Meet the Athlete Max DePina

Down Under Football

By Mae Jacobson, WAC Associate Editor

Seattle native Max DePina grew up in Queen Anne and attended O’Dea High School, where he played football and water polo and was captain of the swim team. Max completed undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Washington but gave up his swimming career due to the university’s lack of an aquatics program. He reentered the sports world in 2014, playing Australian rules football. Max was recently selected for the USA Revolution team and is in the running to play in 2017’s International Cup, a triennial event of the world’s best players.

How did you get involved with Australian rules football?
I saw a game on TV and I was fascinated with the sport. My research led me to the local team, the Seattle Grizzlies. I’ve now played two seasons with the Grizzlies. This season is my third—it started in April and goes until October.

What’s your favorite part about Australian rules football?
The flow of the game and the combination of ball skills, athleticism, and quick pace. You have to make decisions on the fly and improvise. That’s thrilling to me! You can be tackled from any angle, you can move the ball in any direction, and there are 36 people on the field at once. It’s a unique experience.

Can you talk a little about being a USA Revolution member?
In my second season playing, I went to Nashville to try out for Team USA. Getting named to the main roster is one of the best memories I have.

Tell us about the International Cup.
It takes place in Australia every three years. The U.S. sends 24 of its best players to compete. I’m working to be one of them.

How do you use the WAC?
I use the WAC to stay in shape and recover after games. I’m also looking forward to getting involved in more Club activities and events. I’m especially excited to take part in next year’s WAC basketball league. I’ve met a lot of new people here and I’d like to meet more!

Any advice for aspiring athletes?
Get out there, give it your best effort, and don’t be afraid to mess up. Keep your head up instead of getting frustrated.

As published in the July/August 2016 issue of WAC Magazine.

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