2003-04 Honor Roll: Tony Azevedo

Any discussion of the most dominant athletes in collegiate sports must include Tony Azevedo. A repeat selection to the Bootleg Honor Roll almost seems required of any self-respecting sports publication. But make no mistake, Tony has earned his spot on this list by virtue of his stellar play which brought his team just short of a national title…

In the May/June issue of The Bootleg Magazine (re-published on TheBootleg.com in early August), we released the 30 finalists for The Bootleg Honor Roll award for the 2003/2004 school-year. Here is a link to that story.

The criteria are as follows:

Each academic year, The Bootleg’s Honor Roll will recognize the top ten Stanford student-athletes who have performed at an exceptional level, with athletic accomplishments that are both extraordinary and inspirational. While achieving athletic success, these athletes should also have displayed uncommon leadership, sportsmanship and respect towards their fellow teammates and opponents. Finally, these honorees’ performances and actions should also demonstrate their love for their particular sport as well as their school pride, the famed “Spirit of Stanford.”

During the month of August, we will be releasing the 10 winners of this prestigious award, one by one.

The first recipient of The Bootleg Honor Roll award is water polo standout Tony Azevedo.

A junior out of Long Beach Wilson High, Azevedo received his third consecutive Peter J. Cutino Award as the top player in collegiate men’s water polo. He once again led his team in scoring, netting 89 goals to give him an astonishing 252 for his career and the all-time career mark at Stanford with one year of eligibility remaining. Azevedo also bore a greater burden at the defensive end in response to the loss of Peter Hudnut and Jeff Nesmith to graduation. Throughout the season Azevedo seemed to produce his greatest performances at the most important times; four of his 89 goals came in a 9-7 overtime loss to U$C in the championship game (including two late in the fourth quarter within 56 seconds of each other).

Azevedo decided to pass up opportunities to play professionally in Europe and Australia, instead opting to complete his degree in International Relations and make a run at reclaiming the NCAA title. However, Tony has bigger things on his mind right now, as is, once again, representing the United States at the Olympic Games. Expect to see him scoring goals against the world’s best as he leads a vastly improved squad in its attempt to dethrone traditional powers Serbia & Montenegro, Italy, and Hungary, and make an appearance on the podium in Athens.

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