Jul. 21—The final awards and honors of the 2020-21 school year are slowly trickling in, and one of the top high-school water polo awards in the country was given to one of Grand Haven's own.
Recent Buccaneer graduate Thomas MacDonald was named to an All-American team by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, earning fourth-team honors that places him as the third best player in the state of Michigan.
"It's a huge honor and I'm really proud of what we accomplished," MacDonald said. "I'm really excited about it and it's nice to see all the hard work I put in for years get recognized."
He was one of four Michiganders on the list, with just over 50 players honored across the country. Hudsonville's Colin McDowell was named to the first team.
MacDonald and brother Michael were integral parts of a Grand Haven swim program that was 10th in the state swim finals and a school-best fourth at the water polo finals in June.
Both brothers earned academic All-American honors, as did graduates Christian Colvin, Luke Hosley, Alec Korecki and Bryant Latchaw.
Nine Buccaneer girls were also recognized for the award, given to seniors with a grade-point average over 3.75: Georgia Basil, Zoe Brown, Kendall Hamm, Amelia Mitchell, Lana Nauta, Madison Rogers, Ellyn Skodack, Mary Violet Springer and Ocean Veldhouse.
"He's a team player and he leads by example," water polo coach Bill Hamm said of Thomas. "There should be a lot of college coaches mourning his absence on their teams this fall."
Thomas led the Bucs in goals and defensive blocks and was second in assists and steals.
He was also named as the most valuable player at the regional tournament.
"I give a lot of credit to my parents, coaches and teammates," MacDonald said. "It's an individual award but it takes a team for me to even be able to step into the pool."
He plans to help revitalize the water polo club program at the University of Alabama in the fall, while Michael is headed to the Naval Academy.
"It took a lot of time and effort, but it's hard not to be pleased with the outcome," MacDonald said. "It's a nice cap on my high school polo career."