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Water polo to become varsity sport in fall 2013

November 16, 2012

The Monmouth College club men’s and women’s water polo programs, known as “The Crab People,” will soon become a varsity team. Tony Marino serves as coach of the men’s team, but is a player as well. Marino will lose his post when the team joins the varsity ranks next season.

“They will be hiring a head coach sometime in the near future,” said Marino. “For me, I will go back to just being a player. I’m happy to go back to just playing the sport for my senior season. It is a lot of fun being able to coach the team, but also a lot of hard work and time goes into it as well.”

After capturing the Division III national title last month, rumors have swirled about the win being the deciding factor in the shift.  Marino says the triumph was not the only reason the team decided to make the change official.

“There have been talks about it for a few years now, since our club has been so successful since its start just 6 years ago,” said Marino. “I never really took any of the rumors that seriously until the beginning of this year when I heard they were in serious talks about making our team varsity.”

Nationals may not have instigated the change, but the team’s recent successes certainly played a large role.

“They were already set on doing this before we won nationals,” said Marino. “I think what really helped getting things moving with this were our previous season’s placements at the national tournament and beating Division I club teams such as Notre Dame and Illinois State.”

Players on both the men’s and women’s water polo squads seem excited for the upcoming alterations. Marino added that he was somewhat surprised the sport was being moved to varsity during his Monmouth tenure.

“I’m really glad I got to play on the club level and got the chance to win a National Championship before moving up to varsity,” said Marino. “Playing club was a great experience and opportunity with being able to play, coach and learning how to run a team. Our team is ready now to play against some tougher competition and looking to compete with these new opponents right away.”

Kelsey Watson
Contributing Writer

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