A look at Area Boys Swim Teams
Coach: Austin Butcher, fifth year
Last year: 11-4 (fourth in Chesterton Sectional with 238 points)
Key losses: Justin Dusza, Isaac Temores, Jacob Cooper
Key returning swimmers: Prestin Butcher, Hunter Moffitt
Key newcomers: Lucas Banic, Niels Gaertner
Outlook: Having a tiny team of eight, the objective for La Porte is to simply improve and do the best each individual swimmer can do. There are a mere six swimmers on the squad plus two divers. With that in mind, the goal for the Slicers is to grow and mature in the pool every day. They lost a ton to graduation, including some state-caliber swimmers and school-record holders, and are rebuilding. Nevertheless, Butcher is excited. “I’ve still got a great group of kids,” he said. “All of our new swimmers that came out were through Turbos (club), so everybody knows what they’re doing. I told the guys, ‘With our size, we’re not going to win a lot of meets. Obviously, it’s impossible to win meets with eight guys.’ So we’re really just kind of focused on working towards the sectional. And hopefully, I told the guys, ‘We’ve still got potential to get down to state.’ So we’re really focusing and trying to keep their focus on the long term instead of our dual meets.” Team leaders will be seniors Prestin Butcher, coach Butcher’s younger brother, and Hunter Moffitt, the lone seniors on the roster. “Obviously, we’ll look to them to kind of lead the team,” Butcher said. “We’ve got a young team, too, with two seniors. I’ll be looking to (Graham Siefker and Jordan Hull) to kind of step up and lead. But with such a small team, I kind of rely on everybody to keep everybody accountable, to step up and make sure everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to do.” Toy Hayes is also a stalwart diver and should be a big point scorer.
-- compiled by Zack Eldridge
Coach: Ashley Wojtysiak, 10th year
Last year: 12-3-1 (third in Penn Sectional with 256 points)
Key losses: Swimmers Ethan Piergalski, Hunter Houser and Adam Boniface and divers Daniel Lenig and Matt Mosley.
Key returners: Swimmers Broc Boniface, Jake Dockery, Tom Eggleston, Luke Papai, Conner Snyder and diver Nolan Szymanski
Key newcomers: Swimmers Roman Piergalski, Mason Young and Landon Farmer
Outlook: With a veteran, large team, expectations are pretty high for the Cougars this campaign. They have a decent amount of returning experience, so that should bode well. “The boys are coming in with a strong background in swimming,” Wojtysiak said. “Many of them, even our freshman, have a background in swimming and have been swimming for quite a while. We have a lot more depth than we’ve had in the past.” There are 31 total athletes. Five are seniors and they’ve been swimming all three previous years of high school. “It’s great to have them come back,” Wojtysiak said. “They know our program. They know their teammates. They know how to lead. So it’s nice to have seniors who have been together for that long.” The seniors are Broc Boniface, Jake Dockery, Tom Eggleston, Luke Papai, and Conner Snyder. “They will definitely be figures outside the pool and in the pool,” Wojtysiak said. “But we also have some very strong underclassmen coming up as well. So the boys all around have a lot of kids who can contribute.” The squad features 11 sophomores to go along with nine freshman. Sophomore Kolby Renfro is a new diver who will also swim.
-- compiled by Zack Eldridge
Coach: Mel Kovenz
Last year: Fifth at Chesterton Sectional (235 points)
Key losses: Eli Schoof, Alex Rowley
Key returners: Alec Adrian, Peter Gondeck (diving state qualifier) Alec Marter, Thomas Komay, Troy Powell, Jack Smith (100 back, 100 fly state qualifier)
Outlook: The Wolves lose a big piece of their lineup with the departure of Eli Schoof (Wabash), but they return a good group of guys, led by Smith, a senior who will sign his letter of intent Friday to swim at Purdue. He will be the catalyst for a Wolves side that may not have the depth of years past in the pool, but still maintain a strong level of expectations, at least in Smith’s eyes. The Purdue commit expects not only himself to make it into the big pool on IUPUI’s campus for the third year in a row, but a relay team as well. Kovenz knows there’s a long way to go to think about that, but that’s not stopping him from putting those kind of goals at the forefront of the season. “They’re a close bunch and a good group of kids,” he said. “They go to breakfast together after morning practices and some of the guys have even added morning practices already before the season even starts. I know Jack has high expectations for them and that’s good. We got a lot of work to do, but they’re already putting in the work.”
— complied by Michael Whitlow