Anna Tarantino has been a contributor for Naperville North water polo since her freshman year. Now a senior, her sights are set high. This Player Profile is presented by LifeStance Health.
“My older brother, he played, and I watched one of their games and they had these really cool t-shirts and I only wanted to join the team so I could get one of the really cool t-shirts.”
What started with the desire to nab a sweet t-shirt became much more for Naperville North star water polo player Anna Tarantino. At the age of eight she picked up the sport she would eventually fall in love with.
I swam competitively since I was five years old on the same swim team and, swimming is fun, but it just isn’t a team sports. It’s kind of all individual, just you head down in the pool. And water polo is so much more. It’s a whole team, you have to rely on others and that’s what I really like about it. It’s really communal and I really like being on a team, that’s how I fell in love with it.
Nearly a decade ago she was the only girl on the inaugural neighborhood water polo team. Now she’s a co-captain for the Huskies. And she really has been apart of some phenomenal teams. In fact, 2020 was shaping up to be one of the best North teams of all time.
We were going to win state… our word, we pick each season, our captains pick it, our word was countdown because my freshman year we finished third, my sophomore year we got second so my junior year our plan was to get first.
Instead, the season was canceled. A tough blow for a team with championship aspirations. A year later and expectations are still high – but the process is different.
We’re kind of taking it one step at a time because we did lose 6-7 seniors, which is a pretty big part of the team. We also have a smaller team this season because not as many people are playing now that seasons all got moved around.
As for her future in the sport, Tarantino is already committed to traveling west – set to suit up for Loyola Marymont University in California.
After not having a season last year and not being able to play, that just drove me to want to play even more. Because I don’t want this to be my last year, I need to keep going on. I don’t even know where I’d be without water polo. It’s just such apart of me that I want to keep doing it.
But first, the Huskies will have to not just tread water in 2021, but go on the attack, trying to win the ultimate prize. No, not a t-shirt… a state trophy.
For more prep sports content, visit our Naperville Sports Weekly page.
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
If you're a high school sports fan, please consider a donation to Naperville's nonprofit TV station!Donate Today!