Six years back, Whitman-Hanson Regional High partnered with the longstanding Middleboro High girls’ swimming/diving team to form a co-op, and this season they’ve expanded that partnership.
If you’re a boy and attend Whitman-Hanson, you can make a splash in the pool as the school now offers it as a boys’ sport as well.
“I am very excited to have a boys’ team,” fourth-year W-H head coach Sean Siciliano said. “We are one team – Middleboro and Whitman Hanson. W-H having a boys’ team allows us to increase the numbers for that team and it also gives us depth as a team.”
As a far as meets go, nothing will change. After either the boys or girls square off against their opposition in one event, the next will do the same, and so on until the meet has concluded.
While the sport still gains traction among boys at W-H, two swimmers – junior Nate Manley and freshman Brian Pham – have joined the squad this year from the school. Both come from different backgrounds.
“Manley is a new swimmer, meaning he has never swam competitively, but is very coachable and will be versatile on the team,” Siciliano said. “Then we have Pham, who swims on a club team. At this point he is the fastest kid on the team. He is a great kid great athlete and very receptive to feedback.”
As for the girls’ team, which finished last season at 4-6, Siciliano said he hopes for much of the same success for his swimmers.
Captaining the club from W-H will be senior Phoebe Bonney, who despite nursing a hip injury last season that hindered her in the pool, still had a positive impact.
“She continues to rehab that and we are hoping that we can get her back to full health in the near future,” Siciliano said. “Outside of the pool she is and amazing leader. She is always helping new swimmers, helping us coaches and looking out for what is best for the team.”
Sophomore Madison Navicky, who concluded the year with a co-team-high four medals, was a key contributor in a series of events, including the 200-yard medley relay, 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. Siciliano said her versatility is a huge asset to the team.
“She can swim pretty much anything and she is just fun to have a practice,” he said. “She is an amazing swimmer and an amazing leader and she is so coachable I think that she will be one of the biggest contributors for the girls team this season.”
Anchoring the 1-meter dive will be Sabrina O’Connor, who concluded her campaign last season by scoring 180 points at the South Shore Championships.
“She has started the season out well and should thrive this year as she increases her variety of dives and increases her DD,” Siciliano said.
Others from W-H penned on the roster include freshmen Mariella Crowley, Leah Hutchings and Erin Tilley and sophomore Niki Kamperides.
WHAM will be back in competition on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 4:15 p.m. at Burkland Pool in Middleboro against Randolph.
“I would love to send at least on relay from both the boys’ and the girls’ [team] to states,” Siciliano said. “Last year the boys didn’t make it but the girls did and I think this year they could both make it if we train hard all season.”