The boys’ water polo team has a reputation for constant jokes and pranks during practice, and at the center of it all is senior Cian Concannon.
Concannon, who is third on the team with 34 goals as of October 5, has been one of the Hawks’ top performers with his physical play. The team looks to follow up on last year’s NCS Division 2 Championship and subsequent move to Division 1. You might not know it during practice.
“We all make fun of each other,” senior teammate Ben Sherwood said. “We are pretty serious but [practice] is always a big joke for us.”
Concannon often is the one instigator.
“It’s very common that I get hit in the back of the head with a ball,” Sherwood said. Concannon demonstrated his talent during Hell Week.
“I brought an air horn to morning practice during Hell Week to just wake up the guys a little extra,” Concannon explained.
With several strong players from last season graduating, Concannon has stepped up both in and out of the pool.
“I’ve taken a leadership role,” he said. “I’m one of the most experienced guys on the team so I will help out the juniors when they don’t understand something.”
After moving up from junior varsity towards the end of his freshman year, Concannon has been a varsity starter since his sophomore year.
“Playing with him in games is good because he’s a hardworking guy and obviously a great player,” Sherwood said. “He’s one of the strongest guys out there, constantly working [and] scoring a lot.”
Coach Bob Kustel echoed Sherwood’s praise. “Cian is the heart of our team–very skilled, hard working, a fierce competitor,” Kustel said. “Our offense is built around him. Other team’s gameplan is to beat him.”
Concannon attributes his as well as much of the team’s success to the group of seniors that have played together since middle school. “We’ve always had that chemistry since we’ve been playing [with each other] for so long,” Concannon said of the other eight seniors.
Concannon found his passion for water polo in middle school, and found his passion for the sport in sixth grade. “I was swimming, and I really liked the team aspect of sports, so I joined the Tiburon Peninsula Club [team],” he said. According to Concannon, many of his teammates are some of his best friends today.
While he dominantes in the pool today, success did not always come easy.
“It probably took two or three years until I was decent,” he said. “I was also playing with the eighth graders because there’s only one team so I wasn’t very good.”
Concannon travelled to various tournaments with the team and gradually improved. “The more I held with [the sport] the more I liked it.”
Through a balance of dedication to the sport as well as a light-hearted attitude, Concannon has made the most out of his four years in the pool.