Matt Delaurentis ’23, co-captain of Boys Varsity Water Polo along with Kaelin Wu and Sam Cherry, started playing the sport in freshman year at Hopkins. While having experience in swimming, he had never tried the sport before.
Delaurentis said, “I first started playing back in freshman year by chance. I was originally going to join cross country, but the captain at the time, Alex Schott ’20, knew me and reached out to me asking if I wanted to join so I made the switch last minute.” Delaurentis began playing in school, and only recently joined a club team. He said, “After the success of last season, two of my teammates suggested I play for the club CT Premier to continue to improve my abilities.”
As a co-captain, Delaurentis leads the team and supports younger players. He explained his priorities as captain: “You should try to be a role model and leader to the underclassmen, while also being supportive to them, as, for many of them, this is their first time trying water polo, and with it being such a physically demanding sport, people can lose motivation quickly, similar to how I did freshman year.” Delaurentis emphasized the importance of working hard: “I try to lead by example, while also keeping them in check to make sure everyone is focused.”
On the team Delaurentis plays the very important role of goalie. He enjoys the position, saying, “I feel that there’s a lot of pressure on me going into each game. I think a good goalie can make or break a team, and I think that pressure is really motivating. Being a goalie means being the defensive anchor on the team, and with water polo being a sport where defense is so crucial, being that anchor and helping the team succeed is a great feeling.” Other teammates also spoke to his ability to lead a strong defense. Peter Ivanov ’24 explained, “He helps lead a lot of our defense from his position in goal. [He is] constantly telling us where we need to go and providing a level of leadership that makes our defense so effective.”
Delaurentis’s coaches and teammates cited his dedication and hard work as a contribution to their team’s success. Water Polo Coach Jason Nevis said, “Having Matt is a huge asset to the players and the overall team. He is respected by his teammates because of his calm, reserved demeanor. Physically, Matt is able to stop goals consistently every game to keep us competitive when playing against tough opponents.” One of his co-captains, Sam Cherry ’23 echoed this, saying, “Being our goalie, he has the best view of the pool and is always giving us advice on where to position ourselves.”
Other teammates spoke toward his ability to lead a strong team. Colton Trepp ’25 said, “Matt is not an outspoken person, but leads by example, playing phenomenally throughout our season and making few mistakes.”
After Hopkins, Delaurentis plans to continue playing water polo at the college level. He said, “I’ve reached out to a few collegiate programs, but I still haven’t decided on whether I want to commit to that. However, no matter where I go, I’ll probably participate in the school’s club team.” His biggest advice to the underclassmen looking to get into the sport is to stay committed. He said “Many of them have a lot of potential and have shown interest in the sport, so if they want to continue to have successful seasons, they’ve got to stay focused and continue to work hard and bring each other up.”