By SHAUN ANICH
With the air getting colder and the snow falling more frequently, local high school swimming teams are ready to dive into winter headfirst.
Gloversville's Hunter Pieniazek swims the butterfly during Thursday's Foothills Council boys swim meet on Jan. 30 against Fonda-Johnstown at the Johnstown High School pool. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
At Gloversville High School, ninth year diving coach Matt Richardson will also be taking the head coaching reins from Mike Harrington this season.
"I have had the likes of coaching and learning from two great coaches, John Ferrie and Mike Harrington," said Richardson. "As the new head coach, I look to build on the success of our past and continue a tradition of what it means to be a Sea Dragon."
Gloversville will be without four strong graduates in Wade Inman, Nick Cirillo, Skyler Deming, and Brandon Paul. All four were members of 2012's 200-medley relay team.
After registering a 6-3 record last season and finishing fifth in sectionals, the Sea Dragons will welcome back returning swimmers Hunter Pieniazek, Jerame Cole, Matt Helou, Austin Flynn, Anthony Oathout, and Joslyn Pettit.
Gloversville's roster will also feature 17 newcomers.
Joining Richardson's coaching staff will be Gloversville High School graduate Joshua Morey. Morey spent four years diving for Hartwick College.
Canajoharie/Fort Plain grabbed a sixth place finish in sectionals last season and 12th year head coach Phil Horender has liked what he has seen to this point in the season.
"We have a lot of promising, talented underclassmen as well as a proven core of juniors and seniors," said Horender. "Based on how we finished last season and how hard the team is working, I'm encouraged on how well we'll do this year."
Canajoharie/Fort Plain is losing three swimmers from last season including Seth Ferguson and Chris Deyette, but will be adding two eighth graders in Bailey Smith and Joe Tremblay. The team has six returning swimmers.
Fonda-Johnstown is looking to build on a rough 1-6 2012 campaign. FoJo is not losing any swimmers from last year. They will return an experienced group of seven swimmers including Thomas German, Tyler Askew, Stephen Dunbar, and Daeshan Buseck.
"With a large number of returning athletes we look to build on our experience from last season," said second-year coach Julianna Popp.
Three newcomers will look to provide a spark for Fonda-Johnstown including Adam Denmark, Ben Russo, and Cameron Roten.