By Shimla Rahman
The Mirror Staff
“Jung and Mitrovic have an incredible familiarity with each other’s strengths and weaknesses in the game, making them a fearsome duo”
A Splash of Success
November 9. 2017
SPORTS: Co-Captains Tyler Jung and Marko Mitrovic create a ripple of standards for the water polo team.
Playing water polo isn’t easy.
To the spectator, it might seem a rather organized sport of swimming around with a ball. However, most of the action happens underwater, where players wrestle each other with occasional kicks and shoves to gain every little advantage they can exploit to score the goal.
For co-captains Marko Mitrovic and Tyler Jung, the strenuous sport has become a platform to showcase their utmost dedication and passion as leaders of the team. By persevering through the early practices that begin at 6 a.m. and excruciating drills, the boys are driven to become better.
During his sophomore year, Jung became captain, while Mitrovic joined him this year. Together, they aid one another, in and out of the pool. The captainship has helped them develop a brotherhood and a mutual admiration.
Their synergy is evident as they execute complex plays and assist each other in commanding the team.
Jung and Mitrovic have an incredible familiarity with each other’s strengths and weaknesses in the game, making them a fearsome duo. Despite their incredible skill in the game, both believe that true success and victory comes from communication with the rest of their team.
Previously as an experienced swimmer, Jung was first introduced to the sport through its promises of rigor and a recommendation from his swim coach.
Ever since middle school, Jung has been one with the water.
Having gained experience from numerous coaches from playing for various teams, he sees the sport as a channel to demonstrate his physical aptitude.
His desire to remain in top physical shape draws him to the arduous physical application that the sport requires.
Water polo has also improved his communication and leadership skills as he develops close friendships with his teammates.
Using his stamina and strength to tackle his opponents, Jung’s lean body moves swiftly through the water.
Standing at 6’0” and averaging 3 points per game, Jung credits his success to his inside shots, where he uses his quickness to hurl the ball into the goal.
When the physical burden of the game takes over and opposing players play dirty, Jung fights back by remembering that his teammates are depending on his positioning and composure to set an example for them.
When he dips into the cool water, the game becomes much more than a sport. It becomes an onerous challenge that builds endurance levels and strengthen team camaraderie.
On the other hand, team Co-Captain Mitrovic contends that water polo is a sport that wholly demands dedication and effort. Think you can play water polo in a heedless manner? According to him, there is no way you can.
Known for his strict conduct, Mitrovic always pushes his team to give their all in every practice, in order to be primed for games.
Mitrovic outplays his opponents by interacting with his teammates throughout the game, making sure that they play in a coordinated fashion.
Whenever he feels that his performance is deteriorating, he pushes himself to the limit, for the sake of the team.
His passion for the sport ignited during freshman year when his peers influenced him to join. He found inspiration from experienced teammates who urged him to win at all costs.
Standing at 6’1 with long arms and legs, Mitrovic attributes his notable performance to his height and strong build, as he easily scores from outside point range. He continuously works out his core and conditions his legs so he can play at his very best.
Although his gameplay is wholehearted, his motivation to play is recreational and the water serves as a channel for his physical skills.
“Water polo disciplined me and helped me bond and form new friendships with my teammates” said Mitrovic.
As the duo prepare to complete their high school career in the sport, they hope to leave behind high expectations as their legacy. They hope to be remembered for remaking the team from bottom-of-the-league also-rans into division winners for two consecutive years.
“I think Marko can agree, water polo was more than a sport to us—it’s been a journey not only in the pool but in the locker rooms, on the bus, and during school,” said Jung. “The only Van Nuys sport where you have to wake up early in the morning, it definitely taught all of us the appreciation of the time we have together,” he reflected, as he prepared to play his final game against Kennedy.