Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

High Schools

January 24, 2013

A big splash up in the Blue Zone

Cavaretta's arrival coincides with Newfane Lady Panthers' pool success


Winning breeds happiness, or — in the case of veteran Newfane swim coach Jim Cavaretta — happiness breeds winning.
The Lady Panthers have dominated the Niagara-Orleans League over the last five years, surpassing Albion as the league’s girls’ powerhouse soon after Cavaretta took over in 2008. It was a joint, positive effort by both the former Clarence and Williamsville East coach and a very supportive school district.
“My first year here, we finished 12-2, with our only losses coming to Albion, which had been the league champion for five years in a row, undefeated,” Cavaretta said.
“I think that was the driving force. We had a lot of talent here and for years, they’d been told they weren’t any good. On my second day here, I told them ‘There IS a lot of talent here. You ARE good.’ “
Since then, Newfane’s girls have dominated the league, winning every title along the way, including this year, where they currently stand 9-0.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the desire and the drive that the school gives to the program,” Cavaretta said. “Here, we have a brand new pool and they treat me like a rock star. I told the athletics director (Doug Ames) when I came here, ‘I won’t ask for many things, but what I do ask for, I expect to get.’ ”
Cavaretta said the overwhelming support he receives from Newfane school administrators are direct and indirect. “Mrs. Christine Tibbetts, our superintendent, and principles Tom Stack, Tom Adams and Pamela Leibring and board members — they all come to the meets here. There’s 300-400 people here at home meets. It’s unbelievable.”
Newfane senior Lillian Masters believes. She’s been with the program through its transition from league unknown to four-year dynasty — six years in all.

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