SOUTHINGTON - Following an undefeated season last year, the Southington boys swimming team came into this season with high expectations.
While the Blue Knights haven’t lived up to the standard they set last season, the difficult schedule this year bodes well for the rest of it and should be beneficial for the inexperienced swimmers on their roster.
“It’s been a different group,” senior Brendon Egan said. “Just because our record has four losses as opposed to zero last year, it doesn’t seem to affect our morale at all. We’re not focused on last season. We’re focused on this season and how to make this group the best that we can.”
The four losses this season have come to Conard, Cheshire, Glastonbury and Hall with the meet against the Warriors and the Rams coming down to the wire.
For the nine seniors on Southington’s roster, the record isn’t what they wanted, but the continuation of posting new best times each meet has been gratifying in its own right.
“I think it’s tough to have some losses,” Evan Bender said. “But we’ve definitely swam against some really good teams this year. But overall, we’ve had some great swims from all of our swimmers. I think it’s terrific to see how fast we’re all swimming and how good we’re doing in these meets.”
Over the course of the season, the Blue Knights have exceeded their goal of 12 best times in every single meet.
In a close loss to Cheshire, Southington had 30 best times alone.
The Blue Knight will close out its regular season schedule with a make-up meet against Farmington today at 3:45 at home, one that will be dedicated to the seniors.
“Friday is special because it really gives us an opportunity to reflect on and thank the senior class for everything that they’ve done with this program,” Southington head coach Evan Tuttle said. “I’ve got five senior captains and nine seniors total that have each done their own in building this program.”
Losses aside, it’s been another strong senior group for the team this year.
‘If you’re graduating a strong senior class every year, that’s the sign of a good program,” Tuttle said. “So I’m happy to say that we’ll be graduating another strong senior class this year.”
They will look to improve going forward in the state tournament and the State Open (March 17).
“It gives us a lot of motivation,” Egan said. “Opposed to having all the wins like last year, we’re out there trying to attack and move up the ranks and prove what we are and why we were conference champions last year.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org