Senior MECO leader Patrick Coffey has been a leader for the Malvern Water Polo team this year, and his impact to the team has been immense. His contributions to the team have not only resulted in victories, but have also brought out good character in his teammates.
Pat discussed his Malvern experience and his thoughts on this year’s Water Polo team.
Patrick Coffey: I grew up in West Chester. Before I came to Malvern in eighth grade I went to Saints Simon and Jude in West Chester.Patrick Ferraiolo: Where did you grow up?
PF: How has your Malvern Experience been?
PC:It has been fantastic! I love Malvern and I couldn’t have asked for a better high school experience. Malvern has taught me how to be the best person I can be and also how to become a leader.
PF: You play Water Polo. How and when did you get involved in the sport?
PC:I got involved with Water Polo freshman year. I had some older friends who played Water Polo at their high schools, so I thought I would give it a try. Once I started I fell in love with it and have been playing ever since.
PF: What position do you play?
PC:I am the Goalie. I am one of the Captains of the team and my responsibility is to command the defense and limit the number of goals scored.
PF:Playing goalie takes nerves. What is your mindset when shots are being fired at your net? What is your strategy?
PC: I try to keep calm and focus on the shooter. If I take away his angle for shooting I have a better chance at blocking the shot. My strategy is to use my defenders as shot blockers and funnel the shots towards me.
PF: So how is the team doing so far?
PC:The team is doing well this year with a 15-4 overall record and a 5-1 record in the Inter-Ac. We recently had a huge overtime win against Penn Charter.
PF: What do you affiliate with your teams success?
PC: Our team defense has been the reason why we have done so well this year. We have held most of our opponents to under 6 or 7 goals. This takes a lot of pressure off the offense and allows us to run a more fluid offense.
PF: What has the coaching staff done to prepare you for these key games?
PC:Coach Schiller and coach Kain do an awesome job preparing us for key games. We run a lot of 3 on 3’s and 5 on 5’s in practice to get guys moving around.
PF: Do you have any personal good luck charms or superstitions?
PC: I don’t have any good luck charms but I usually follow the same routine for every game. I will swim about 150 or 200 yards freestyle and then add some breaststroke. After that, I’ll pass with Peter [Calvaresi] and Magnus [Sims] before taking shots on the cage. Usually Magnus will warm me up and the rest of the team will get a few shots in before the game.
PF: How has being a MECO leader affected you both personally and with your teammates?
PC: MECO has had a huge impact on my life. It is a great experience and one of my favorite things about Malvern. We haven’t had any of the Water Polo guys go on MECO yet, but when they do, it will help us grow closer as teammates and brothers.
PF: What has been your best highlight here and why?
PC: The highlight of my Malvern experience would have to be MECO and/or winning our first Water Polo championship last year. MECO is awesome and is a really good time, and one of the best parts of the Malvern experience for me. Winning the championship too was unbelievable. Both have been great experiences.
PF: If you were to say one thing to an underclassmen, what would it be?
PC: I would say to enjoy your time here at Malvern. It goes by so quickly. I can still remember walking in as a nervous freshman not knowing where all my classes were and who my teachers were. Now I consider this place my home and I am really going to miss it next year.
Pat looks forward to the rest of the season, and hopes to finish his Water Polo career at Malvern with an Inter-Ac championship.