Despite spending only one season on the team, Gregor Deveau ’21 was chosen to be one of three Co-Captains for Andover Boys Water Polo this fall. Deveau, also a member of Andover Boys Swimming & Diving, was first introduced to the sport through his swimming background.
“I started water polo at the age of eight… I joined a summer pool to swim, then a couple lifeguards introduced me to water polo and said that I should pick it up because I had a great base of swimming and I had a pretty good throw. I thought, ‘Why not give it a shot?’ and I just fell in love with the sport,” said Deveau.
According to teammate James Isenhower ’22, Deveau’s reliability and purposeful communication in the pool allows teammates to trust his leadership during practice and competition.
“He is a very level-headed guy. He’s someone who during games I could always trust—no matter the score, no matter how we were playing, he was always going to keep it calm. He’s always someone that the team can rally around. He doesn’t talk a lot, he’s not shy, but everything he says, everyone will listen to because we know we can trust him,” said Isenhower.
According to Sean Meng ’22, Deveau’s exemplary work and dedication to the sport motivates the team as well.
Meng said, “His work ethic is incomparable – he works the hardest out of the entire team. For our swim sets, for our dryland sets, everything, he’s leading the way and setting the example for everyone. In the water, he’s a really competitive athlete, but that being said, I think his competitive nature pushes us to do our very best.”
Deveau enjoys spending time with his teammates and appreciates the accountability that a team environment offers for collective growth.
“What I like most about water polo is the team atmosphere and how everyone picks each other up and really pushes [each other] to their limits so we can all grow as a team… it is great to see everyone’s progression in the pool––and also the dry land is really great, we hold each other accountable for what we do and really hold ourselves to a high standard,” said Deveau.
Apart from being a trusted leader, Deveau is also involved in the technical aspect of the sport and is always working to help his team improve.
Isenhower said, “When we do drills and stuff, he makes sure to pass the ball to other people to tell people what they are doing wrong, telling people to try new things during scrimmages when it is not high pressure and we are not worried about scoring. He is always making sure that everyone is on board and we know what we are going to do and how we are going to do it and no one is confused or lost.”
Deveau looks up to previous captains as role models and hopes to inspire his teammates in a similar fashion.
“Sam [Donchi ’20] was someone who I could look to and always ask for help. I try my best to replicate his leadership as well as his mindset in and out of the pool,” said Deveau.
Despite the cancellation of the interscholastic season, Deveau is still working on building a tight-knit community within the team and encouraging the team to continue training hard while also following all Covid-19 related safety guidelines.
“Honestly, I am just glad to be back in the pool, although we can’t scrimmage, we have been able to replicate a lot of passing drills, a lot of shooting drills so I am happy with that. I would have really loved to have a season, especially for my Senior year, but we are making due with what we have. As a team, we have really been grateful that school has been able to open the pool for us so everyday we go in there, we work hard, and we are proud of the work we put in,” said Deveau.
Deveau added, “We are keeping a positive mindset: we are all getting on deck, and we are really trying to respect six feet out of the pool and when we are in the pool. We are just working as hard as we can, making sure that hour and a half we have in the pool is all hard work, no messing around, and we are just putting in our best work so if we do have a chance to play a game, we will be the best we can be.”
According to Meng, the team has held friendly competitions against each other as an alternative for its cancelled games.
“Usually our games are on Fridays and Saturdays, so in place of that, [Deveau] and the other co-captains have come up with an intrasquad scrimmage system that is socially distanced. We’ll have competitions based on skills instead of having actual games,” said Meng.
For Deveau, water polo has been a big part of his Andover experience and he’s grateful for the lessons that he’s learned from the sport.
“Over the years, I think it is just progression, putting in the hard work will pay off. I put a lot of work in this past summer, hoping I would have this season, and although I don’t, and although we don’t, I am glad that I am able to transmit all of the knowledge that I have gained this past summer over to to the younger kids so they can be the best players they can be in the future when they will be leading Andover in big games to when they are up in the blue.”
Editor’s Note: Sean Meng is a Buisness Manager for The Phillipian.