Dynamic Duo: The Maiellaro Brothers Destroy Water Polo


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Head Above Water: Junior Thomas Maiellaro with a nifty finish at the net.

Water polo, perhaps the most overlooked yet difficult sport, is an uphill battle from start to finish. For almost two hours, players must tread water as they fight, scratch, and sweat to put the ball in the back of the net. For the vast majority water polo sounds like too much or just flat out impossible, but for the Maiellaro brothers, Matthew and Thomas, they do not see it as impossible, they see it as a challenge.

The boys have been in the water their entire lives. Growing up next door to their neighborhood pool, they learned to swim before they could walk and have even been on the swim team their whole life. Being naturally gifted swimmers, picking up water polo in sixth grade just made sense. To no one’s surprise, the two found immediate success, navigating and manuvering effortlessly around the opposition. Water polo runs – or swims – in the family as the two’s older brother, Bo, excelled as a member of the Dubs water polo team. When he graduated in 2019 passed the torch down the line to his younger brothers. “Bo really sparked my interest in the sport,” said Thomas. “It is just a family thing. It is meant to be.”

All this experience has created skill. The brothers, both seasoned veterans, help lead the growing APS team. The two are swiss army knives for the water warriors, with one being a defensive anchor, goalie, and powerful scorer, while the other is a shifty, feisty player, who is a pest on defense and a constant threat on offense. Their brotherly bond has proved to be a valuable asset to the team. “We definitely have a strong connection,” said Matthew. “It helps to be so close with a teammate. Our chemistry is truly unmatched.”

For the Dubs, winning is always on their mind, but their focus is always one game at a time. They know their record determines playoff seeding, but getting lost in the standings could cost them to fall behind. Both Maiellaro boys are locked in; they are ready for playoffs. Winning is all they care about, especially after coming up short the prior year. The Maiellaros are off to a great start, leading the Dubs to a 6-2 start, which makes them a top-three team in the league. “Last year does not matter anymore,” said Thomas. “Just know we are coming stronger and harder this year. We are destined for that trophy.”

As the Maiellaro brothers continue their reign, the APS team looks to finish the season strong and carry that momentum into the playoffs. A championship is on the horizon. These brothers take family bonding to another level, so water polo teams beware of Maiellaro-squared.