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Copley boys swim team eyeing another league title

11/21/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COPLEY — The Copley High School boys swim team is aiming for a fourth consecutive Suburban League championship, but head coach Ed Burnsed said a new group of swimmers will need to lead the way in order for this year’s squad to achieve that goal.

“We had nine seniors graduate from last year’s team, and we need our current seniors and juniors to step up and fill the resulting leadership void,” the coach said. “We have [only] three seniors, so we are a young and relatively inexperienced group that will need to come together quickly.”

While this year’s senior class is only three deep, Burnsed said he is excited about what they can accomplish this season.

“Our seniors are led by Manny Bloch (sprint freestyle and backstroke), who has qualified for the district meet in multiple events the past two years,” he stated. “Seth Emerson (backstroke and freestyle) has improved immensely the last two years. And Yiannis Detorakis (breaststroke) nearly qualified for the district meet as a first-year swimmer last season — not an easy feat. We will rely on all three for leadership and dual meet points all season.”

The 2012-13 Copley boys swim team finished with a 6-3 overall record, including a perfect 6-0 mark in the Suburban League. Burnsed said this year’s squad is eager to add to the team’s successful tradition.

“Our team goals include winning a fourth consecutive Suburban League title and advancing as many swimmers as possible to the district and state meets,” he said. “Our strengths this season are in the backstroke, butterfly and freestyle events. Right now, the team is working hard to fill needs in the breaststroke and individual medley. We are looking forward to a fun, competitive season.”

Copley’s first meet is set for Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. against Nordonia High School, one of the preseason favorites in the Suburban League, at Nordoina. According to Burnsed, a number of key returning swimmers will look to make their mark for Copley as the season gets underway.

“Junior Thomas Kimmins (backstroke, freestyle) is making major strides in backstroke,” he said. “Our top underclassmen are led by: sophomore Emilio Bloch (butterfly and individual medley), a returning district meet qualifier who looks to be much improved this season; sophomore Andrew Ephlin (200, 500 freestyle), another district qualifier as a freshman; sophomore Jacob Braslawsce (butterfly, freestyle), a second-year swimmer who impressed last year with excellent improvement; sophomore Matt Kimberly (backstroke, freestyle); sophomore Tyler Hartman (sprint freestyle, individual medley), who may surprise this season; and multi-purpose freshman Alex Caye (individual medley, breaststroke, freestyle), who has a solid swimming background.”

Other swimmers who Burnsed said “have been working hard and may improve dramatically” during the season are: Tommy Martin (freestyle, breaststroke); Seth Koellner (freestyle, individual medley); Ryan McClaren (freestyle); Drew Hartman (freestyle); and Keeyon Hajjafar (butterfly, freestyle).

Burnsed’s staff this year is comprised of: Jen Soltis, who is in her 14th year with the team; and Lisa Sharnsky, a former Copley swimmer in her fourth season as an assistant.

“We pride ourselves at Copley on fostering an environment of continuing individual improvement and excellence in the classroom, both achieved by daily dedication to our goals,” Burnsed stated.

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