Athlete of the Week: John Wilson — Water Polo

By COURTNEY COLWELL | October 12, 2017

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HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Water Polo goalie John Wilson.

This weekend, the Hopkins men’s water polo team traveled to California for the Gary Troyer Tournament. Though the team struggled in its first match versus the University of Redlands, the rest of the weekend was an undeniable triumph.

Winning their next three matches against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Whittier College and University of La Verne, the Jays were able to boost their record to 11-8, delivering the team a much needed confidence boost.

But this weekend was not just a success of the games they won: The Jays also broke a few records in the process. Most notably, Head Coach Ted Bresnahan acquired his 400th career win, solidifying his place in program history.

It’s also worth noting that as he joins baseball Head Coach Robert Babb as one of two active Hopkins coaches with over 400 wins.

It was a victorious weekend for senior captain goalie John Wilson as well. In the Jays’ third match of the weekend versus Whittier, Wilson broke some records of his own.

With 24 saves on the game, Wilson not only broke his career-best record but also tied the program’s record. For this accomplishment, Wilson has been named this week’s Athlete of the Week.

Wilson’s play at Hopkins thus far has been nothing short of dominant. Coming into his final season as a two-time All-American, a three-time Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Defensive Player of the Week and with over 700 saves under his belt, Wilson had already proved himself to be an integral part of the Hopkins team.

If possible, his performance this year has been even more impressive. Wilson began the year by earning his fourth MAWPC Defensive Player of the Week title after an astounding 39 saves at the Navy Labor Day Open.

Most importantly, two weekends ago in the Jays’ match against George Washington, Wilson surpassed the program’s career save record, overtaking former record-holder Jeremy Selbst, who had 664 career saves.

Since reaching this milestone, however, Wilson has done anything but slow down and shows no signs of stopping.

His play this past weekend has been a testament to that: Finishing the weekend with a total of 54 saves over just four games, Wilson is undoubtedly deserving of this week’s title. 

Following one of his career-best performances, Wilson sat down with The News-Letter to discuss what these milestones have meant to him and how the team felt about their weekend in California.

The News-Letter: Coming off a string of losses from early October, what were some of the team’s goals going into this weekend?

John Wilson: Traveling out to California and playing in full-sized pools again definitely revitalized the team, and we were mostly focused on tightening up our defense.

N-L: Is it difficult for the team to maintain their stamina over all four games?

JW: Playing multiple games a day is taxing, but it’s necessary to fit all of our games into our schedule. I’m especially proud of our field players for swimming hard through all four games, and it served as good preparation for the six games we have this upcoming weekend in Boston.

N-L: How did it feel to tie the program record for saves in a game (and subsequently earn your career-best performance) in the match versus Whittier?

JW: I had no idea until our coach told me after the game, but I think it was a great testament to the defense shot-blocking well and forcing the right shots.

N-L: Going into the last game of the weekend, the team had the chance to deliver Head Coach Ted Bresnahan his 400th career win. Did this add any pressure for you?

JW: There was a little pressure, especially as it was our last game of a tough weekend. We couldn’t have asked for better timing though, and we were proud to help be a part of Ted’s legacy.

N-L: This season has been one of major milestones for you. Now that you have tied the program record for saves in a game and beaten the program’s record for all time saves, what goals do you have left for the remainder of the season?

JW: My fellow seniors and I only have a month and a half left in our water polo careers, so we’re just trying to make the most of it. We’re hoping to win the D-III Eastern Championship this weekend and finish the season strong.

Catch Wilson and the Jays in action this weekend when they travel to Cambridge, Mass. for the Harvard Invitational and the Division-III Eastern Championship.

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