Co-Captain Hank Yang ’22 discovered his love for the water at a young age. Partnered with his affection for the people surrounding his aquatic endeavors, both propelled him to a nearly life-long swimming career. Eventually finding his way to Andover, Yang continues to exude bliss as well as maintain consistent appreciation and empathy for those around him.
Yang notes how as a Co-Captain, creating meaningful bonds with his fellow teammates is incredibly valuable. According to Yang, he constantly tries to embody these principles of relationship building and personal connections both in and out of the pool.
Yang said, “I think that I am a people person, so I always do my best to connect with my teammates on a personal level. I try to break down the ideas of seniority within the team, which can often create divides amongst us. Instead, I use team dinners and times outside of practice as a chance to ask my teammates about their school life and their other interests. Eventually, we start knowing each other beyond the pool, and over the course of this season, we have become a family. My teammates trust me when I give them advice about believing in their own training and making the right decisions for themselves and each other.”
Fellow teammate James Isenhower ’22 recognizes Yang’s amiable nature and charismatic personality. However, he also acknowledges that Yang knows the difference between work and play and serves as an emotional rock for the team.
“Hank’s been a close friend of mine since [Junior] year. We’ve both done water polo since then, and I’ve been lucky enough to join him on the varsity swim team this year. He’s got a great sense of humor and can bring positivity and levity to any situation, but more importantly, he knows when to take things seriously. I think it makes it that much more important when he does turn serious. He’s always been someone I can count on to bring motivation and energy no matter how he or the team is feeling,” said Isenhower.
Daniel Mair ’24 shares a similar sentiment to Isenhower, specifically touching on Yang’s ability to adopt a light hearted or serious attitude depending on the situation. Mair also points out how Yang is able to maintain the same captivating and kind personality outside of competition.
Mair said, “Out the pool, Hank is as light hearted as they come, he has a bright and fluffy personality and loves to joke around, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know when to get serious. Hank is a great captain and lights up the world.”
As Yang’s time as a leader of the team comes to a close, he hopes that his friends and teammates will come away with newfound connections and respect for one another. He also believes that they will understand the importance of making these connections in a traditionally individualized sport.
“I hope the team will forever remember that their success in the pool doesn’t just depend on how hard they work individually, and that it is just as important to motivate and trust each other. Andover swimming has been fortunate enough to accomplish a lot over the past years, and I think a lot of that has to be attributed to how close-knit our teams were, and our instincts to always put the team over ourselves,” said Yang.
Editor’s Note: Jack Rogus is an Editor for the Sports Section of The Phillipian.