Written by Ronald Scaglia, Rscaglia@antonnews.com Friday, 08 March 2013 00:00
Massapequa Boys Swimming Head Coach Natalie Gallagher must’ve had mixed emotions when she returned from the state championships in Webster. On one hand, senior Trevor Dearstyne finished third in the 50-freestyle and earned all-state honors with a time of 21.21 seconds, which was a personal best for him. He also placed in the top eight in the 100-freestyle finishing with a time of 47.26 seconds, also a personal best. His coach was extremely proud.
“Trevor is a scholar athlete, “said Gallagher “he’s been swimming since he was very young. He swims all year long. He’s a leader. He leads by example. You could put Trevor in any event and he will persevere. “
While Gallagher is proud of what Dearstyne has accomplished, she also is likely a little melancholy as he is a senior and he will be leaving Massapequa High School upon graduation this year. In fact, the team will be losing key members of the team who will be graduating.
“I have the best team, “she said. “You want to make sure the kids are respectful and show good sportsmanship. The character of these scholar athletes is unbelievable. They worked hard all season long. They always do their best for the team. It’s a great honor to coach them. “
Gallagher spoke about some of the seniors who will be leaving the swim team. Among them is Anthony Buogois. In only his second year of diving, he earned all-conference honors. He also broke two records. His coach says he works very hard in the off-season and is sure he will be amazing for SUNY Geneseo, where he is going next year.
Also leaving next year is senior captain Thomas Soregaroli. He earned all-conference honors in the 200-individual medley, all division honors in the medley relay and also earned all division honors in the 100-backstroke. His coach says that he was chosen as a captain because he shows great leadership.
“He sets a great example for his younger teammates, “she said. “He’s dedicated.”
Tyler Dowd is another captain who is a three-sport varsity athlete. Gallagher said that he always puts 100 percent into whatever he’s doing and will do whatever is necessary to help his team. In fact she said he even participates in diving events to help the team, and because of that, his team won some very close matches because he contributed with dives, even though that is not his primary event.
Michael Cordava is another senior captain. He earned all-conference honors in the 200-medley relay. A member of the team for four years, his coach says that he is a great swimmer and a great individual, who works extremely hard to be the best he can. In fact she said his time in the 100-breaststroke at the end of the season was 1:10, significantly lower than the 1:20 mark he started the season at.
“That’s a very hard-working dedicated season,” said his coach.
Although the seniors are leaving, Gallagher hopes that some of the younger members of the team will learn from the example they sent and reach the same achievements. One of the swimmers that she has high hopes for is eighth-grader William Eng. His coach said right now he is a sprinter, although he could eventually swim longer events. Whether he swims short or long events, Gallagher is hoping he will fill some of the void left by the departing seniors.
However, it will take a mighty fine effort to equal the efforts of Dearstyne. In addition to being a great swimmer, his coach credits his work ethic as a reason for his success. The coach said he practiced very hard at turns and breakouts in order to prepare for the state finals. The effort was definitely worth it, because of his fine effort and the honor he achieved.
“At the state finals he just hit everything right,” the coach said. “He had a great swim.”
The entire team had a great swim this year. For Gallagher, the sad part is that she has to say goodbye to some of them. However, the hope is the legacy they created by the hard work and dedication this year will pass on to the members of the team in the years to come. And that’s certainly something to make a splash about.