La Salle enters the season as defending PIAA-3A Champs, and led by its senior foursome, the Explorers have a solid chance to do it again.
“Conor Goodyear is a hard-working kid, with sheer determination. Paul Brosky is skilled in every event, smooth through the water,” coach Stephen Duncheskie said. “Dan McBryan is a rare swimmer that can win an IM event or win the sprint events. And Harry Hearn exploded on the state season last year by scoring top 8 in 200 and 500 freestyle. He’s confident.”
North Penn will be a force again in Class 3A and will be out to defend its District One title.
Pennridge, also a member of the Suburban One League Colonial Division with North Penn, is coming along rather nicely.
“I’m very excited to see what this team will do if given the chance to compete,” Rams coach Jenna Anselmo said. “These boys are competitors and want to show just what Pennridge swimming is capable of. I would love to get as many individual district cut times as possible and also have all three relays get a district time as well.”
Souderton Area will also be a team to watch in the tough SOL Colonial.
“Replacing four graduated seniors with district and state experience will be a challenge, but sophomore Robbie Ferlick, a PIAA State Consolation Finalist in the 50 Free, will provide closing speed on relays and sprint freestyle events,” Big Red coach Lou Williams said. “Senior Brien Yaglenski and junior Drew Stephens are back after participating in districts and the PIAA meet last year. Diving will again be a strong point in 2021, as all three male divers (Flandro, Milles and Martin) are district qualifiers from last year.”
Following is a team-by-team look at the area.
Central Bucks West
Coach: Vikye Swanson (30th season).
Last year’s record: 6-7.
Key performers lost: Luke Cimakasky, Max Quinn and Cameron Wallace.
Key returners: Holden Petty, distance free/back; Franky Swain, back/fly/free; Sam Shin, breast/IM; Ryan Levant, diving.
Others to watch: Tom Tubinas, Jr., distance free/fly; Kade Cimakasky, So., sprint free; Liam Gannon, Jr., distance free/back; Robert Kreuscher, Jr., sprint free; Kevin Siegfried, Jr., diving.
Coach Swanson says: “We have a great number of swimmers new to the team that have been working hard in the time that we have had together. We are excited to watch them grow as swimmers and divers and we are certain they will make an impact to the team.”
Coach: Bob Birnbrauer (25th season).
Last year’s record: 5-4; District 12-2A Champs.
Key performers lost: Jack Crotty, Kevin Gianoni and Bryce U’Selis. All three were district qualifiers in multiple events and U’Selis was district winner in the 200 free.
Key returners: Six swimmers return who were all district qualifiers: Cody Kulick, John Murphy, Solomon Leo, Ryan O’Rourke, Austin Helmer, John Lee and Kieran O’Donnell. O’Donnell won the one-meter district dive event, John Lee the 100 fly and 100 free and Ryan O’Rourke the 100 breaststroke.
Others to watch: Matthew Schmidt, So., looks to add to the list of district qualifiers in 2021.
Strengths: Ryan O’Rourke in the 100 breaststroke returns with a district win as does John Lee in the 100 free and fly and Kieran O’Donnell in the diving. Other returners will add depth in multiple events.
Coach: Stephen Duncheskie.
Key performers lost: Liam Smith, Kevin O’Dare, Patrick Cunningham, Alex Patti.
Key returners: Conor Goodyear; Paul Brosky; Dan McBryan; Harry Hearn.
Coach: Sarah Stevens (third season).
Last year’s record: 6-4 in the PAC.
Key returners: Jan Perez-Bonilla, Sr.; Ryan Valle, Sr.; Dan Chimes, Sr.; Tommy Gibbs, Jr.; Dylan Phan, Jr.; Christopher Groff, So.
Outlook: The Warriors made major strides a year ago and look to build on that success in the competitive PAC.
Coach: Jeff Faikish (ninth season).
Last year’s record: 6-0 SOL Continental; District 1-3A Champs; PIAA-3A Runner-Up.
Key performers lost: Greyson Campbell; Eric Degodny; Sean Faikish; William Klein; Evan Mancini; Bryon Rimmer; Liam Rowland; Luke Schwar; Sage Trautz.
Key returners: Max Bachman, Sr., free; Nick Clark, Sr., free; Matt Harkrader, Sr., free; Aidan Faikish, So., IM; Robert Freece, Jr., IM; Ryan Faikish, Sr., free; Luke Engel, Sr., free; Kyle Stressman, Sr., fly.; Andrew Davis, So., breast.
Outlook for the season: The Knights lost some key guys to graduation but should be able to fill some holes with a promising group of returners.
Coach: Jenna Anselmo (third season).
Last year’s record: 2-8.
Key performers lost: Declan Mullen (100 backstroke).
Key returners: Joseph Hong, Sr., 200 IM/100 breaststroke; Greg Bashaar, Sr., 100 back/200 IM/sprint freestyle; Julian Arteaga, Sr., 50/100 free; Brett Mussleman, Jr., 50/100 free/butterfly; Darien Rajan, Jr., 100 fly/200 IM; Sean Whitehurst, So., 100 fly/100 free; Nick Marzuco, Sr., diving.
Others to watch: Zachary Yardley, Sr., free/fly; Nate Lutz, Jr., wildcard, all events; Danny Whalen, Jr., 200/500 free; Timur Akman, Fr., freestyle/butterfly.
Coach Anselmo says: “We are very strong in the sprint freestyle events with a lot of depth to be able to put together some great relay combinations. Our district-qualifying medley relay is back again with Bashaar, Hong, Mussleman and Arteaga looking to get a Pennridge boys relay to states for the first time in many years. We are working on building some depth in our distance freestyle events as well as in backstroke and breaststroke.”
Pope John Paul II
Coach: Emily Thomas (fourth season).
Last year’s record: 1-8 in the PAC.
Key returners: Henry Phillips, So.; Josh Murtaugh, Sr.; Kevin Bleam, Fr.; Aidan Maiale, Fr.; Nathan DeMedio, Fr.; Michael Fiore, Fr.
Outlook: Experience in the big meets should help the team down the stretch.
Coach: Lou Williams (third season).
Last year’s record: 5-1 in the SOL Continental, 8-3 overall.
Key performers lost: Austin Graham, Will Leyland, Matt Masciulli, Erik Moyer, Kyle Creachen.
Key returners: Robbie Ferlick, So., free/fly; Brien Yaglenski, Sr., back/IM; Drew Stephens, Jr., sprint free; Kristian Stanczewski, Sr., IM/distance free; Paxton Flandro, Sr., diving.
Others to watch: Kyle Krader, Jr., fly; Austin Michalak, So. IM/distance free; Will Stanczewski, Fr. IM/distance free; Oliver Milles, Jr. diving; Alex Martin, Jr., diving.
Strengths: Sprint freestyle events.
Question marks: Lots of underclassmen
Coach: Greg Huff (second season).
Last year’s record: 11-1 in the PAC.
Key returners: Brendan Baganski, Sr.; Sam Ricci, Sr., swimming/diving; Andrew Cubbler, Sr.
Outlook: The Rams should be in the mix for the PAC title in 2021.
Coach: Corey Besz.
Last year’s record: 6-3 in the PAC.
Key returners: Andrew Hoy, Sr.; Michael Lemishko, Sr.; Cody Nguyen, Sr.; Jack Larkin, Jr.
Outlook: The Vikings have some postseason experience on their roster and should make a push in the PAC as well.
Coach: Jonathan Faikish (third season).
Last year’s record: 3-9.
Key performers lost: Anthony Schoppe; Griffin Bowers.
Key returners: Sid Rajesh, Sr., sprint free; Danny Crump, Jr., sprint free; Nathan Valentine, So., freestyle/IM/back; Hudson Bowers, So., IM/breast; Nick Donofrio, So., distance free.
Others to watch: Owen Latchford, Sr., butterfly/distance freestyle; Gabe Decker, Sr., breaststroke; Sam Forde, Sr., breaststroke; Tyler Shilling, So., backstroke/butterfly.
Coach Faikish says: “We have a good blend of older and younger swimmers that have been together for years. All work hard together and that mixture can create something special for this season.”