Newburgh Free Academy’s boys’ swimming team returns this year after losing a pair of swimmers that gave the squad a solid foundation for many years.
“We had the backbone of Juan Peticco and Matt Johnson, six-year swimmers who were around a long time and scored a lot of points,” said Zach Williams, Newburgh’s coach. “We graduated quite a bit and replaced them with seventh and eighth-graders, basically.”
Peticco won the 500-freestyle and was second in the 200-freestyle at the Section 9 meet. The Goldbacks also won the 400-freestyle with Johnson, Peticco, Josh Bryant and Aleksey Makarov at the sectional meet.
Bryant and Makarov return. Bryant was fifth in the 100-breaststroke at the state meet, and Makarov was 20th in the event at the state meet. Bryant was also seventh in the 50-freestyle at state meet.
Bryant, Makarov and Ed Domanico return as the team’s most experienced swimmers with many sophomores and younger who have competitive club experience prior to becoming varsity swimmers.
“We have kind of done a 180 as far as the make-up of the team. We have a good amount of kids coming back,” said Williams. “(Club) helps with the experience. We’re probably not as young as we look on paper.”
By Bond Brungard