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Deep, experienced Green boys swim team out to winning start

1/3/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — Through Dec. 27, the Green boys swim team already had matched its dual meet win total of a year ago.

The team was out to a 4-2 start on the season. Last year, the team finished 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the Suburban League.

“We had strong leaders last year, but we didn’t have a lot of depth, and that kind of got to us,” said head coach Mike Lazor. “So we had a rough season as far as dual meets.”

However, the coach said depth is a team strength this season.

“We have a lot of depth coming in because we have some freshmen who are making some big impacts so far,” he said. “And we have some solid leaders, too, up front, so that’s pretty exciting.”

This year’s team features eight seniors, led by five returning swimmers. Those returnees (with comments on each by the coach) are:

• James Anthony: “He’s like a utility swimmer. He can do a lot of different races and he’s talented in all the different strokes. He gains a lot of points by swimming in those different events. He is a co-captain for us.”

• Griffin Jenkins: “Griffin likes to get up [and] race. He gets up on the block and then he’ll go really fast. He is another co-captain and he’s an outstanding leader.”

• Dan Hawk: “My other co-captain is Dan, who is more of a distance freestyler. He is a 200-yard freestyler and a 500-yard freestyler. He is in the distance end of things and he gains a lot of points in that.”

• Ryan Collins: “He has four years on the team and he’s just a hard worker. He has improved five to eight seconds each year he’s been on the team. Ryan is a sprint freestyler and a 100-yard backstroker and he’s involved in a lot of relays.”

• Josh Dang: “Josh is a sprint freestyler for us. He’s just getting out of a cast. He swam with a cast in the first six meets, which shows his dedication. He is great to have on the team.”

In addition, there are three seniors — Eric Merryman, Bryce Tucker and Dakota Black — who are new to the team this season, Lazor said.

“They’re really coming around and scoring some points for us this season,” he stated.

According to Lazor, another new swimmer who is making an impact is junior Spencer Nay.

“He is a cross country runner and he’s really coming into his own for us,” the coach said. “He’s a tall kid with long, lanky arms and he’s just built for swimming. He’s dropped like eight seconds this year since he began.”

Another swimmer who has made a big improvement this season, Lazor said, is sophomore Jacob Doney.

“He’s a freestyler for us and he’s dropped quite a bit of time,” the coach stated. “He’s dropped 15 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle this year, which is amazing. He’s a big part of what we do.”

Other key swimmers include sophomore Sean Anthony and freshmen A.J. Schoonover and Dominic Poletta.

“Sean is a do-everything kind of swimmer for us. He can swim the individual medley, the 100-yard backstroke, freestyle and backstroke,” Lazor said. “A.J. is a 200-yard [individual medley] swimmer who swims all four stokes and also swims distance. It’s great to have a freshman who can swim all those different events. And Dominic is a freshman who comes in and pretty much swims our fastest 100-yard butterfly time across the board. And he’s another do-anything kind of a guy.”

Lazor said he has seen improvement from the entire team as the season has progressed.

“We started in the water Nov. 2 and our first meet was Dec. 2, and I’ve seen improvement not only in the water and in their dedication, but in the seniors’ leadership,” he stated. “I’ve seen improvements as far as time drops, but that’s only one way to measure it. I’ve seen an increase in their willingness to learn and their willingness to compete. They know where they want to be in February, so they’re putting in the time now to make sure it pays off later.”

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