Swimming preview: Devils expect to be competitive in the CCC




The Plainville boys swim team comes into the season looking to be competitive in the CCC after graduating six seniors from last year’s team that went 6-6 and finished 15th in the Class S.

It marked the third year in a row that Plainville has improved its standing in the Class S rankings and head coach Chris Zagorski is looking for that trend to continue. The Blue Devils have strong leadership built around eight returning seniors and eight juniors.

Senior Chris St. Lawrence heads up the three relays having competed in last year’s Class S meet in the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay. He will be joined by seniors Wyatt LaCombe, Tyler Mandeville, Zach Dery and Zach McGough along with Dominic Sousa, Jared Serrano-Aviles and Jacob Malloy.

“I would like to think that the last three seasons we have seen the team on the rise,” said Zagorski. “We had a strong freshman class come in two years ago and they are juniors this year. They have made great strides and we have even larger numbers this year with 25 swimmers compared to about 14 three years ago.”

Leading the juniors this season is Joe Michalic who swam the 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay in last years Class S along with the 200 IM and the 100 butterfly.

Juniors Colin Blake (500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay) and Brandon Paznokas (100 backstroke, 400 freestyle relay) swam multiple events in last years Class S with Nathan Lyman swimming in the 200 freestyle.

Juniors Darrell Gorneault, Matt Lagassey, Sam Masco and Brady Stevens add to the teams upperclass leadership and brings a wealth of experience to the lineup.

“We have a lot of athletes that play multiple sports,” said Zagorski. “They have a strong work ethic and I know they all worked out in the offseason to get ready for the season.”

Zagorski said that assistant coach Pete Dalena, a former Plainville swimmer and diver, is working with Plainville’s diving prospects—Zach Dery and freshman Christian Ellis. Ellis placed third in the middle school championships last year.

“The CCC is always strong with Berlin and Middletown,” said the coach, “but I think we can be competitive in that next tier and finish in the middle of the pack.”

Sophomore Nico Fasold swam at the Class S meet last year in the 200 medley relay and returns with experience. Sophomores Alexander Dube, Dan Sozanski, Justin Niziolek and Matt Morneault will be looking for expanded roles this season.

Freshman Ryan Dickey, Patrick Kapusta and Spencer Michalek along with Ellis bring in a little depth as coach Zagorski is looking to build a stable lineup around three swimmers in each event.

“The strength of the team is our long distance swimmers,” said Zagorski. “Nate Lyman is 18 seconds away from the school record in the 500 and has been pretty solid for us in the 200 and 500. Colin Blake is coming on strong and had a real good offseason.”

Plainville gets the season underway on Friday Jan 3 at home to Farmington and on Tuesday Jan 7 they will host neighboring rival Southington.

“We are looking forward to continuing the trend of the last three seasons,” said Zagorski. “We have a solid lineup that has some depth. If we continue to work hard and get better by the time the post season swims come around we can be competitive.”