By Kevin Prise
This year, the Mustangs have added a separate boys coach: Aaron Moessinger, who works in the Lyndonville district. Dooley is back, coaching just the girls team.
For Dooley, the split serves as a great opportunity to work with the girls more and help them realize their full potential throughout the winter season.
"We're in a rebuilding period, and we're going to really work with our younger swimmers and develop them," Dooley said. "It's a young squad, and our goal is always to keep swimming faster. We may not be the fastest, but if we can keep getting faster, we'll be okay."
This season, Dooley has high hopes for the trio of sophomore Haylee Cogovan (who finished in fourth place in breaststroke at last year's Niagara-Orleans/Genesee Region League crossover meet), sophomore Emma Gardner and senior Max Wright.
Dooley is also encouraged by the team's high level of chemistry and togetherness, saying that the girls genuinely like each other and root for each other, traits that can propel a team to upset victories that might otherwise not be possible.
The Lady Mustangs finished fourth in the N-O league last season, and hope to continue on an upward trend this year, Dooley said. The veteran coach also added that the recent addition of a modified swimming program has helped recruit a larger contingent of swimmers, and that the strength in numbers should only help the program down the road.
"The impact since the modified program has been reinstated has been amazing," Dooley said. "It keeps kids from showing up rusty at the varsity level."
Moessinger heard of the boys swim coach opening via Mark Hughes, who works in the Lyndonville district and is the father of Medina athletic director Chris Hughes. Intrigued, Moessinger applied and was awarded the job. The two districts are not currently merged for swimming (Lyndonville doesn't have a team), but a merger could be a possibility in the future.
For now, Moessinger and the Medina team are simply excited for the upcoming season.
"We're hoping to stay in the top half of the league this year," Moessinger said. "We did lose a few important seniors, after being in the top half last year, but we have some good kids."
Leading the way for the Medina boys will be sophomore Chase Pecoraro, junior Austin Brown and fall cross-country standout junior Austin Heil, all of whom qualified for the sectional swim meet last season, Moessinger said.
Medina also boasts four seniors on its boys roster — Patrick Roberts, Phil Schicker, Sam Simms and Gilles Daieno. Juniors on the team also include Matthew Cochrane, Nick Dieter, Derek Donley, Ian McAnn and James Soha.
The Mustang boys lost a strong contingent of departed seniors, a collection that included Bryer Boyce, Ben Austin, Steven Hann and Mason Roberts.
This year's team is rounded out by sophomore Damien Norrish, freshmen Powell Stephens, Kristian Snyder and Kevin Capstick, and eighth-graders Mason Pecoraro and Daniel Heil.
Medina opens its season on Monday, with a 5:30 p.m. meet at Alexander of the Genesee Region League.
Date Opponent Time