By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Former CHS water polo standout leading a fulfilling life
Joey Rossi has faced many challenges in his life.

"Adversity is something I've always welcomed," the 2006 Ceres High graduate said.

Rossi plans to share his life story as a motivational speaker for children with learning disabilities.

"I had dyslexia all through school," he said. "Reading and writing was very difficult. It was a lot of work. I want to give back. I got big plans."

A four-year member of the University of the Pacific men's water polo team (2006-09), Rossi earned his Masters degree in exercise physiology in 2011 and B.A. in sports pedagogy with an emphasis in strength and conditioning in 2010. He swam one season for the Tigers. Joey earned Academic All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors every year.

"I'm happy where I'm at," said Rossi, who went from walk-on to scholarship player in less than a year and a half. "I didn't know I'd take my education this far. But it was the smart thing to do. My dream job would be to teach classes and be a coach at UOP."

Joey, 24, will continue his schooling in Stockton on Aug. 16.

He's working towards a doctorate degree in administration and instruction.

Joey will also serve as head of UOP Aquatics Sports Performance, which encompasses water polo, swimming and diving.

He'll be employed as a strength and conditioning coach as well.

"It's a really full day," said Rossi, who will attend classes at night and train in the morning. "You don't get much sleep."

Joey didn't get much sleep during the summertime.

He traveled to Australia to play water polo and pass on his knowledge of the sport to children.

"I enjoyed the experience," Rossi said. "It was really fun."

Joey helped propel Nordek premier club to a first-place finish at the Australia Country Championships. Rossi, a 6-foot-tall, 190-pound attacker, totaled 16 goals and 30 assists. He was selected to compete in the all-star game.

"International play is different," Joey said. "The referees let a lot more things go. There's a lot more contact."

Rossi returned home from overseas in July.

Joey led Ceres High's varsity boys water polo program to back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths as a junior and senior, totaling 256 goals. He earned first-team, all-Modesto Metro Conference honors twice.

"Of all my coaches in my career, none have influenced me more than (former Bulldog leader) Sonja Raynes," Rossi said. "She taught me so much about the game of water polo. She is the best coach I have had the privilege to play for."

Joey attended five different schools while growing up, including Carroll Fowler, Sam Vaughn, Mae Hensley and Ceres High.

He went to Aspiranet's Valley Oaks School for children with emotional and/or learning disabilities in Turlock for three years.

"It was challenging but it made me the person I am," Rossi said. "My parents (Bill and Janis) were there when I needed them. I also found a lot of support in sports."