Rockford High School boys' water polo player David Newberger is this week's Meijer-97.9 WGRD Athlete of the Week.

Newberger excels athletically and academically, standing out on a team currently ranked No. 1 by the Michigan Water Polo Association with a 17-1 record after a 15-7 win Wednesday night over East Kentwood.

"David Newberger epitomizes the (term) student-athlete," Rockford Coach David McWatters said.

Senior co-captain David Newberger is a standout for top-ranked Rockford High School boys' water polo squad. (Photo: Teske Hoffmeister)

That is almost an understatement.

The "statistics show how balanced a player David is in the pool," McWatters said.

Going into Wednesday night's contest, he had 36 goals, 25 assists and 25 steals.

"With water polo, it's like any team sport in that it's fun to be part of that," said the senior co-captain and wing, who started as a sophomore and a junior on unbeaten state titlist squads.

"While I'm capable of pushing myself, I like the team aspect."

The team's expectations are to excel at Rockford.

On its 18-man roster, Newberger is among eight current players with academic all-American accords from USA Water Polo. To date, Rockford has won 10 of the last 14 state titles and has had 33 all-Americans and 32 academic All-Americans.

Newberger does plenty in the classroom to earn his keep, carrying a weighted 4.73 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. He is presently taking three Advanced Placement courses and an honors course among his five classes this trimester. In addition, he earned a score of 35 on the 36-point ACT college examination.

While he is still considering among college choices, he admits to be leaning toward studying engineering since his father is a chemical engineer and he has a brother majoring in chemical engineering.

"I've always been drawn to and gravitated toward science and math," he said. "I enjoy thinking logically."

To compete in water polo has been a logical progression for Newberger, who has been competitively swimming since second grade. He was a state qualifier in boys' swimming last winter and considers the 100-meter breaststroke his best event.

The fourth of five children (four boys and a girl) of Robert and Cathy Newberger, he is one of three Newberger boys who have played Rockford water polo. His brother, Jacob, is currently a freshman on Rockford's junior varsity team.

Congratulations, David, from Meijer and WGRD!

The Rockford High School boys' water polo team is rife with student-athletes who excel academically and athletically, with eight academic all-Americans on the 18-man roster. The Rams are 17-1, are ranked No. 1 and have won the last two state titles. (Photo: Teske Hoffmeister)