NAME: Mitch Young
GREAT DEED: Mitch was the only Marin player in his age group chosen to attend the National Selection and Training Camp for USA Water Polo, held at UC Irvine over the Memorial Day weekend.
The selection, part of the Olympic Development Program, came at the end of a long elite-level playing and try-out period.
Mitch first tried out for the Pacific Region, part of USA Water Polo, along with fellow Sleepy Hollow teammate Corey Mano. After four months of playing, national scouts came to watch the regional teams compete against each other in a championship. Out of that, Mitch was selected to move on to the training camp at UC Irvine.
Only 140 eighth- and ninth-graders in the country were picked for the camp. Out of those 140, 14 will eventually be selected to play on the Junior National team and travel to Puerto Rico.
Though Mitch didn't make that final cut for the national team, he's still optimistic about his water polo future and passionate about the game.
"I just love the sport," he said. "I love the water."
KEY TO AWESOMENESS: Mitch has been swimming since he was five-years-old. In fourth- or fifth-grade, he decided to take up water polo, since his coach at , "was a big water polo guy."
Now, even though he still competes on the swim team, water polo is his preferred water sport.
"It also has tons of mental and physical aspects," he said.
Although water polo is known as a brutal sport, Mitch said he just loves being in the water so much that he feels most comfortable when he's in the pool. That enables him to push through the hard and exhausting parts of the game.
And, he's doing just that. Along with his experience on Sleepy Hollow Aquatics (SHAQ) and making the cut for the ODP training camp, Mitch was one of the few freshmen to make the Drake Varsity water polo team that again this year.
Although Northern California isn't known for its water polo players, Mitch is making sure he stands out. Typically, when recruiters and schools look for water polo players out of California, they turn towards the southern half of the state. Even the training camp, itself, was held down in Irvine. But, Mitch hopes he'll draw enough attention that he'll be able to play at a top school in college -- even if he has geography working against him.
"I have to work twice as hard to get recognized," he said.