By Contributor Craig Lauinger
Lewisville, TX – July 28-Aug 2 – Northern Virginia’s Capital Water Polo Club 16U Boys team struck gold at the 2021 USA Water Polo Junior Olympics. Overcoming an immensely difficult year with closed aquatic centers up and down the East Coast and tournaments cancelled for nearly 8 months, the boys of Capital persevered, trained incredibly hard and maintained their focus throughout.
Team members Luke Baird, Sandro Bregvadze, Connor Duffey, Leo Galocha, Bodie Lauinger, Mihailo Lemaic, Joey Madigan, Mikey O’Grady, Petar Stjepanovich, Evan Sadler and William True swept this national championships going undefeated in all 7 of their games- winning them by a jaw-dropping average of 11 goals per game. Competing against teams from across the country, they won the gold medal game 13-9 in an exciting and challenging matchup against Northwest Polo from Bellevue, WA. Led by Head Coach Miras Jelic and Assistant Coach Ben Hoffschneider, the Capital boys dished out convincing defeats against longtime rivals Greenwich (CT) and Navy (MD), knocking these two outstanding teams out of gold medal contention earlier in the tournament.
Joining forces with the Navy Aquatic Club 18U team coached by Cole Linder, Capital players Rowan Frew, Nathan Hackel, Michael McGuckin, Landon Plummer and Pierce Ryan helped Navy finish a very respectable 5th overall in the tournament. Capital also sent their Assistant Coach Madassone Butler to lead Navy’s 18U girls team to win the bronze medal overall.
Capital Water Polo is based out of The St. James in Springfield, VA, practices 11 months out of the year, and is currently accepting registrations for the 2021-2022 season.