Burroughs High juniors Xavier Turla and Harrison Zekowski have been named to the 2019-2020 Academic All-American team by USA Water Polo.
Both Turla and Zekowski play for Rose Bowl Water Polo at the club level. They earned the honor because their grade point average exceeded the 3.5 minimum needed to be given the honor.
Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said both have been solid for him in the pool.
“Xavier is a very hard worker. He’s obsessed with the sport,” Cook said. “It is a big part of his life so it doesn’t surprise me that he got the award for being a hard worker in school.”
Cook said Zekowski isn’t the first in his family to play water polo for Burroughs as he has followed in the footsteps of older brother Max.
“Harry came to our camp in eighth grade. He is a very hard worker. He is really like a guy that goes after it,” Cook said. “He had a really good season on JV last year. I know that he’s taking it very seriously.”
Turla credited time management as his key to success.
“You have to maintain a good balance between academics and sports. As long as you stay on top of everything, you have 24 hours in a day, eight for sleep and you have 16 hours left for you to do everything that you have to do in order to stay balanced,” he said. “It is a matter of disciplining yourself to manage time and knowing what to do throughout your days and not to stress yourself out too much when you perform your activities.”
Zekowski said the award helps keep his work ethic moving forward.
“It’s really an honor to be a recipient of this award. It is solid motivation that really reminds me of the hours I put into all of this and from that struggle what I’ve learned and gained,” he said. “I am very excited, honored and ecstatic about this and it really makes me proud of what I’ve accomplished.”