Written by: Student Assistant John Nash
Michael Wishart (Hillsborough, Calif.) is a two-year starter in goal who helped lead the Broncos men’s water polo team to a 22-12 record and a third place finish at WWPA’s in 2009. Wishart is the definition of a true student-athlete. After only two seasons of play he ranks second in career blocks at Santa Clara. Wishart, majoring in Mathematics and minoring in history, was named to the ACWPC All-Academic team for his achievements during the 2009 season.
Below, get to know rising junior Michael Wishart.
SCU: Head coach Keith Wilbur has called you one of the hardest-working players he has ever coached. What sort of things do you work on in order to help prepare yourself for the upcoming season?
MW: I spend as much time in the water as possible. I would workout on my own or with other teammates before practices and days off. Being 5’10, I’m not the biggest guy in the pool so I work to make up for it by having stronger legs and being able to move quickly through the water. I lift weights at the Riekes Center three days a week so that I can be as strong in the water as possible. I constantly learn more about the game by meeting with Coach Wilbur and by watching video of games from the previous season. This helps me see what I need to work on so that I can always get better.
SCU: Last season the Broncos set a single season records for wins. With the departure of four important seniors, 2010 marks a new era for Santa Clara water polo. What’s the outlook for this upcoming season?
MW: We had a great senior class last season in Mike Sorgenfrei, Mark Soares, Jack Wall and Liam Farrell. That group did a lot these last four years (five for Jack) in order to get SCU men’s water polo to where it needs to be so that we can be in a position to win a championship. Luckily, we are returning a great core of players this year which will be supported by an exciting incoming freshmen class. I am really looking forward to seeing the senior class of this upcoming season (Mitch Kilpa, Stephen Hobbs, Josh Luebke, Daley Meistrell, Jeff Welch, Jake Diserio and Nick Poggetti) build off of what we have already done and possibly lead us to our program’s first WWPA championship.
SCU: Goalie is a key position on any team. What are some characteristics of a good goaltender in water polo?
MW: Every goalie needs to have the physical attributes of being explosive with strong legs and quick hands. Being a good passer is important in order to lead the counter-attack. Just as important is being a smart player so that the goalie can dictate to the defense where they need to be. By understanding the game, the goalie can know what the opponent is going to do before it happens and prevent it.
SCU: You have had the chance to start every game in your
Santa Clara career. How does that experience translate into success
in the pool?
MW: I am very fortunate to have two years of experience as a starter going into my junior year. Having that experience is critical because it gives me the confidence of knowing that I have seen almost any possible scenario in any big game. With that confidence I know that our team will be able to handle any game situation this upcoming season. That experience helps me become a more consistent player which is important so that my teammates will know what they will get out of me in games.
SCU: You’re majoring in Mathematics. Any ideas as to what you want to do when you finish with school?
MW: So far no. The great thing about majoring in Mathematics is that it gives me a lot of options. While at SCU I am going to take a wide variety of jobs so that I can get an idea of what I would like to do as a career. I am doing an internship right now as a research analyst which is great since it gives me an idea of how I can apply my skills as a math major in business.
SCU: We’ve gotten almost everyone’s World Cup picks. With only eight teams left, who’s your pick to take it all?
MW: “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina!” is what Germany is going to say after Messi brings it this Saturday. Argentina all the way.