Hungary for Waterpolo

+The+Boys%E2%80%99+Varsity+Waterpolo+team+and+Christina+Amoroso+pose+for+a+photo+while+in+traveling+in+Hungary+over+the+summer+and+competing+in+a+waterpolo+tournament.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Courtesy+of%3A+Bob+Kustel
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Hungary for Waterpolo

 The Boys’ Varsity Waterpolo team and Christina Amoroso pose for a photo while in traveling in Hungary over the summer and competing in a waterpolo tournament.                                                                                    Courtesy of: Bob Kustel

The Boys’ Varsity Waterpolo team and Christina Amoroso pose for a photo while in traveling in Hungary over the summer and competing in a waterpolo tournament. Courtesy of: Bob Kustel

The Boys’ Varsity Waterpolo team and Christina Amoroso pose for a photo while in traveling in Hungary over the summer and competing in a waterpolo tournament. Courtesy of: Bob Kustel

The Boys’ Varsity Waterpolo team and Christina Amoroso pose for a photo while in traveling in Hungary over the summer and competing in a waterpolo tournament. Courtesy of: Bob Kustel

By Caroline Frost

For the boys’ varsity waterpolo team, a typical tournament takes place in Napa or the East Bay, but over this past summer the boys took their first trip out of the country and spent two weeks in Hungary.

“When the baseball and softball team went to Cuba, I thought to myself ‘why can’t I do that?’ that’s when the whole idea came to life,” boys varsity waterpolo coach Bob Kustel said.

 The Boys’ Varsity Waterpolo team and Christina Amoroso pose for a photo while in traveling in Hungary over the summer and competing in a waterpolo tournament.                                                                                    Courtesy of: Bob Kustel

The Boys’ Varsity Waterpolo team and Christina Amoroso pose for a photo while in traveling in Hungary over the summer and competing in a waterpolo tournament.
Photo courtesy of: Bob Kustel

According to Kustel, 21 boys went on the trip; other chaperones included Paul Hettler and Sean Norton, Athletic Director Christina Amoroso, and French teacher Brian Zailian. Zailian, the director of the global studies program, has organized a dozens of international trips including the Cuba trip and the exchanges to Spain and France every year. The process started in 2013 when the idea came to him, it took him about a year to do all the research and arrange the trip, including costs, arranging the trip and the financial availability of the boys. The trip overall cost $4,000 per student.

The Hungary men’s national waterpolo team is considered the world’s top power house in the Olympics, having won nine gold medals, the last in 2008, three silvers and three bronze in the Olympics. “That’s why I chose Hungary,” Kustel said. “I thought to myself ‘where are the best waterpolo players in the world?’ and it was Hungary.” The boys played waterpolo four hours a day with multiple games a day against tough opponents. “We never won a single game,” Kustel said. “They were never going to put a team out there that we could’ve beaten. The closest game was 25-3.”

In addition to playing waterpolo games all day, they spent time going to water parks, went to Hungarian rodeos and taking tours of Budapest and castles. “The castle we went to demonstrated the Mongolians taking over the Hungarians in the 12th century” Kustel said. They also spent time with the Hungarians who they played games against.

“The Hungarians were so interested in Americans” Kustel said “it was so great to see how after playing with them for three or four days that the boys became friends and traded suits and shirts.”The highlight of the trip for Kustel was getting invited by one of the Hungarian coaches farm house’s for dinner “They served us rooster” Kustel said, “it was gypsy food. They spoke no English at all and we still had the greatest time.”

Junior Gavin Sakamoto also enjoyed the diversity of the trip. “We traveled to Pécs, Kecskemé and Budapest,” Sakamoto said. “Pécs had the best nightlife because the hotel was right next to city center and we could leave the hotel.”

According to Sakamoto the best part of the trip was the team bonding. “We all came back a little more like brothers,” he said. “It was the trip of a lifetime.”