By Jamie Boeheim and Mary Austin
Starting the season off with a 10-1 record, the 43 swimmers on the largest ever Jamesville-DeWitt/Christian Brothers Academy Boys Varsity Swimming team dive into their season with many goals to achieve. “They are a very lively bunch that enjoy being on the team,” said Head Coach Bob Bewley, who is also a physical education teacher at CBA.
Coach Bewley explains how goals are “a means to motivate your team to excel. Many people mistake goals as a prediction and only set goals that once achieved make them look better.” Bewley states that the team’s goals for the season are to win the OHSL, win the Class A Boys Section Three title, and to qualify at least one relay team for the state meet. In order to achieve these goals, Coach Bewley requires that his team has 30 minutes of “rigorous physical dryland conditioning” that focuses on muscle groups that will improve his swimmers starts and turns. Coach Bewley also adds that he is aiming to teach the swimmers to swim smarter, not just harder. He believes his task as a coach is for each swimmer or diver to achieve his personal best time or dive score, and to make the atmosphere of the team so favorable that swimming on the team is the “best athletic experience at JD, and to teach life skills of personal responsibility and accountability through the sports.” Coach Bewley believes that if the team stays healthy and concentrated they should do well at sectionals and states.
Even though the swim team is conjoined with CBA, just like ice hockey and wrestling, there are varying opinions about how this affects the team. Freshman diver Ryan Evans thinks that some of the CBA boys are “very annoying” and they bother him. However, senior captain Ben Vahey likes having the partnership with CBA because they have the privilege of building great relationships with them, and they “do a great job for the team.”
One of the things that the captains do to overcome the rivalry with CBA is encourage sportsmanship throughout the team. The senior captains this year are Vahey, Spencer Sutherland, Kevin Potocki, and Corey Knapp. Ryan Evans explains that the team shakes hands with their competitors after every race and the captains really encourage being nice to the other teammates and not “saying anything offensive towards others.” When it comes to races against fellow teammates losing can bring unsportsmanlike conduct between one another. Junior Connor Evans says the captains encourage the team to “come together to win races.”
Every year, the team looks forward to having good competition with Liverpool High School, the top Section III team, and Watertown, which had the most swimmers at the state meet last year. The team already lost to Watertown this season but have not faced Liverpool yet. Vahey said that his goal for the season is “to try and get into sectionals and our main goal as of now is to beat Liverpool. Liverpool has beaten us for years and they have a really good team but we want to beat them.”
The team hopes to win the majority of their meets during the season. The boys next meet is Friday, Jan. 9. and they swim against Liverpool on Jan. 22.