BEACON FALLS — Thanks to an influx of youth, Woodland boys swim coach Tom Currier enters this season with one of the largest rosters he’s had in his seven years guiding the Hawks.
The Hawks started practice 23 swimmers deep; up from 19 last year and 13 two seasons ago.
“We’re looking good,” said Currier as he watched over the team warming up in the pool last week. “We’re definitely a younger team, a newer team.”
The larger roster is due to a seven-member freshmen class. While the Hawks are trending younger this season, the team has more than its share of experienced swimmers returning from a squad that finished sixth and 13th at the Naugatuck Valley League and Class S championships, respectively, last year.
Leading the way for the Hawks will be seniors James Jensen, Donovan White and Jordan Baer.
Currier said Jensen, White and Baer have demonstrated leadership with their demeanor and effort throughout their careers, and he is looking to them to show the younger Hawks the way.
“They’re into it; they enjoy it,” Currier said. “They’re role models for everybody else.”
Senior Samantha Moscariello, who is in her first year on the team, provides additional senior leadership for the Hawks.
The junior and sophomore ranks include swimmers that have experienced state competition. Juniors Julie Hinckley and Colin Kennelly along with sophomores Jake Stow and Zach Bellavance comprised the 400 freestyle relay team that finished 18th at the Class S meet last season.
Currier expects Stow, Bellavance and fellow sophomore Chase Chura to play larger roles for the team this season.
Currier also anticipates that some of his newcomers will make a splash. He said freshmen Greg Aldrich and Zach Arision will fill some roles this year, while freshman Riley Clark will give the Hawks a diving presence.
Woodland lacked a consistent diver last year who could complete all six dives. Currier anticipates that with some work Clark can become that diving threat for the Hawks.
As the first meet of the year approaches, Currier’s goals for this season are simple: improve personal times, have fun and create a good team unity. He is also looking to the future with an emphasis on getting the freshmen and sophomores ready to lead.
The Hawks open the season Tuesday on the road against Crosby.