David Janoschek ’18 Makes a Splash During Water Polo Season


Senior David Janoschek went from playing two minutes a game his sophomore year, to being captain his senior year, and becoming one of the most important players on the Boys Varsity Water Polo team.

Bill Berghoff, the coach for the Varsity Water Polo teams and a science teacher remarked, “As a sophomore, the running joke with David was that he could play two and half minutes, then he would want to get subbed off, but now he can play entire games without question.”

Now the co-captain of the team, David’s water polo career started off slowly.

“I started playing water polo going in to my 8th grade year at Eaglebrook. My older brother played before me and I didn’t really have a fall sport, so I decided to try it out.”

From then on, his love for the sport grew as he came to Williston his sophomore year, already considering water polo his main sport.

David said he “loves the physicality of the game and that it’s really unique from any other sports.”

The sport seemed to suit him as “it’s the combination of physicality of football, the grapple of wrestling, the endurance of running, some swimming, the fighting aspect of hockey, and the defense of basketball.”

When David was a new sophomore, he remembers playing on the team led by Calvin Frye ’16, who now plays water polo for Connecticut College at the Division three level.

Although Berghoff remarked that he only played for two minutes at a time, that quickly changed by junior year, as David was the leading scorer for the team with 45 goals by the end of the season and received a second team all New England honor.

It is now his senior year and David is co-captain of the Boys Varsity Water Polo team. He is planning to break his own record and already has 34 goals midseason.

This summer, David played for the Northwest Blue Crush, a club team in Oregon. He then went to the junior Olympics in Orange County, California which he remembered “was an awesome experience.”

He got the opportunity to meet the United States water polo goalie, Merrill Moses. He added, “I also got to meet a lot of coaches and make connections.”

David stated “I have definitely grown more serious about the sport. I knew [by] the end of sophomore year it was something I wanted to continue in college, so I started working a lot harder on my playing ability.”

As of right now, David is talking to Division 3 schools such as Chapman, Whittier, and Cal Lutheran.

Bill Berghoff has coached David for three years now.

“It’s been really good watching him grow as a player, he came in as a sophomore with some playing experience and was a little tentative, but he has made some great improvements.”

Berghoff continued, saying, “What stands out for David is that he is willing to take on different roles given the circumstances. Other teams this year have focused on stopping him, so we have had to change his role multiple times.”

That doesn’t stop David, according to Berghoff, “Most players would find that very frustrating but for David he always puts his team as his priority, so he doesn’t mind where I put him.” He said, “He has gone from a pretty good role player as a sophomore to a good leader as a senior. Other teams will put their best defender on him.”

Berghoff continued, “Other teams go in knowing about the threat that David poses so they are prepared for him”

One of David’s interests is going out West to play.

“The game is so much different out there, the players are so much more skilled and aggressive, [and] playing in sunny 72-degree weather in an outdoor pool playing water polo all year is where it’s at.”

David admitted that the Williston team isn’t as competitive because of the level of experience most players have.

He stated, “The team is basically starting from scratch because for the most part we have a lot of young guys [who are] really inexperienced and who have never played before, but you can definitely tell that they have heart and passion for the sport which is all I could ask for.”

David values their attitude more than the team’s record.

“I care most about people putting in 100% rather than just winning.”

The biggest struggle he faces when he plays is staying out of his head and focusing on his instincts.

“The biggest problem was staying out of my own head because usually I get covered hard, but I know if guys are coming at me pretty hard I know that I’m doing my job because that lets me know I am threat.” He added, “I also hate missing, if I miss it really annoys me, so I try my best to calm down and move on to the next shot.”

He also focuses on the future of the program instead of just worrying about his playing time or goals scored.

“My goal [is] to give some of my passion for the sport to the younger guys and teach them to love the sport. I see a lot of myself in some of them. Being captain definitely has its struggles, it’s like being the team dad because you have to set a good example for the younger guys, always bring your A game, and keep plugging away no matter what.”

Teammate and co-captain Josh Calianos ’18 has seen David play for many years now, as they not only play together at Williston, but both attended the Eaglebrook School.

“David has been an incredible teammate for the past five years. Sure, he’s very talented, but he blossoms in the pool.  Jano was my captain in 9th Grade at Eaglebrook School, and his leadership propelled me from being the worst on Eaglebrook’s Varsity team to a solid player by the end of the season.”

Josh continued, “When we graduated and moved to Williston together, I worried that he would be more reserved in the face of bigger and better teammates and competition. I could not have been more wrong.”

Most of all however, Josh values being his teammate.

“Being his teammate in sophomore and junior year was great, but it’s a real honor to be his co-captain.  This goes way beyond being paired with such a strong player, but I truly appreciate his impeccable demonstrations, knowledge of the game, and ability to relate to our very young team.”

Josh concluded saying, “Some people have incredible discipline, and they can apply it from sports to the classroom to personal lives. Jano is one of those people.”