Athlete of the Week: Abe Mercer


Bob Bronzon

Abe Mercer rising up to shoot a goal at the Livermore Granada rivalry.

Tati Strickland, Reporter

This week Granada’s Athlete of the Week spends his time in the pool, playing one of the most grueling sports-water polo. Abe Mercer is a junior that plays on the Granada boys varsity water polo team. Mercer has been playing water polo for four seasons. Not only does he play for Granada, but he also plays on a club team, the Altamont Passers. He plays during the summer, fall and winter.

Not only has Mercer competed in water polo, but he also played other sports that have helped him to be successful in the water. “I’ve done a lot of different sports growing up, baseball, soccer, I even tried tennis. I’ve also done swim team and that has helped me with water polo, it helps me swim faster”

Mercer’s older sister played water polo when she came to Granada, and watching her gave him the inspiration to start playing. “It seemed fun so I thought I would try it out and I ended up loving it”

Water polo is reckoned to be the world’s hardest sport to master, it requires a grueling mix of stamina, strength, fitness and a desire to win.

“It has to do with the fact that you don’t ever get a pause, you’re swimming back and forth constantly. It is a very physical sport, it is a lot of full contact interaction,” Mercer said about why water polo is so difficult to play.

Water polo requires a great amount of skills from its athletes. “Being able to play with the team, and being able to work with each other. Also being able to be fast and being strong enough to take good shots,” said Mercer.

In order to stay in shape for water polo season Abe also does swimming in the offseason for his club swim team as well as working out at home. “I do lots of push ups,” he said.

The game of water polo can change drastically in a matter of seconds. Each member on the team must be well trained playing both offense and defense. Mercer said, “I personally like offense, just cause you get to score, which is better than being scored against.”

Although Granada’s water polo team may not win as often as hoped, Abe has still had a positive experience and truly enjoys playing this game. Granada won their first game of the season on Tuesday against Benicia High School.

With the season just getting underway, there is still so much more to look forward to. “Just get better, take more shots, and work well with the team,” Mercer says.

Mercer has been able to create so many memories throughout his seasons, “My first goal was pretty fun, it was last year, that was pretty memorable because it was my first. Playing against Livermore since we are cross town rivals.”

Water polo has made a huge impact on Mercer, with two more seasons left at Granada, he is determined to work hard and play even harder.