Chasin (12) and Castillo have played particularly well this season, Duffy said. Since the start of the season, Chasin has made 57 goals and 12 assists, and Castillo 19 goals and 6 assists. “I’ve been here a long time, and [Chasin] is blowing the statistics out of the water,” Duffy said. 

While the team often relies on the stronger players to score goals, they try to include everyone when they pass the ball around at games, Julian Hernandez (12) said. “Even if somebody is not a strong player, just having them play, like passing and shooting, is going to make us a better team.” 

The larger crowd makes Homecoming more personal than other games, Castillo said. The energy of the crowd really pushes the team for the rest of the season, Hernandez said. 

Especially this year, the seniors have taken leadership roles, Duffy said. “They lead by example and that’s kind of trickled down to our younger players and even to our JV team,” he said. “They come to practice with a serious attitude, and they work really, really hard.”

The team looks forward to showing off their skills at Homecoming, such as the strength they have built training in a deep pool, Duffy said. “Everybody’s really pumped. It’s good for the community to see how hard this group of kids works.”


School Result Score
St Peter’s Prep Win 17-11
St. Benedict’s Prep Win 17-5
Trinity Win 19-11
Fieldston Win 21-15
Staples HS Loss 17-18
Blair Academy Win 17-10


Player Number(s) Position
Jared Contant 1, 2 Goalie/Field Player
Julian Hernandez 3 Field Player
Max Chasin 10 Field Player
Alex Lautin 6 Field Player
Rohan Mahajan 5 Goalie/Field Player
Steve Yang 8 Field Player
Zach Montbauch 4 Field Player
Camila Florencio 20 Field Player
Elise Kang 12 Field Player
Noah Castillo 7 Field Player
Dylan Montbach 13 Field Player
Oliver Konopko 1A, 9 Goalie/Field Player
Rain Li 16 Field Player