Niagara Gazette

Sports

November 30, 2012

N-W swimmers channel past success

Niagara Gazette — Behind a strong returning group, the Niagara-Wheatfield boys swimming team is looking to do more than defend last year’s Niagara Frontier League title this season. This year’s Falcons are looking to match the success of the program’s glory days.

Entering the new season on a 28-meet winning streak that spans the last two NFL seasons, the Falcons are entering the neighborhood of the 48-meet undefeated streak they had five years ago.

“We had a pretty good run a couple years ago,” N-W coach Mike Casaro said. “Obviously, we’d like to get back to that.”

Leading the way for the Falcons will be senior Josh Miller, who broke the school’s 5-year-old record in the 100-meter butterfly in the team’s opening meet on Tuesday. 

Joining him will be fellow seniors Jared Franciosa and diver T.J. Bradfield-MacKenzie, junior Dan Peltier and sophomores Jack Jibb, Tyler Fleming and Josh Pittman.

Miller, who naturally swims the backstroke, asked Casaro to try the butterfly before this season.

“He’s a dedicated kid, and he puts so much into it,” said Casaro about Miller, who’s been swimming varsity since seventh grade. “He’s academically brilliant. He’s a super student, a super athlete and our team captain.”

The Falcons do face some question marks, though. This year’s roster (31 boys) is down from 44 last year. Casaro said he worries about shrinking numbers in the future due to the loss of the modified program, which was cut this season due for budgetary reasons.

“We tend to have a lot of kids who come out, but that might change without a modified team,” he said. “I worry sometimes that kids might not think they’re good enough to come out for varsity or junior varsity. … We take everyone, and we’ll work with kids who want to try.”

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