Shaler Area sports notebook: Swim team must overcome small roster

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Thursday, December 5, 2019 | 11:50 PM


Keith Simmons knows winning dual meets will be a tough task for the Shaler Area swim program this season.

The Titans don’t have a deep roster.

“Success will have to come from a collective group because the size of our team has gone from 35 swimmers to 22,” Simmons said. “I think they are all going to have to step up and put effort into it.”

Shaler lost several successful swimmers who reached WPIALs last year but will have some young talent returning. During scrimmages against Montour and Central Valley, Simmons thought the Titans showed fight.

“They look good. We’ve had two scrimmages where we didn’t look bad,” Simmons said. “They didn’t swim their usual events.”

Junior Peter Lesnett qualified for WPIALs last season on the 200-yard freestyle relay team. His sister, Virginia, will have an opportunity to contribute on the girls side.

Jake Bacasa qualified for districts as part of an individual medley relay, and Simmons believes he could challenge for a spot in a few individual events.

Isabella Cercone also will have an opportunity to qualify in some events. Cercone swam in the 200 freestyle relay at WPIALs. She was joined on that relay by junior Lydia Nebiolo and seniors Olivia DiBon and Jenna Stanton.

“They have to step up if they expect to do it,” Simmons said. “Most of them have put in a better effort in practice. The first week and a half or two weeks they have had a lot of energy because they are returning to the pool.”

Shaler hockey stops skid

The Titans, who had lost seven straight to start the season, picked up their first win of the season by beating South Fayette, 6-3.

Shaler (1-8) scored four goals in the third to rally for the win. William Junker (two), Joey Laquatra, Sam Stayduhar, Luke Behran and Dylan Sarnowski registered goals for the Titans. Anthony Hefferin made 12 saves in net for Shaler.

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