Skip shot of Cutelli’s Longhorns

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Skip shot of Cutelli’s Longhorns

Coach Charlie Cutelli encourages his team during the game.

Coach Charlie Cutelli encourages his team during the game.

Mallory Henak

Coach Charlie Cutelli encourages his team during the game.

Mallory Henak

Mallory Henak

Coach Charlie Cutelli encourages his team during the game.

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As students walk into the gym, the first thing they see are the plaques lining the walls—three of them from water polo state championships

“It’s cool to know that I play on a team that has a couple of state championship titles,” senior co-captain James Noonan said. “Two years ago we won the state championship, which is my favorite memory from high school, since I was there to see it happen.”

Although the water polo team has contended for the title six times in the past 30 years, injuries occasionally occur in the water during games and drills.

Goalie sophomore Alec Zhou blocks the ball from reaching the goal.

Richard Pack
Goalie sophomore Alec Zhou blocks the ball from reaching the goal.

“I hyperextended my arm twice, once during a game against DeSmet this year, and the other last year during the state game,” junior Mitchell Griffin said. “And, two weeks ago, I had to have reconstructive nose surgery so I could breath properly.”

Earlier in the water polo season, sophomore Andrew Wachter accidently hit junior Mitchell Griffin in the nose while running a drill.

“We were doing a defensive drill, and I swung around and my hand extended a little too far, and I got him in the nose,” Wachter said. “He said he was okay, and then the next day on the way to English class, I heard from Alec Zhou that he was in surgery.”

After losing six seniors, the 2015-2016 team is made up of eight players new to competing at the varsity level. The junior players are Emily Bauer, Connor Brunig, Andrew Caplinger, Sierra Garner and Benjamin Neary. Sophomores include Andrew Wachter, Jackson Piles and Alec Zhou.

“We would be a totally different team if we had three or four other seniors,” varsity coach Charlie Cutelli said. “They would be playing significant minutes [during games], and then we would not have to move up younger students to play varsity, and they could just develop at the JV level.”

Shortly after becoming a teacher in 2005, Cutelli also became the assistant coach in 2005, and in 2006, he became the head coach.

“He is very direct, and he’s not afraid to tell you what he thinks,” senior co-captain Andrew Bonnett said. “Cutelli has a lot of experience, and a lot of knowledge about water polo.”

Cutelli’s Longhorns continue to train in hopes of adding to the collection of state pennants on the gym wall.

“You get to know the players, and they become your kids,” Cutelli said. “When you spend so much time with them, you help influence who they are.”

 

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