With the swim season just underway, here is a look at how Berkshire County teams stack up for the 2015-16 season.
Coach: Jill Svirida (11th year)
Last Season: 10-0 (girls), 10-0 (boys)
Key Returnees: Caroline Bissaillon, Emma Wilber, Kayla Dillon, Brandon Louison, Nick Gray, Ben Wyatt
The Spartans are once again the team to beat in Berkshire County League boys and girls swimming.
The girls squad, coming off a 10-0 campaign, will rely on Caroline Bissaillon (second in the 50 free, third in the 100 free at Western Mass. last season) while Emma Wilber (third in the 100 fly at Western Mass. last season) and Kayla Dillon (distance free) will also be important. Some newcomers on the girls side include Anna Rubino, Olivia Rubino, Aubrey Blanchard, Kathleen Bissaillon and Grace Phair, among others.
The boys were also 10-0 in 2015-16, and they return Brandon Louison (second in the 500 free and third in the 200 free at Western Mass. last season), Nick Gray (fly, IM) and Ben Wyatt (breaststroke, sprint free) while newcomer Nick Dillon will also contribute, among others.
Both the Spartans' boys and girls teams graduated some talent, but there is enough coming back to make it another successful season.
Coach: Anna Swierad (15th year)
Last Season: 5-5 (girls), 5-5 (boys)
Key Returnees: Bridget Ahearn, Phebe Hall, Jenna Staab, Zach LaForest, Kevin Gorry, Andrew Spencer
The Patriots are a young team this season with a lot of freshmen.
Mount Anthony, coming off a 5-5 season for both the girls and boys, has three senior girls, four juniors, two sophomores and nine freshmen. Meanwhile, the boys team has nine swimmers on the roster, a solid number for a boys team within the county.
In addition to Bridget Ahearn, Phebe Hall and Jenna Staab, the girls will rely on Savannah Robson, Lily Spencer, Jami Mathers and Shaana Staab. Munroe Ports, Shelby Haynes and Summer Lampron will also contribute, among others.
For the boys, Zach LaForest, a sophomore, will lead the way. Kevin Gorry, Andrew Spencer and Morgan Flynn will also be key. Owen Denue, plus a quartet of freshmen in Adam Sampsell, Tristain Thomas, Caden Watson and Luke Williams round out the squad.
Coaches: Jim Harrington (20th year, girls), Tim Mazzer (eighth year, boys)
Last Season: 7-3 (girls), 8-2 (boys)
Key Returnees: Hannah King, Carly Yon, Emily Taylor, Olivia Douhan, Lucas Godwin, Greg Fournier, Liam Mooney, Evan Dempsey
The Generals, coming off a very good season on the boys and girls sides, return key swimmers in both areas.
For the girls, Hannah King (free, breast), Carly Yon (fly, free), Emily Taylor (IM, breast) and Olivia Douhan (IM, fly) will lead the way along with newcomers Meagan Ellis, Abigal Marsh, Brianna McCann and Sophie Elser.
On the boys side, Lucas Godwin (back), Greg Fournier (distance, breast), Liam Mooney (IM, fly) and Evan Dempsey (free, breast) will combine with Hayden Plouffe, Jonathan Halse and Nathan Elzner, among others, to make the boys squad a team to beat once again.
The boys have a strong junior class, with some newcomers, while swimmers with club experience that are capable of swimming multiple strokes will help improve the squad.
Coach: Marisa Plant (seventh year)
Last Season: 2-7-1 (girls), 2-8 (boys)
Key Returnees: Spring Hajjar, Alexis Huxtable, Kyle Rochelo
The Braves swim in the difficult North Division, running into Monument Mountain, Mount Anthony and Pittsfield a combined six times over their 10 dual meets.
Taconic will try and get through that slate with the solid swimmers on its roster, including Spring Hajjar and Alexis Huxtable in the free events plus freshman Delaney Ives in the fly, among others.
The girls team has 10 swimmers overall for the 2015-16 season.
On the boys side, senior captain Kyle Rochelo will lead the way in the free events while freshman Gabriel Carrington, who swims breast, will combine to be just some of the key swimmers on a five-man squad that is capable of submitting a relay team.
Co-Coaches: Tim Christiansen (ninth year) and Kara O'Hare (fourth year)
Last Season: 1-9 (girls), 3-7 (boys)
Key Returnees: Kalee Hennig, Gigi French, Lindsey Smith, Nolan Jones, Zack Shepard
A young team with the majority of its swimmers in 10th grade or lower, New Lebanon has seen a rise in students participating over the past two years.
The girls squad is led by senior Kalee Hennig (50 free, 500 free), versatile sophomore Gigi French (100 breast, 200 IM) and sophomore Lindsey Smith (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly).
On the boys side, sophomore Nolan Jones (50 free, 100 free, 100 breast) and senior Zack Shepard (50 free, 100 free, 100 breast), who is returning from some injuries that hampered him last season, lead the way.
Coach: Eryn Brewer (second year)
Last Season: 9-1 (girls), 4-6 (boys)
Key Returnees: Jessie Tobin, Julia Whitney, Emma Whitney, Liz Bernardy, Elizabeth Bartlett, Bailey DiSanti, Artem Dudka, Micah Tassone
Coached by former Hoosac Valley coach Eryn Brewer, now in her second season at the helm of St. Joseph, the Crusaders bring back a lot of quality swimmers from a 9-1 girls team in 2014-15.
Jessie Tobin, Julia Whitney, Emma Whitney, Liz Bernardy and Elizabeth Bartlett, among others, will help to make the girls team a tough out within the Berkshire County League. Tobin (third in the 500 free at states last season), Bernardy and Bartlett (breast) and Emma Whitney (100 back) help make the team versatile with quality swimmers in several different events.
On the boys side, Bailey DiSanti, Artem Dudka and Micah Tassone are just some of the swimmers who will try and help the squad this season.
Coaches: Tom Russo (14th year, boys), Ryan Kendrick (14th year, girls)
Last Season: 5-4-1 (girls), 8-2 (boys)
Key Returnees: Olivia Hornsby, Grace Howard, Meagan Conway, Olin Flaum, Anthony Porto, Jeffrey Hotaling
The team with the best boys record in the South last season and a girls record over .500 as well, Taconic Hills returns a lot of talent this season.
On the girls side, a young team with only one senior, it's Olivia Hornsby (fly, IM), Grace Howard (IM, breast), Meagan Conway (free), Cassidy Nesbitt (free), Anne Savage (breast), Madison Smith (free) and Kristen Farnham (free) all returning. Meanwhile, Alena Niggli, Gurleen Cheema, Krysta Skabowski, Clare Howard, Natalie Mier, Kendall Nesbitt, Emily Hayes, Lauren Lawson, Lily Russo, Lauren Madsen, Elizabeth Beck and Mackenzie Sparacino are the newcomers.
For the boys, Olin Flaum is a versatile senior who can swim any event other than breast. Anthony Porto, a junior, is versatile as well.
Other key swimmers include junior Jeffrey Hotaling and Adam Cottini. There are 12 boys overall on the squad.
Coach: Steve Kolis (first year)
Last Season: 2-8 (girls) and 0-10 (boys)
Key Returnees: Summer Daley, Michaela Defoe, Alex Daley, Morgan Therrien, Marki LaRochelle, Alexis Petersoli, Miles Cramer
Led by veteran coach Steve Kolis, who was the head coach at Taconic from 1996-2009 and an assistant coach at Wahconah for the past two years, the Warriors are in rebuilding mode.
Wahconah returns six swimmers from last season in senior Summer Daley (fly, IM, back), junior Michaela Defoe (back, free), junior Alex Daley (breast), junior Morgan Therrien (free), sophomore Marki LaRochelle (all strokes) and junior Alexis Petersoli (free).
There are a lot of newcoming swimmers, with 10 on the girls side (five juniors, five freshmen).
The boys team has two swimmers, as junior Miles Cramer returns and is competitive in all four strokes while freshman Noah Schweitzer (distance events) will also compete. Both boys are strong individual swimmers hoping to qualify for Western Mass.