Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

November 27, 2012

The bigger picture

Young, promising swim Lions open NFL season this week

LOCKPORT — With the meat of his starting line-up lost to graduation and just one returning starting senior this season, you know it isn’t going to be a sprint to the finish for head coach John Sullivan’s Lockport swim Lions this winter. It’s the start of a marathon two-year plan.

The swim Lions finished 12-2 in the Niagara Frontier League (12-3 overall) and were fourth in the Class A Championships a year ago, led by state qualifier (50 freestyle) Garrett Sheehan, Mike Stroud, Phil Crane and Andrew Wojcinski, all lost to graduation. Lockport opens its 2012-13 NFL slate at 5 p.m. today, hosting Kenmore East.
“Each one of the 11 seniors we lost to graduation is missed and I’ve had frank conversations about this team and the program,” Sullivan said. “I tell the boys every week that this will not be a sprint to the finish, but a two-year marathon. No one needs a big performance. Sure, I’d like to see as many guys as possible qualify for the class meet and sectional meets in February and see if we can get some state qualifiers, but the most important thing is looking at the next two years as one long season. This year, we’re trying to replace 11 graduated seniors and maybe find some new pieces to the puzzle.”
Participation numbers are up, Sullivan said, and are as high as they were six to eight years ago. This year’s 35-man Lions’ varsity swim roster features two seniors, nine juniors, seven sophomores, 11 freshmen, four eighth graders and two seventh graders.
Among the many key returners are senior diver Sean Kearns (fifth last year at NFLs), junior sprint freestyler Derek Secord, sophomore butterflyer Scott Guyton and athletic 6-3 junior sectional hopeful Shawn Moore, fresh off a strong season on the volleyball court.

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