Niagara Gazette — As the smallest school in the NFL, the Lancers face an uphill battle in most sports because of lower numbers. Janese said he expects the talent level on his team to reflect better with success at sectional races and home meets, where the four-lane pool helps make up for the difference in roster size.
“I have a small team, but I have four or five kids that should be right with anybody,” Janese said. “Based off last year, we should be right with them at the end.”
Like Niagara Falls, the Vikings face a rebuilding year of their own. Gone are seniors Seth Carey and Corey Price (RIT), who won a lot of races for Grand Island last year.
Coach Joe Mentor has only two seniors on his team in Matt Seaman and Chris Serrah, both of whom are in their fourth years on the team.
The good news is that the team’s sophomore class, highlighted by Jordan Piershalski, Ian Eisenberger, Steven White and Tim Winder, has already started making noise. In Tuesday’s opening loss against senior-laden Kenmore West, Piershalski (breaststroke) and Winder (backstroke) won the Vikings’ only two races.
“We definitely have a shot at being competitive,” Mentor said, “but it’s looking like it could be a rebuilding year of sorts.”
The Spartans return three key parts of last year’s ECIC II and Section VI Class B champions. Senior A.J. Joslin and juniors Robbie Luckman and Alec Toth are swimmers with state experience that highlight a deep roster that competes against some of the top programs in Western New York.
Gone are Luke Martinec and Matt Schutt, who finished second in the 100-meter breaststroke in states last year, but expected contributions from senior Bobby Adams, sophomore Drew Howard and freshman Andrew Luckman, Alex Stead and Lester Wagner have head coach Tim Menges excited about this year’s possibilities.