Boys Golf: Chris Sekula balancing water polo, golf at Lyons Township

Story Image Elmhurst Saturday 5/5/12 Lyons goalie#1 Chris Sekula deflects a shot by York during the water polo tournament held at York High School. | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media

Updated: August 28, 2012 5:44PM

Lyons has won each of its first four invites of the season, but the defending Class 3A state runner-up will be without one of its top golfers Saturday.

When he isn’t swinging his clubs, senior Chris Sekula leads another life as perhaps the best water polo goalie in the state. Sekula led Lyons to its first state boys water polo championship in the spring and will join seven other teammates on a weekend trip to compete in the Navy Open at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Sekula leaves for the tournament Thursday and returns Sunday. Lyons golfers, who hope to extend their streak to five consecutive tournament wins, plays in the St. Viator Invitational at 11 a.m. Saturday at Old Orchard in Mount Prospect. Lyons’ top challenger is West Suburban Silver rival Hinsdale Central, which has lost three times to Lyons already.

Sekula will return for the Batavia Invitational Sept. 8, which also features Hinsdale Central, at Fox Valley Golf Course .

On Saturday, Sekula shot an 82 at the Warren Invitational to score over 75 over 18 holes for the first time this season. Dan Hudson finished second for Lyons with a 71 at Bittersweet Golf Club in Gurnee.

“Overall, it was a difficult course with tight fairways and water on 15 holes,” Sekula said. “It was definitely not one of my favorite courses to play.”

Growing up in La Grange, Sekula has always been able to balance his passion for both sports. He golfed with his father Matthew, and learned to enjoy aquatics sports through his mom Carla and aunts, who were all swimmers.

Chris’ older brother David was a leading scorer for Lyons’ water polo team and now plays at Division III Redlands College in California. David never picked up golf.

“I love both sports,” Chris said. “My dad loves to play golf and growing up the whole time he introduced me to the game. I immediately loved it.”

In the offseason, Chris golfs in the morning and heads to the pool in the late afternoon.

“It’s definitely a time commitment, but it’s definitely a huge part of my life to be excellent at both sports. It can be struggle; a challenge,” Sekula said.

Since his Lyons water polo club team did not compete in the Junior Olympics this summer, Sekula and several teammates decided to enter this weekend’s tournament a few months ago. He will be joined by fellow Lions Joe Shannon, Peter Dore, Sean McMahon, Jack Patel, Michael Dow, Josh Hirt and Tommy Kaptur.

The squad is guaranteed several matches over three days against mainly East Coast club teams in their age category. They also might play junior college teams.

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