Members of the Lyons water polo club pose on the campus of the Naval Academy last month in Annapolis, Md. From left: Kevin Kuchta, Josh Hirt, Jack Patel, Sean McMahon, Michael Dow, Christopher Sekula, Kevin Tunney, Tommy Kaptur, Peter Dore and Joe Shannon. Kuchta (Homewood-Flossmoor) and Tunney (Sandburg) do not attend Lyons. | Courtesy Carla Sekula.
There are still two-sport athletes at the high school level, but I can’t imagine one competing in two different sports like Lyons senior Christopher Sekula. Sekula led Lyons to its first state championship in boys water polo as the starting goalie in the spring and then was a member of the varsity boys golf team, which finished third in Class 3A Oct. 13. Sekula shot an 85 in the rain-shortened state meet to tie for 86th place.
Sekula and several other Lyons teammates played in the Navy Open water polo tournament over Labor Day weekend. Lyons 18 & under team went 6-0 against mainly top club teams from the East Coast.
The following report on the tournament was written by Matt Sekula:
Victories on Aug. 31 included an 18-7 win over local rival West Suburban of Naperville, and a 17-5 win over Gonzaga Prep from Washington, D.C. Shannon and Kuchta led the Lyons scoring against West Suburban with five goals each as Hirt had four assists and Kuchta led in steals with four. Against Gonzaga, Lyons dominated as all but two players scored. Tunney, Dore, and Kuchta led in scoring with four goals each and Sekula, Hirt, and Tunney each had three assists, and Kuchta had an amazing seven steals. Sekula with 10 saves.
On Sept. 1, Lyons stepped up in class as they played the Navy Aquatic Club and Rockford, Mich., arguably the best high polo team in Michigan. After a 13-12 nail biter over Navy Aquatic in the morning, in which Shannon had a huge second half and scored six goals in the game while Dore drew four exclusions, Lyons played their best game of the tourney and dominated Rockford and ran away with a 17-5 victory. Dore had the game of the tourney scoring nine goals, with three steals and drew two exclusions. Sekula had his best game, saving 15 of Rockford’s 20 shots on goal. Lyons avenged their only loss of last summer’s Junior Olympics qualifier in Ann Arbor, Mich with the win.
The last two games of the tourney were rematches against Navy Aquatic, and Lyons made significant adjustments and easily won both games by scores of 18-8 and 13-8. More balanced scoring for Lyons in the 18-8 win led by Dore with five goals but big games from McMahon, Hirt, and Dow. McMahon had three goals and committed zero exclusions while primarily playing 2-meter defense, the position with most contact in the pool. Hirt had his best game of tourney with four goals and 2 steals. Dow notched two goals. Sekula had nine saves, three assists, and two steals.
In the final game against Navy Aquatic, Coach Pat Budney had the luxury of playing his non-starters most of the game and Kaptur led the defense with three field blocks, Sekula had a tourney high 18 saves on 26 shots on goal, and Patel and Kuchta played solid defense in Lyons’ drop-zone defense. Dore led in scoring with four goals, Kuchta had three, Shannon and Hirt with two each, and one each for Tunney and McMahon.