After intense training in the offseason, high school senior Kevin Tunney hopes his increased speed will propel the
water polo team to the state finals. He currently leads the Eagles in goals, steals and forced turnovers and has become one of their fastest sprinters. With the help of his coach and teammates, Tunney is on track to be an All-State candidate.
James Caliendo, who has been coaching for 24 years, says that Tunney is “a leader on our team, always helping me work with his teammates on strategies and skills. He elevates everyone’s ability level and is determined to succeed.”
Age/year in school:
Palos Park, Illinois
How long have you played water polo?
What do you love most about water polo?
It’s a team sport and to truly be good, you have to come together as a team.
What are your goals for this season? How will you achieve them?
To go undefeated in conference play and sectionals, to get back to the state finals [and] be voted by the coaches as one of top three players in the state. [I can achieve them] by working as a team, practicing harder than anybody else, listening to my coach and making adjustments throughout the season.
What are you looking forward to most this season?
When our starting lineup starts to really come together as a team, and we get to that point when we can play with anybody.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions when you play?
None that I can think of.
Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?
Some of the things [Caliendo] says stick with you and really hit home. It has really inspired me to do my best always. Also, my family always supports me through the good and bad.
If you didn't play water polo, what would you be doing?
I have been swimming or playing water polo since I was a kid. I couldn’t imagine myself playing another sport. Maybe baseball.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Jonathan Toews. He is a great leader on and off the ice. He leads by example and really is a class act.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside water polo?
Hanging out with my friends and family, [and] playing other sports like football or basketball with my teammates.
Favorite quote or words to live by:
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
Profile edited by Lauren Comitor. Local coaches who would like to see an athlete profiled in TribLocal should email