Just weeks after conquering their Illinois competition, New Trier boys water polo players decided to take on the world.
Thirteen Trevians traveled to Greece with New Trier Aquatics and coach Apostolos “AK” Karagiannis for summer training and vacationing.
The club water polo team is spending three weeks in Patras, Greece, the former home of Karagiannis, who played professional water polo with Naftikos Omilos Patras, or NOP, from 2000-2008.
Karagiannis brought his New Trier Aquatics squad to Patras for the second time and first time since 2019. While in Greece, the team — with its 18 players broken up into two groups — is scrimmaging with different area squads, as well as training in and out of the pool.
The unique competition can only help, Karagiannis said.
“First of all, they are getting exposed to different kids of play … a higher level of play,” he said.
Contrary to the U.S., New Trier Aquatics is training in both outdoor and indoor pools in Greece. The pools are also larger and deeper, helping the players’ strength and endurance, Karagiannis said.
The team goes through multiple training sessions each day, including water and dry-land work before the afternoon scrimmages with Greek competitors.
The trip, however, is not all water polo, he added, saying that traveling and site-seeing are also on the schedule for “mental and cultural expansion, as well.”
Karagiannis thanked the parents and New Trier Aquatics for making the trip happen for the second time.
New Trier’s high school team finished off a dominant season — 33-2 record — in late May with a 13-11 victory over Whitney Young in the state championship — the first such title in program history.
The club team includes state champions and rising seniors Thomas Dean, Will Moran, Charlie Plater, Luke Schermerhorn and Noah Wendt. New Trier underclassmen Caden Adrianopoli, Holden Hiebeler, Ethan Kim, Alex Wendt, Hank Woodman, Brendan Fijol and Tyler Leung are also members of New Trier Aquatics water polo, as are Loyola Academy rising senior Nathan Locke and students from Maine South, Libertyville and Naperville North.
The group returns stateside on July 2.