Girls Swim Team Loaded With Depth, Boys Top Heavy Entering Winter Season

The Whaler boys and girls swim teams have plenty of talent entering this winter season, which should make for an exciting year. But the meets will also look and feel more normal this year, with opposing teams competing in the same pool rather than virtually like they did last season because of the pandemic.

“It was such a hard year last season but the fact we can go showcase away and out of this pool, I mean, it will be nice to go swim in a pool that isn’t ours,” head coach Jim Pignato said. “Even going to Sandwich for this jamboree (today) will be great. It doesn’t hold much weight but it will be great to get back into the swing of it with travel on the boat, swimming next to your competition, stuff like that.”

The girls team will lean on Emma Davis to lead the way. The Div. I commit to Sacred Heart had an excellent season last year and has the talent to compete with almost any swimmer in the state in some of these sprint events like the 50 freestyle.

“Emma Davis is one of the top sprinters in the state so we will be kind of looking to her to continue that success and help lead us on that side,” Pignato said. “On the girls team as a whole though it is extremely deep. It is really kind of like that old New England Patriots mantra of next man up with this group. We have so much depth and we can do so many different things. It is going to be a lot of fun to play around with this lineup.”

Pignato said he couldn’t just name a few swimmers when talking about the ones who will make the largest impact for the girls team.

“I think each week we will be talking about a new, different female swimmer just because they emerged and took advantage of an opportunity in a meet that they earned during practice to showcase what they can do,” he said.

On the boys side, senior captain Kevin Johnson will be asked to step into some big spots to help propel a thin depth chart for the boys to some wins.

“Kevin has been a member on a lot of relay teams that have had a lot of success over the years,” Pignato said. “He comes in with a lot of institutional knowledge and experience that hopefully our younger swimmers can learn from. We have two seventh grade swimmers and an eighth grader on the team, so hopefully that senior leadership can trickle down through the lineup and help develop these younger swimmers.”

But the boys should still be capable of fielding a solid relay team. Along with Johnson, his freshman brother Jake, junior Justin Roethke, and eighth grader Parker Valero will be a dangerous group that can win a lot of relays, Pignato said.

Pignato admittedly wasn’t sure what his team would be prior to the first string of practices in terms of numbers, but said both teams have had strong starts to their preseasons and have given him plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the outlook on the season.

“It is a really talented group from top to bottom,” he said. “It was really nice because we were able to get right into working and we were doing very little developing. We have just been going right into building a base and working these kids.”

The Whalers have a jamboree in Sandwich today (weather permitting) and will swim in their first official meet on Thursday, December 16, against Sandwich at the Nantucket Community Pool at 5:30 p.m.

Written By
More from David Creed

Current Court Report – January 5, 2022

This week’s Current Court Report includes arraignments and dispositions from Monday’s Nantucket...
Read More