The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Water polo alumni inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame Class of ’23

Justin Tang
Felix Brozyna-Vilim ’17 and Evan Rosenfeld ’17 receive their awards on the field during Homecoming. The two alumni were officially inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame Oct. 7.

Boys’ water polo alumni Evan Rosenfeld ’17 and Felix Brozyna-Vilim ’17 were officially inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame Class of ’23 on Oct. 7 at Homecoming. Head of Athletics Terry Barnum and Athletic Director Darlene Bible welcomed the alumni during halftime of the football game.

Rosenfeld and Brozyna-Vilim, who played water polo together since they were 12 years old, were both four-year varsity players at the school. Under former Aquatics Head Brian Flacks, they won CIF-SS Division 1 championships in 2013 and 2014, and were runner-ups in 2015. They competed alongside players like Olympians Johnny Hooper ’15 (Tokyo 2020) and Ben Hallock ’16 (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020). Hallock was supposed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of ‘23, but could not attend due to international water polo commitments.

During his time at the school, Rosenfeld was a recipient of the annual Lee Carlson award for outstanding performance in athletics, and was the team captain his senior year. As a junior and senior, Rosenfeld received All-CIF Division 1 first team honors and was named to the second team his sophomore year. Rosenfeld participated in the national development and youth teams in 2013 and 2015, respectively, and also set a school record in the 200 Medley Relay.

Brozyna-Vilim played alongside Rosenfeld, and was also named named to the All-CIF Division 1 team his junior and senior years. Brozyna-Vilim trained in a national senior team camp in 2016, and received club honors in the Junior Olympics from 2011-2014.

Rosenfeld and Brozyna-Vilim both went on to play collegiate Division 1 water polo at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) under Head Coach Adam Wright, where they won national championships in 2017 and 2021. During their time at UCLA, they both received Associate of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) honors, Rosenfeld being a three-time honoree and Brozyna-Vilim being a two-time honoree.

Rosenfeld said former coach Flacks not only coached water polo well, but taught them core values about character at a young age.

“[With Flacks], I couldn’t have asked for a better role model, not just in water polo and trying hard in school,” Rosenfeld said. “[He was] a person in our life that taught us about character, values, and being a good person. [He taught us that] when the fence has been painted, you don’t walk by the fence that’s being painted, you walk around it. Flacks taught us so much more about life and what’s important as a person, more so than water polo drills and skills could. I think the biggest impact on my life was having coaches [like Flacks], especially at a young impressionable age, being 13, 14, 15, [etc.]. [Felix and I] are blessed to have had him as a coach.”

Brozyna-Vilim said the lessons he has learned from water polo came from the high school team culture.

“[The team culture] more so came from Flacks’ influence on us,” Brozyna-Vilim said. “With that influence, we made a culture. We had guys like [Hooper], Warren [Snyder ’14], Anthony [Ridgley ’15], Charlie [Oman ’15], [Hallock] and Luke [Henriksson ’17]. From those guys, we developed a work ethic. Something that I learned from water polo is that you need to get the job done. There’s no excuses. No one’s gonna do anything for you. If you do quit, you’re going to have to live with it. I thought about quitting sometimes, but I’m happy I didn’t, because I [would’ve had to] live with it. It’s a special thing to have a work ethic that we have instilled in us, to pick up funny things like sanding down [water polo] goals in 110 degree weather.”

Rosenfeld said being able to compete at UCLA with Henriksson and Brozyna-Vilim was rewarding.

“It’s special, being able to come from Harvard-Westlake where I have my two best friends since 12 years old, Luke and Felix,” Rosenfeld said. “We were all the same year, and were able to go to college together. We went right over the hill, but you’re still in a totally different community, different area and different crowd. But you have your buddies who have been by your side for the last five years. Maybe you go up against a challenge like a new coach [Wright], who was very intense, but one of the best coaches in the world. You’re down and you’re like, ‘I’m through, I’m finished’ to say, ‘No, you’ve got more, you can do this. We did this with [Flacks] when we were 14. Come on, it’s the same thing now.’ We’re very lucky to be able to have each other from the very beginning and that’s something that I don’t [think] many people can say.”

Brozyna-Vilim, Henriksson and Rosenfeld pose on the pool deck their senior year. They went on to play collegiate Division 1 water polo at UCLA. (HW Water Polo/X)

Like Rosenfeld, Brozyna-Vilim said their friendship during high school added to their time at UCLA.

“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Brozyna-Vilim said. “When we went to UCLA together, we already had a connection. Evan would give me the look-off [pass] when he was at five on six on five, and I’d be on the three post, where I already knew he was giving me the ball before he was even passing.”

Bible said their level of competition both during high school and college has contributed to their character as men.

“Evan and Felix were great kids when they were in high school,” Bible said. “They both had so much heart and they played so hard all the time. They had a lot of battles with a lot of different [high] schools at that time. That really helped their character, and it continued when they were at UCLA, where they also had to battle against plenty of other teams in their league. I just think they’ve turned out to be such incredible human beings, such nice men and just really, really great people.”

Rosenfeld said being inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Brozyna-Vilim has been a culmination of their work in the high school program and the sport itself.

“We’ve been through a lot, in terms of having very intense coaches at a young age, in intense moments,” Rosenfeld said. “It’s really special that we get to be recognized together. It’s been 14 years going, and we both wish we could play forever. But in the end it’s really special to be able to [be] recognized together, and be acknowledged alongside some of the other greatest athletes that have ever come to this school. It’s incredible, and we’re very grateful.”

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Connor Tang, Editor-in-Chief
Justin Tang, Print Managing Editor

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