The first of the winter high school sports to begin the regular season, swimming will get started this week with a handful of meets throughout the Cape-Atlantic League.
All of the league’s teams will have been in action by early next week.
The following is a look at each of the area’s high school swimming teams:
CAPE MAY TECH
Cape May Tech’s boys team finished at 4-5-1 last winter. The Hawks lost some key swimmers to graduation but also have quite a few athletes returning.
The top returnees include Tyler Flynn, Jack Gombar, Tyler Williams, Corbin Sturgeon, Mike Galdi, Sean Wilson, Mike Bryan and Ray Sippel. Freshmen Cooper Gehring and Jerry DiAntonio are also expected to make immediate impact.
Matt McElory returns as the Hawks’ coach.
Tech’s girls team was a playoff qualifier last season but the Lady Hawks lost quite a few seniors from that team. They’ll need to improve quickly if they want to challenge for a playoff berth again in February.
Hannah Wilcoxen, Olivia Lepor, Tiffany Woolley, Miranda Fisher, Madison Ruisch and Savannah Bruno are among the top competitors for Tech’s team.
Tech’s teams train at the Cape May County Special Services School District aquatics facility.
Tech begins the season this afternoon (Thursday, Dec. 1) with a coed meet against Lower Cape May at the U.S. Coast Guard Base.
LOWER CAPE MAY
In many seasons, Lower Cape May has struggled with numbers. That is definitely not the case now.
Forty-five athletes are out for Brittany O’Donnell’s team, which features an interesting mix of experienced upperclassmen and talented freshmen.
Seniors Stanley Ziemba, Bobby Murphy, Mishell Sanchez and Brandon Bauer are the team’s captains and among the team’s top swimmers. Other returning senior swimmers include Katie Mayer, Drew Altieri, Lilly Swan and Amanda Moustafa. Juniors Carlie Eckel and Maggie Roth are also expected to contribute.
A handful of freshmen are expected to make immediate impact. They include Iris Sanchez, Samantha Downes, Sara McNeal, Reid Shriver, Mark Ryan and Justin Smith.
Lower Cape May trains and hosts its home meets at the U.S. Coast Guard Base in Cape May. As usual, Lower Cape May is competing as a coed team, which essentially means its competition is made up of boys teams.
The Caper Tigers open their season this afternoon (Thursday, Dec. 1) against Cape May Tech.
Middle Township begins the season with a new head coach in Dede Bosacco. She previously served as an assistant coach under longtime coach Bill Orr.
Bosacco inherits separate boys and girls teams that have some experience returning to the mix.
Middle’s boys team finished 7-4 last season and won a state playoff meet for the first time.
The boys team is led by seniors Nate Stahler, Noah Barrett, Steve Bosacco and Michael Seitzinger. Juniors expected to score points include Sean Geary and Zach Hurtado.
The top newcomer is freshman Brendon Bartha.
Middle’s girls team enjoyed a historic season last winter. Its six wins were the most in program history. Many of the swimmers from that team have returned, led by seniors Khushbu Patel, Abby Thompson, Shannon Risko, Emma Fiorucci, Kelsea Howard, Kelly Geary, Emily Robson and Kelsey Dunlevy.
Other key returning swimmers to the girls team include juniors Urvi Patel, Miranda Targum and Jenna Sittineri.
Middle, which practices and holds home meets at the Cape May County Special Services aquatic facility, is scheduled to open the season against Cape May Tech on Tuesday.
Wildwood Catholic, a coed team, was relatively competitive last season, going 3-4-1. But the Crusaders lost a handful of swimmers to graduation, including Eric Sorensen, who is now swimming at Division I Monmouth University.
A handful of returnees will lead a relatively young team under coach Chris Gamble.
Senior captains Dan Moses and Dillon Barry lead the way. Junior Dave McNulty and sophomores Sam Francis, Lauren Sorensen and Chris Johnson are also expected to score points. Grace Stuart, a freshman, is the top newcomer.
Wildwood Catholic hosts Holy Spirit in its opener this afternoon (Thursday, Dec. 1). The Crusaders’ train and hold home meets at the Joseph Von Savage Memorial Pool in Wildwood Crest.