2003 Season





Thursday - May 20, 2004 GAME RECAPS


Both Fenwick Teams Nearly Perfect In Championship Seasons

By Aaron Brown


Lincolnshire, IL -- Between the boys and girls teams at Fenwick High School, they combined to play sixty-seven total games in 2004. Two months after they completed their seasons, the Friar teams combined for a 66-1 overall record. In the final weekend of the season, both teams won state championships and showed that they are once again the dominant teams in Illinois Water Polo.


Player of the Year Chris Parolin led his team to a state championship last weekend by helping Fenwick beat Brother Rice, New Trier, and Stevenson. Dan Evon was also chosen as the top goalie, while Mark Melnyk's overall play was a strong reason for the Friars surge to the state title. The emergence of senior Kevin Kysiak was a huge part of Fenwick's success in 2004, while freshmen Tom Parolin and John Barrett were terrific additions to the Friars lineup. Oscar Calderon is one of the top juniors in the state, providing unbelievable defense and leadership in the pool as well as adding offense when the team needs it. Paul Klotz and Bill Dunlap have often times provided the Friars with a spark whether they are in the starting lineup or coming off the bench. Luke Baldwin was another top freshman in Illinois, and his overall play and shooting ability gave Fenwick another great option over the course of the season. Even backup goalie Chris Jones provided the Friars with solid minutes off the bench and looks to return in 2005 as one of the top goalies in the state. The coaching staff of Mike Gruszecki, Dave Perry, and Steve Vonluekiat should be praised for the work they did in leading Fenwick back to the state tournament in 2004 and for leading the Friars to a tremendous season.


The Fenwick girls were led by Emily Bonk, who also won Player of the Year honors in 2004. The Friars defeated Stevenson, Naperville North, and Mother McAuley to complete a perfect 32-0 season, a remarkable feat for the state champions. Liz Perry and Erin Foley (both first team All-State) were also two of the best players in the state and were huge difference makers for Fenwick. Sophomore Farren Rixter hit the game-winning shot to win the state title, and was an offensive force for Fenwick. Freshman Alison Pavlik was an excellent addition to the Friars lineup and helped provide a strong left-handed arm to the Fenwick arsenal. Mary McCarthy and Keely Baldwin helped fill an unbelievably stacked lineup of great overall players who have worked unbelievably hard in order to get to such a high level. Danielle Buglio, Christina Romano, Moira Preston, Jenna Byrne, Maggie Cahill, and Erin McKernin also gave the Friars great depth off the bench in helping the team achieve perfection. Head coach Jack Wagner and assistant coach Deb Simone should be commended for an amazing accomplishment and for keeping their team focused from March to May.


In their first round games, both teams held off strong opponents to advance to the semifinals. The boys team took on rival Brother Rice and came away with a 10-7 win behind three goals from Chris Parolin and two more scores by Oscar Calderon. Tom Parolin, Bill Dunlap, and Paul Klotz also added goals for the Friars. Meanwhile, Emily Bonk scored four times in the Friars 8-3 win over Stevenson to get the team to the semifinal game. Liz Perry added two goals while Farren Rixter and Danielle Buglio each tallied one goal in the victory.


In the semifinals, the Fenwick boys cruised past New Trier 12-8 to advance to the championship game. Chris Parolin and Mark Melnyk both scored three goals apiece, and Kevin Kysiak also contriibuted in a big way by adding two goals of his own. Bill Dunlap, Oscar Calderon, Tom Parolin, and Luke Baldwin each added a goal in the victory. For the girls, they disposed of Naperville North 11-3 with a strong second half surge and with some help from their bench. Farren Rixter had an amazing game at two meters with four goals, while Mary McCarthy and Emily Bonk each tallied three scores. Jenna Byrne notched her first goal of the tournament after coming off the bench to help the Friars cause in the win.


In the championship game, Fenwick outlasted Stevenson 11-9 as Kevin Kysiak led the way with four goals. Also, Chris Parolin, Mark Melnyk, and Luke Baldwin all chipped in two scores in the game, and Parolin drew a crucial four meter penalty and Melnyk sealed the win by making the penalty shot in the final minute. Oscar Calderon also added an important goal in the win for the Friars. In the final game of the season, the girls stunned Mother McAuley in come-from-behind fashion as Farren Rixter nailed a buzzer-beater to help the Friars win the state championship. Rixter totaled three goals while Liz Perry and Alison Pavlik each scored twice. Emily Bonk, Mary McCarthy, and Danielle Buglio also chipped in with goals in the win.


Throughout the season, the Fenwick boys' lost only one game, a tournament loss to Brother Rice at St Pats. The Friars would go 6-1 against the Crusaders, including the important state quarterfinal victory at the end of the year. The Friars won their own tournament at the beginning of the season, placed third at St Pats, won the Brother Rice Tournament, the Stevenson Tournament, and the Catholic League championship at the end of the regular season. They eventually shut down York and had no problem with St Pats as they won the York Sectional to advance to the state tournament.


Meanwhile, the Fenwick girls' were perfect all year long, winning the Mundelein Tournament, their own tournament, went 3-0 against Michigan teams at the Stevenson Tournament, and finished the regular season with a 14-5 victory over Mother McAuley to win the Catholic League. At sectionals, they ended the season for York in the semifinals and cruised past Oak Park 10-4 to win the York Sectional to advance to state.


After this season, the boys graduate Chris Parolin, Dan Evon, Kevin Kysiak, Bill Dunlap, and Paul Klotz. With Oscar Calderon, Mark Melnyk, Luke Baldwin, Tom Parolin, and Chris Jones returning, the expected contributions of young players like John Barrett, Matt Meyer, Chris Bonk, Dan Wolak, and Pat Lloyd, plus the return of solid bench players from this year's team like Paul Grusecki, Dan Hussey, Jack Ryden, Richard Butler, Jordan Zmijewski, and Bob Lopez, the Friars will once again be favored to win the state tournament.


The girls will graduate Emily Bonk, Liz Perry, Mary McCarthy, Erin Foley, Jenna Byrne, and Erin McKernin. That means that other key players like Farren Rixter, Alison Pavlik, and Keely Baldwin, plus a strong returning cast that includes Maggie Cahill, Danielle Buglio, Christina Romano, and Moira Preston should make the Friars a team that could also be perfect in 2005.


Congratulations to Fenwick High School, the state champions in boys and girls water polo in 2004.



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