Buckhorns and Lady Bucks have their sights set on a deep run
The Wallenpaupack Area boys and girls varsity swim teams are set for another year other action in the Lackawanna League lanes.
Both squads are bringing back a slew of talented swimmers hoping to garner the Buckhorns some wins during the season as well as challenge for several district titles.
Ladies Look Solid
Undoubtedly, the Campbell sisters Cailin, a senior, and Kara, a junior will pack a one-two punch for Paupack again this year.
Both have been standouts for the squad since their freshman years and have repeatedly earned trips to the podium at the district level, each walking away with multiple gold medals.
However, much can be said about the rest of the ladies squad as well.
The Buckhorns graduated a number of talented ladies who filled vital roles by winning spots deeper in the field and by adding punch to the relay squads.
Thankfully, a solid set of seniors, Mary Harmuth, Maddie Schmalzle, and Kayla Prestianni; junior Liz Desmet; and sophomores Jasmine Elgayar and Kristen Kreiter all return with experience and skill.
Look for Harmuth to be a factor in the breaststroke and Prestianni in both the sprints and distance freestyles.
Another distance swimmer is Kreiter. Elgayar can make waves in the butterfly, and Schmalzle is versatile enough to fill many roles.
The Campbells are dangerous in whatever they choose to swim although Kara will likely focus toward the butterfly and Cailin might be hedging towards the sprints this season.
Adding some more depth to the fly swimmers this winter is frosh Ellen Fago.
Swimming tends to attract a lot of other athletes from different sports who use the pool as a winter conditioning routine.
Some other multi-sporters filling up the Paupack roster this year are Mia Watson, Sydney Colwell, Abbi McCue, Kayla Schmalzle.
While the Lady Bucks suffered a 119-61 loss to Delaware Valley in their league opener, Kara Campbell won the butterfly with a time of 59.82 to break the DV pool record.
“We lost a few swimmers that made contributions to us for many years but have some solid returners that should keep us competitive again,” said Head Coach Stephanie Campbell.
For whatever reason, the Paupack guys program still remains sizably smaller than the girls.
While depth will be the Achilles Heel of the squad for the foreseeable future, the team does have some standout swimmers ready to roll to some wins this year.
“We’re a little down with the boys this year,” Coach Campbell said. “There’s a lot of teaching, and a lot of building, but they are looking to get better and eager to learn.”
Although the Bucks lost two swimmers from the relocation of the McCabe family, seniors Justin Romeo and Phil Van Wettering and sophomores Mike Wildenberg and Hunter Vargo bring back some veteran experience.
Senior Sean Jacobs, junior Joe Doscher, sophomores Caleb Fylstra and John Keane also return for another season and are looking to make additional contributions.
Romeo posted Paupack’s lone boys win versus DV last week in the breast stroke, an event in which he medaled in during last year’s district meet.
Paupack postponed its 12/17 match versus Valley View so they won’t be back in competition 1 /2 when they take on Abington.
They square off against Holy Cross on 1/7 and then have a ladies’ only meet versus Dunmore on 1/16.
On 1/24 they contend with Scranton, they face Elk Lake on 1/29, battle with Scranton Prep on 2/7; and close their card with a bout with West Scranton on 2/11.
The Les Richards League finals will be held on 2/15-16 at Scranton High School.