Boys swimming prepares for season under new head coach


Jake Harris

The swimming team gets ready for a recent meet against Wheeling at the new natatorium.

The boys swimming and diving team began their new season, as well as a new era, this past month. This is the first season that the team will be swimming in the new natatorium that was built last year. After a season of traveling to other local schools for practices and home meets, the team will look to use the new pool to its advantage. Senior swimmer Nick Graziano is anticipating a strong season.

“I can’t wait to compete in the new pool,” Graziano said. “We have a lot more guys on the team this year, so I feel like it will give us a big advantage.”

You can find the team practicing in the pool Monday through Saturday, in addition to competing in various meets.

“An average practice for the team consists of a quick warm–up before focusing on the strokes that the swimmers will use in their meets,” Head Coach Jeffery Skalon said. “The team then ends practice with a cool–down to focus on good breathing habits in the water.”

This year, the team will be led by senior swimmers Graziano, Chris Schulstad, Sean Trinchere, Sam Payne, Liam Boubouleix, Robert Kackauskas, Nic Santiago and Kyle Grozdev.

“I feel that, as seniors, it is our responsibility to pose as leaders for the younger members,” Graziano said. “We set the tone for the underclassmen, and we take pride in doing that.”

The team began practicing for the upcoming season in November after the girls’ season came to an end. This season will also mark the first full season under coach Skalon’s leadership. Third–year varsity swimmer Payne is very optimistic about his new coach.

“We have more of a variety at our practices with our new coach,” Payne said. “He’s also very good at critiquing our strokes.”

When it is not in the water, the team makes sure it spends a lot of time with each other to build team chemistry. According to Payne, the team has pasta parties before every meet to discuss strategies and have fun.

The team began its season with a 67–118 victory over Palatine, (where the lower score wins). The team will travel to Prospect to take on the Knights this afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

The athletes will look to improve their times and bring home a victory. This meet is just one step in the long season ahead for the team.

“At the end of the day, we just want to have every member improve from where he was at the beginning of the season,” Skalon said. “A great program is defined by the character and dedication from the players and coaching staff and that’s what we’re building here at BG.”