Local Sports Hero Gabe Crowley-Fritz

01 December 2016 Written by  By Michelle Lassle
Published in December 2016 Articles

Life is like riding a bicycle.

To keep your balance you must keep moving. Gabe Crowley-Fritz figured out early on the truth behind Albert Einstein’s words. As only a sophomore in high school, Gabe has already tried his hand at nearly 10 sports. When he had an opening in his schedule, he would automatically fill it with another activity and has continued doing so into his high school career. “In the first quarter of my freshman year at Liberty High School I had no sport to play and I didn’t want to get bored. I needed something to do to stay in shape, so that’s when I started playing water polo,” Gabe said.

Gabe always had a love for playing football and decided to join a flag football team when he was nine years old. Gabe was placed in the quarter­back and wide receiver positions where he quickly fell in love with being able to make big plays during the game. A couple of years later, when he entered Knightsen School, Gabe took his love for athletics to the next level by trying everything he possibly could. His first year of middle school Gabe joined the school’s volleyball, basketball, and track teams, as well as the Brentwood Dolphins Swim Club. Then in his final year before entering high school, Gabe decided to get as much experience in as possible. That is when he added soccer, baseball, and water polo to his growing list of activities.

With an impressive schedule of athletic commitments, Gabe enjoyed almost every sport he tried. “Growing up I tried pretty much every sport I could. The only sports I tried that I did not continue were hockey, lacrosse, and track,” Gabe said. “They just weren’t as much fun as the others, and I figured, if I’m not enjoying it, why am I doing it?” However, Gabe encountered the same problem that many young athletes eventually face: a lack of time to squeeze it all in.

“When I hit high school I couldn’t play all of the sports I wanted to because they conflicted.” That is when Gabe narrowed in on the sports he enjoyed the most and thrived in. As a freshman at Liberty High School Gabe tried out for water polo and then volleyball, both of which he made it onto the JV team. For water polo he was designated as a shooter, and for volleyball Gabe played wherever he was needed. “I love scoring hard fought goals and the rough play of water polo,” Gabe said. “It’s also really conditioning. I enjoy volleyball because of the rush of playing in such intense games.”

Gabe’s natural talent for water polo quickly became evident, earning him the honorable MVP award and the Captain’s Award for JV. Then after only having two recreational seasons under his belt, one winter polo for the Seawolves and one summer polo for Oakwood, Gabe was one of only two boys to advance on to the varsity team as a sophomore. He also helped lead his team to third place in their league. In addition to his school volleyball and water polo teams, Gabe continues to compete in the backstroke, fly, breaststroke, and freestyle for the Brentwood Dolphins Swim Club. This past season Gabe set a league time in freestyle and qualified for the Contra Costa County Swim Championships. There he won his qualifying heat and progressed on to county finals where he finished 18th in the 50 meter freestyle.

With most of his spare time dedicated to sports, Gabe is unable to participate in any school clubs or extracurricular activities; however he is still able to balance his academic schedule, which includes Spanish 2. “It is a lot of work and a lot of late nights, but I have a study hall class at school to help keep the balance,” Gabe said. With college still a good distance away, Gabe has plenty of time before having to make any final decisions about which school to commit to or what major to explore. He does, however, have a motivation behind the many hours spent in the gymnasium or in the water. “I’m hoping my sports will eventually earn me a scholarship to a university.”

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