Andrew Penner ’18 is a two-sport varsity athlete, competing for the boys’ water polo and swim teams. As one of the co-captains along with fellow classmate Nolen Rockefeller ’18, Penner has led the boys’ varsity water polo team, which is currently on a four-game winning streak, to a strong start. Next year, Penner will continue his water polo career at Brown University.
The first time Penner ever saw a water polo game when he was in Italy on a trip and saw a national team match. Given that he has always been comfortable in the water, he decided to try it out. Growing up in the Bay Area, Penner began playing water polo seriously at the Stanford Water Polo Club, one of the most elite clubs in the nation, when he was just eight years old. Penner attributes a lot of his success to his coach from this club, Clarke Weatherspoon. Penner explained, “between ages 12 and 14, he saw a lot of potential in me that I didn’t see in myself, and subsequently furthered my drive to improve.”
As a result, when he arrived at Deerfield as new sophomore, Penner’s experience allowed him to have an immediate impact on the water polo team by becoming the team’s leading scorer. Building off of his stellar sophomore campaign, Penner once again led the team in scoring his junior year and secured a spot on the All-New England Water Polo First Team. He continues to be the leading scorer of the team, with 56 goals in just ten games.
Now, Penner is focused on doing something “B18” this season. “Under Coach Scandling’s guidance, we hope to do some amazing things,” he stated. “Right now we are 6-2 and at this time last year we were 0-8, so we have really improved.”
While Penner is focused on the continued success of the team, he recognizes that to get better, no one can be left behind. After coaching him for three seasons, Coach Mark Scandling said, “All the while Andrew was improving his polo skills, he was also patiently helping his teammates work together well at both ends of the pool. Now, when opposing teams focus on him, he can confidently make the extra pass to a player ready to make the right play.”
“All three years have been really great, and everyone is striving to be at the top of their game,” stated Penner. With the season already halfway over, and the NE Championship just a month away, the team, lead by Penner, is gearing up for a deep playoff run.