Student athlete profile

Name: Michael D'Aprile

Year: senior

Hometown: Clarendon Hills

What was your first experience playing water polo?

I never played water polo until my freshman year. I made a bunch of great memories with the team, and I enjoyed that good spirit of community.

What's it like having a full season again?

It's awesome. It's really great to just get back to a normal schedule. Last year we weren't able to play in any tournaments, so it's fun to share that experience with underclassmen playing them for the first time.

How would your teammates describe you?

I'm a pretty big influence on the team. I try to keep level-headed throughout the game, and I like being the one they can talk to if they need to talk to somebody.

What makes you a good leader?

A lot of it is my ability to communicate. I know everyone really well, so I have a good sense of being able to correctly coordinate my teammates to where they need to be in the pool.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

We're always listening to music on the bus to away matches and just to keep morale high going into the game.

What's your goal for the season?

We're looking to end with good team morale and having a lot of fun. I've been playing with these guys for three or four years, so I just want to end on a high note.

Where are you heading after graduation?

I'm going to enter the business school at the University of Iowa. There is a high consideration that I will look to play club water polo.

Why does coach Christy Brodell like having D'Aprile on the squad?

Michael's vision and perspective have made such an indescribable impact on our program. On a competitive level, he has set a model for training; always with great intensity, always wanting to learn and be better. Yet his greatest contribution has been on our team's chemistry, on team morale. He makes every player, freshman to senior, feel like the MVP of the team. He understands that the real wins come from growth that the team makes together. He is disciplined, humble, gregarious and team-oriented. Since his freshman year, he has been a leader on our team both in and out of the water.

- profile by Ken Knutson, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean