by Peter Gobeille

Winter sports have begun here at Stuart and the swim and dive teams are beginning their season. The team will be facing the challenges that most sports teams face, which is having to deal with the crucial losses of seniors.

The team lost three seniors this year: Marco Perdomo, Eric Mioduski and Kaia Dunn, two of those swimmers (Perdomo and Mioduski) made states last year. The team does have returning senior swimmers Matt Hayes , and Matt McDougal.

The number of students that came out for the swim and dive team this year has decreased from last year. The swim and dive team has gone from a roster of 66 last year to 53 this year , but there are still a number of new swimmers and divers coming out for the team ranging from freshman to seniors all with different reasons to come out and swim. “I came out because I swam a few years ago and now I just want to do it as a sport in school,” said Freshman Devon Burns.

The Stuart swim and dive team has first year assistant swim coach Maya Pick and second year assistant swim coach Pat McAndrews to go along with head coach Callie Hyder.  McAndrews was a college swimmer, and Pick deals mostly with the new swimmers on the team. Sophomore John Lesko said, “The coaches have been extremely helpful and it’s really good to have multiple coaches’ help you improve as a swimmer.”

Meets started Dec. 5 and the team will be looking to improve from last year’s total record of 5-9. The team lost its season opener to Yorktown, a team that went 6-0 in its meets last year. In their latest meet against Mount Vernon, the Raiders’ beat the majors 177-132.

courtesy photo