Co-Captain Marcel Montemayor-Fontes ’23 Values “Being in the Moment”

Attending a training camp in Barcelona every summer, Andover Boys Water Polo Co-Captain Marcel Montemayor-Fontes ’23 has displayed deep commitment to the sport, despite only starting three seasons ago. As a Co-Captain, he places emphasis on creating a fun environment and strengthening a team dynamic that will continue to prosper after his graduation.

With no prior experience before coming to Andover, Montemayor-Fontes picked up the sport his Junior year. He credits former Co-Captain Theo Faugeres ’21 for the guidance in his initial encounters with the sport. 

“I was [a] clueless [Junior] at first, but I instantly fell in love with the sport and decided to continue pursuing my new passion…. Someone who had a special impact on me when it came to playing water polo was Theo Faugeres ’21. Not only was he a great teammate and captain, but he taught me the beauty and elegance of water polo. If anything, his guidance made me love the sport even more,” wrote Montemayor-Fontes in an email to The Phillipian. 

Co-Captain Trey Wolfe ’23 admires Montemayor-Fontes’ ability to persist through the physical demands of the hole set position in games. Often positioned in front of the opposing team’s goal, Montemayor-Fontes consistently faces rough contact from the opposing team’s defense and still models resilience.

“Marcel just works really hard. I mean, he plays the toughest position in the pool. Playing in the hole is super physical and super tiring. You’re wrestling with usually the biggest guy on the other team for the whole game, and he doesn’t complain. He’s in there fighting, and he really doesn’t complain about it. I think that’s a great example because people are tired, but then we look at Marcel, and he’s not saying a word, but he’s been fighting with someone the whole game. I think it shows people he still has some gas in the tank,” said Wolfe.

Since his recent introduction to the sport, Montemayor-Fontes has taken advantage of opportunities abroad to further develop his skills, according to Ryan Chandor ’23. In another country, Montemayor-Fontes gains new perspectives on the sport. 

“Marcel didn’t have too much of a water polo background before he came here, but every summer, he goes to a water polo camp in Barcelona. He gets a lot of good knowledge out there. water polo is a lot more popular in European countries than in the US, but he brings a lot of that knowledge into our team,” said Chandor. 

Further, Chandor emphasized Montemayor-Fontes’ eagerness to share his experiences with the team. Chandor sees Montemayor-Fontes as another coach on the team, constantly providing feedback and insight.

“He loves coaching people, just like Coach [Howard] Kalter. He’s big on constructive criticism even if it’s hard to take at the time. He really knows how to play every position. He gives good tips and pointers for everybody even if it’s sometimes not what you want to be hearing. It’s always good to have someone knowledgeable like Marcel on the team who’s instilling [a] positive team culture. He knows a lot about the game,” said Chandor.

According to Wolfe, Montemayor-Fontes always brings positive energy. No matter what happens outside of practice, Montemayor-Fontes steps into the pool completely engaged with the team.

Wolfe said, “He’s super welcoming. Outside of the pool, he’s a great guy, super friendly and genuine. He brings that all with him to the pool every day, so you know he really brings the energy up. When he is having a bad day, I can tell, and he puts it aside, so we can have a good practice. And you know, I think that takes a lot of strength.”

Like Montemayor-Fontes, many members of the current team only began playing water polo in high school. Thus, he prioritizes the developmental process of the sport, hoping to set a strong foundation for future seasons to come. 

“My goal for the team is to make sure that everyone is having fun and learning. Yes, it is my goal to win every single water polo game, and I believe that the team is able to do that. However, I think that water polo is a complicated sport and not a lot of people know how to play. Therefore, it is my goal to make it so that everyone on the team has fun and learns how to play as a way to ensure that after I graduate, there will still be those who remain passionate about the sport like I am,” wrote Montemayor-Fontes.