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Athlete of the Week
Windermere Observer Thursday, Mar. 31, 2016 3 years ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: WINDERMERE OBSERVER: Maddie Magrino

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Magrino stands out for Dr. Phillips water polo, averaging about six steals per game. She recently eclipsed the program single-season steals mark previously held by her sister Allie, with 19 goals in her last six games for the Panthers (15-3).
by: Zak Kerr Staff Writer/Reporter

When did you start playing water polo?

It was summer going into seventh grade – (teammate) Julia (James) introduced it to me. My sister started playing water polo in high school, and so I went to one of her games. Julia was there, and she was like, “Hey, come try it one time – it'll be fun. Just come for a day.” So I went for a day and decided I liked it a lot.

 

Since then, what has made the game stay enjoyable?

Definitely teammates and coaches. I love the sport in itself, but I didn't have such amazing coaches and my teammates weren't so spectacular, I definitely wouldn't love it as much as I do.

 

What has following Allie's footsteps been like?

Allie had the steals record that I broke, so that was kind of nice. She was rooting for me the whole time that she wanted me to get it. It was kind of funny. I look up to her – she's definitely my role model, so when I found out that I was getting near it, she said, “Dude, break it!” And I was like, “OK, thanks – I'll try!” It's good to have her support. I'd feel bad if she didn't want me to break it. My younger brother's on the boys' team now, as well. It's nice. … Freshman year, I finished with 28 ejections … so I was joking that I should have the record for ejections. [Note: Ejections are just major fouls forcing a player to remain in the penalty area – like hockey's penalty box – for 20 seconds.]

 

What is your thought process on defense?

When we get back on defense, I look where I am in the pool, and ultimately I want to be in the best position to help my teammates. Typically, if they're inside the five meters, I have to front them; if they're outside, I have to stay behind them. It's “Don't mess up” – that's the first thing I think. [laughs] I'll look to Coach Leo all the time to make sure I'm in the right position. … We all talk, as well. You always need to know where the ball is – it's all just kind of hectic all the time.

Magrino has five regular-season games to close in on the program single-season assists record.

 

What is a common misconception of water polo?

The first joke that gets made when you mention water polo is “How can a horse swim in water?” They always say that. ... The biggest surprise to people is when we say we can only touch the ball with one hand, or a lot of people are surprised that we have to tread water the whole time and can't go underwater. … When they come and they watch, they realize it's a cool sport and interesting – you don't even have to know what's going on, and you see people being aggressive and the energy. A lot of people ask if it's like volleyball, because the balls look similar, but there's zero similarities. … Everybody's friendly. Playing next to Olympia, they're our rival but we're close – all of us are friends. It's hard not to become close to people when you're in swimsuits and touching each other all the time – you develop a bond whether you want to or not.

 

What is your favorite class?

Astronomy. I just love space … there's so many unanswered questions that I feel like I'm never bored. I'm always learning something new, because you can't know everything.

 

Are you thinking about that for college?

Sure. My sister goes to the University of Idaho, so I've walked around Idaho. I've been to University of Florida. I haven't toured UCF, but I've looked into it. I like Colorado-Boulder – that one's very interesting, and it has a great astronomy program.

 

Has any prank ever stood out to you?

I read somewhere one school (for a senior prank) got a cow and brought it up the stairs, and cows can't walk down stairs. They just left the cow there – I thought that was pretty funny. One school, they brought goats to school and numbered them 1, 2 and 4, so they're all walking around trying to find the third one. My sister's senior year … they just all parked … in the grass. During third period, the principal said, “Move your car, or you're going to get towed,” so then they all had to go move. It didn't do anything.

 

– Zak Kerr

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