Freshman McKay Morgan started watching his older brother play water polo in third grade, but he did not actually start playing until the summer between fifth and sixth grade.
“I came to all his games and I thought the sport looked really cool,” Morgan said. “My favorite part about water polo is that it incorporates swimming. I’m not the best runner, so land sports aren’t really my strong suit. Water polo still has a ball and a goal, so it sort of mixes my other two favorite sports – basketball and swimming.”
Looking to fill the shoes of alumni Mitch Griffin, the 2017 Post Dispatch and Missouri Water Polo Player of the Year, Morgan earned a spot on the varsity team for the 2018 season.
“At the beginning of the season, the coaches told me I’d eventually be playing more varsity games, but it was still a little shocking to move up for the rest of the season,” Morgan said. “I’ve played on club teams year-round for the past four years. I made sure that I always had time to go to practice and listened to every word coaches said because I knew that I would need every bit of it come high school.”
Because Morgan started off by playing JV and varsity, coach Charles Cutelli wanted him at as many practices as possible. Because of this, Morgan often practiced from 3:00-6:30 p.m.
“McKay never complains. He is always willing to do the work. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with brains,” Cutelli said.
According to Cutelli, Morgan brings more experience to the team.
“He is capable of playing great defense, scoring goals and helping teammates around him play better,” Cutelli said.
After placing fourth at state last year, the team completed their goal of defeating Lindbergh with the help of Morgan and their six returning players.
“We are a more well-rounded team this year than last year. We have multiple players contributing at both ends of the pool,” Cutelli said. “Last year we had a primary offensive threat in Mitch Griffin, but this year we have five to six guys scoring the majority of the goals.”