First men’s water polo team at San Domenico makes a splash


Mona Buryova

David Martiča 23’ representing his country during the European Water Polo Championship.

Angelo Neto, Reporter

With the season approaching, San Domenico’s first men’s water polo team is gearing up to make its official debut on Oct 7 in the Amador Valley Foothill Tournament in the East Bay.

Led by Mark Anderson, a water polo coach who began his coaching career over 30 years ago and has contributed to the development of countless Division 1 college and professional level athletes, the team can certainly count on someone who has experience in the sport.

“My main expectation for this year is to begin a water polo culture at San Domenico School and make it special,” Anderson said.

When asked about the team’s level, Anderson said that the group of players he has is full of potential. He explained that by making sure that all players are eligible to play and all athletes understand the game’s strategies, the team will truly be ready to face the toughest opponents in the league.

“We are going to shock some people; people are going to be surprised,” Anderson emphasized

The brand new water polo team contains two extremes in regards to players: There are those who have been playing the sport for years and are representing their countries on the national team and others who are playing for the first time. This can be a challenge as they are at different skill levels and a balance must be found for the team to be successful in the season.

“The best players will have to be patient and act as leaders to help the players who have never played before. New strategies will have to be established so that everyone can fit into the team,” Anderson mentioned.

Born in Prague, Czech Republic, David Martinča 23′ is one of the experienced players who has just arrived from Montenegro, where he was playing in the European Water Polo Championship for his country’s national team.

“It was really amazing because qualification for the championship was never accomplished by anyone in our country before. It was one of the most prestigious competitions one player can attend. I couldn’t believe I was playing against the best water polo players in Europe,” Martinča said. 

As a transfer student, Martinča had to adapt quickly to the team and his new teammates. According to him, this was not a big challenge as the team environment has improved after each training session. With great ambition, the team aspires to the title of State Champion and Martinča promises that they are already working towards that goal.

“The environment is really good,” Martinča said. “We have a team composed of good guys and even the players who have never played before are improving a lot to help the team to achieve the goals.” Martinča added, “The State championship is believable for us.”

To get a broader view of the team’s environment, player Orion Kent 23’ shared a little about what it has been like to be playing water polo for the first time and the challenges he has faced in the sport so far. 

“It’s a totally different sport compared to the ones I’ve played before,” Kent said. “The first week was more difficult, a real grind to get more fitness, but after that it became easier. Now I can say that it’s enjoyable. I struggled a lot in my first scrimmage, but after receiving instructions and help from my coach and teammates, my second scrimmage was better. I could score a goal and that feels great.”