Prep sports profile: Kurt Butterfield
Kurt Butterfield (#15) has earned a number of accolades in his time playing water polo at Lincoln-Way West.
“With all the adversity they had to go through as a team, [Butterfield] held everyone together and acted like the leader he was chosen to be,” Olson said. “He showed that when you put in the hard work, it really does pay off.”
Name: Kurt Butterfield
Age/year in school: 18/Senior
Hometown: New Lenox
Sport: Water Polo
How long have you played water polo? 5 years.
What do you love most about water polo?
The complexity and difficulty of the game. It’s a game where a player has to mix physical strength and mental strength.
What was your biggest challenge this season? How did you overcome it?
Figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of the other teams we played, and then adjusting my style of game. Also, the conditioning and getting in game shape was difficult.
What was your favorite moment of this season? Why?
When we beat Andrew High School. It was our school’s first conference win and I scored eight goals in the fourth quarter to put us ahead 12-11. The team played together to come out with the win.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions when you play?
I listen to music and stretch for almost an hour before every game, [and] I visualize every scenario that might happen in the pool while I do it to prepare myself for the game.
Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?
My coach Eric Olson. He was one of the greatest players in the history of Illinois water polo, and also played in college. I strived to play like him, and his coaching was the main reason why I had the season I had.
If you didn’t play water polo, what would you be doing?
I would be playing football, swimming, working or hanging out with my friends.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Derrick Rose. He plays for his team and his town and not for himself. He’s modest and very hard working, and always puts his teammates before himself. And he’s the guy everyone looks to when it’s close. I try to mirror my play off the way he plays.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside water polo?
I like to hang out with my friends – we fish and play sports and just have a good time. I also coach a special education swim team that I really enjoy doing.
Favorite quote or words to live by:
“Impossible is nothing.” My freshman year I wanted to become a player to watch in my sport and help my teammates learn the game. I have worked really hard to chase that goal. It was not easy, and I wouldn’t let obstacles hold me back.
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