BROOKLYN N.Y. — St. Francis College Brooklyn is posting a a series of interviews with St. Francis men’s water polo players by journalist Michael Randazzo as the Terriers prepare to open the 2018 season at Brown University’s Bruno Classic on Saturday, September 1 against Pepperdine University.
Bogdan Kostic may be the toughest in a group of Brooklyn-tough Terriers. Last year, despite an injury, he continued to lead his teammates in the water as they fought for their first NCAA berth since 2013. For that devotion—and his rocket-like shooting abilities (27 goals in 2017)—this season Kostic was named first captain, a distinguished honor given the team’s senior leadership.
Now healthy for his final season in Brooklyn Heights, the Serbian native is eager to start play in what promises to be an exciting season for Terrier polo.
Swimming World’s Michael Randazzo spoke to Kostic on the St. Francis pool deck at the beginning of practices for the 2018 season.
– What’s should Terrier fans expect in 2018?
We kept the same structure as last year and all the players—only one [Tucker Angelo] graduated. This year we’ve got some new players, a good lefty, one from Hungary, one from California—players from all around the world, as always.
I don’t want to set the goal of a championship right away. As our coach says, we are only as good as our last performance. We’re focused on working together, getting better game-by-game. Then we hope for good results at the end.
– What’s going to be different in 2018 for the Terriers?
Last year we had very bad luck! We had a winning streak like 12-0 [actually 11 straight] then I got injured.
This year I’m working with Arianna [DeLucia, St. Francis Assistant Athletic Trainer]. I’m going to stretch more to avoid injuries because in the past few years injuries have hurt our seasons.
If we stay healthy I believe we can do a lot.
– The Terriers have more players on your squad then they’ve had in years. How will you determine the best line-up to ensure a winning season for St. Francis?
This is the first year since I’ve been here that we’ve had more players than spots—and these new players have to fight for a place on the roster. It will make us better and they’ll hopefully help get us to the NWPC finals.
– Coach Dimitrov is now in his second season. How much will his experience as both a player and coach help your team realize its goals this season?
That will help a lot. In the off-season, he worked really hard to determine which new players are the best fit for our team. He went pretty deep into everything, reviewing game film over and over.
Especially because he played for St. Francis and before that in California, he has a lot of experience with U.S. water polo. He [also] played for the national team of Serbia and has a European Championship behind him.
[Bora] is so passionate about water polo. You can see that in the games; he wants to jump in and help us out.
He has the same fire as we do—which keeps us motivated.
– You’re the captain this year of one of the East’s best water polo teams. What does that responsibility mean to you?
I hope I can help the new guys with the culture of SFC and our tradition of winning. I want to leave the same legacy for the new generation that was left for me. I want to be an example and show my teammates how to succeed—to play hard, play as a team, help each other.
I hope that when I graduate those players will continue where I left off, doing the same things to carry on the water polo team’s success.
– What sort of expectations do you have for yourself?
I want to be that guy who’s going to be there, who steps on the ball when things are going crazy in the game—that I’ll be the one to say: “Let’s go! Nothing is lost!”
I want to motivate my teammates—not just for the games but in the gym, during practice, all the time. I want to make my teammates better; that’s my primary focus.
I’m not thinking about scoring goals but of course I’m going to take that responsibility when the time comes.
Release courtesy St. Francis College Brooklyn Athletics Communications