Boys Water Polo Captain Feature Sports

Boys Water Polo Veteran Sean Meng ’22 Prioritizes a ‘Tight-Knit Community’

COURTESY OF PHILLIPS ACADEMY

With only four Seniors on the team, Co-Captain Sean Meng ’22 helps lead a relatively young Andover Boys Water Polo group.

Starting out as a swimmer, Boys Water Polo Co-Captain Sean Meng ’22 challenged himself in middle school to pursue water polo as his fall sport. Since then, he has fallen in love with the competitiveness and community that water polo brings. From attending preseason as a Junior to being elected Co-Captain of the team, Meng has not only grown tactically as a player but has also found a home within the sport.

 

According to Meng, the ability to release his emotions in the water serves as a mode of stress relief. 

 

“Water polo is a really good outlet away from all the academics and extracurricular stresses. If you watch, you’ll see that people fight. We’re like fighting in the water—it’s competitive, but it’s also really good-natured,” said Meng. 

 

Throughout his years on the team, Meng has always loved the tight relationships formed from consistent team bonding. As Co-Captain, he hopes to maintain a similar environment with his teammates this season. 

 

Meng said, “Starting from [my Junior] year, the Seniors took care of me. Every year since then, water polo has been a very, very tight-knit community. We have team dinners every night for a reason because we love everyone on the team. Stepping up as Seniors this year, [me, Hank Yang ’22 and Co-Captains James Isenhower ’22 and Beckett McKee ’22,] we’re keeping everyone together, making sure we’re all dedicated to each other.”

 

According to Trey Wolfe ’23 and Isenhower, Meng’s caring personality allows him to build relationships with everyone on the team.

 

Wolfe said, “Sean’s just one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. The way he asks how everyone is doing, you know he means it. I think that’s how everyone on the team, even the younger ones, forms a connection with him. He’s just always there for all of us in and out of the pool.”

 

“Sean’s a great guy. He’s always been super nice, super friendly. He doesn’t hesitate to help people out. I know that I can trust him with anything. In and out of the water he’s super passionate about the sport, but he never prioritizes himself. He’s always willing to put other people first. He’s really compassionate, and he always makes sure that everyone on the team feels comfortable,” Isenhower added.

 

According to Wolfe, Meng’s charisma allows his teammates to trust and relate to him, which strengthens the effectiveness of his leadership. 

 

“He’s caring, he’s funny; that’s the kind of person you’d want to be your teammate, but at the same time, it’s the person you want to hang out with. I think that’s part of the reason why the team has such good chemistry…[The team is full of] people who you trust to lead you because [they are] the same people you want to hang out with,” Wolfe said.

 

Along with developing strong team chemistry, Meng wants to ensure that the team’s future is bright and serve as an inspiration to the younger players by sharing his passion for the sport.

 

Meng said, “[I want] to be able to teach the younger kids how the game works. Have them fall in love with the sport as well. If you look at our JV record, we’re doing pretty well. We have a good future for the program. We want to make sure that our new program is sustainable especially with the new pool coming in. We want to try to maintain our quality of play as much as we can.”

 

With just a few weeks left in the season, Meng hopes to make the most out of his Senior season.

 

“We’re going into our last few weeks playing water polo [so I] just [want to] go out and have fun, and don’t leave any regrets in the pool. [I] just [want to] give 100 percent in everything and be able to walk out of the season thinking that I gave my everything,” Meng said.