York boys water polo team looking for even more success
Seniors to play key roles in pool for Dukes.
By Mike Miazga
The York boys water polo team had quite a run a year ago.
The Dukes went 23-8-2 overall, finished in second place in the West Suburban Conference with a 5-2 record and advanced to the state quarterfinals.
A year later, the Dukes have their sights set on more high-level success.
Back for the Dukes this season are seniors Alex Marlott (driver), Parker Hicks (center, center defender), Nik Miklyukh (driver), Tim Delaney (center defender) and Ervin Prophete (driver).
Marlott is a returning all-sectional and all-conference performer.
Key newcomers to the team include junior driver Simon DeGrace, junior goalie Gary Derwin, sophomore driver Isaac Marlott and junior driver Billy Dyra.
“We have a lot of experience at the nucleus of our team,” said York coach Brian Drumm. “Alex and Parker are three-year varsity starters and Nik and Tim were in the regular rotation all season for us last year. They can all score and play strong defense, which puts us in a nice position every game.”
Drumm noted the team’s counter attack has progressed the past few seasons. “It’s come a long way,” he said. “A lot of that is due to Alex Marlott. His younger brother, Isaac, is now on varsity, so the two of them will certainly push the pace in transition.”
Drumm also likes how the team is shaping up on the defensive end. “The boys have taken well to our team defense philosophy,” he said. “We have some nice depth this season, so there will be a lot of different faces in the water all year. They play together well and understand their roles and responsibilities. We are confident defensively.”
Derwin is ready to tackle the season in goal for the Dukes. “Gary is super-aggressive and has excellent reflexes,” said Drumm. “His passing also has come a long way in the past year. We have total confidence in his ability in the cage.”
The coach also cited Brennan Sanders and Will Salek as two players to keep an eye out for. “They were key members of our frosh-soph team that took second in conference last year,” said Drumm. “Varsity games are a much faster pace than lower-level games and so far those two have demonstrated they are ready for this new challenge.”
York’s senior class once again has caught Drumm’s eye. “For the second straight season we have a very talented senior class,” he said. “There’s been a changing of the guard. I’m excited to see our new senior class take ownership of our program.”
Depth also is on the Dukes’ side this season. “I love our depth,” said Drumm. “We have seven seniors and seven juniors and at least one sophomore on the varsity this season and they all have the potential to contribute to this team.”