Panthers enjoy memorable season

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


THE PLYMOUTH BOYS swimming and diving team had a successful 2012-13 season, capped off by a ninth-place showing in the D-2 state meet. Team members include (bottom row, left to right) Zach Gambrell, Payten Wimmler, (second row) Andy Gumieny, Cole Henning, Evan Landry, Ben Pierce, Hunter Saladini, Chaz Halderson, Noah Joseph, Eric Novak, Mitch Eigenberger, Zack Jordan (third row) Brent Thiel, Michael Bolland, Evan Klemme, Dan Levan, Jordan Marshall, Herby Dunn, Ian McConnaha, Corby Gafney, (fourth row) Collin Miller, Lucas Collard, Austin Ernst, Tom Theisen, Ben Bachmann, Jake Landry, Matt Matz, Andrew Ziegler, Brad Hetlet, Peter Roth, Mark Novak, Mitch Halderson, (back row) Miguel Reynoso Gonzalez, Dylan Tripoli, Cormick Hnilicka, Mitch Tournour, Andrew Meyer and Inigo Acedo-Fernandez. Not pictured is Tuan Nyugen. — Photo by Ken Pannier THE PLYMOUTH BOYS swimming and diving team had a successful 2012-13 season, capped off by a ninth-place showing in the D-2 state meet. Team members include (bottom row, left to right) Zach Gambrell, Payten Wimmler, (second row) Andy Gumieny, Cole Henning, Evan Landry, Ben Pierce, Hunter Saladini, Chaz Halderson, Noah Joseph, Eric Novak, Mitch Eigenberger, Zack Jordan (third row) Brent Thiel, Michael Bolland, Evan Klemme, Dan Levan, Jordan Marshall, Herby Dunn, Ian McConnaha, Corby Gafney, (fourth row) Collin Miller, Lucas Collard, Austin Ernst, Tom Theisen, Ben Bachmann, Jake Landry, Matt Matz, Andrew Ziegler, Brad Hetlet, Peter Roth, Mark Novak, Mitch Halderson, (back row) Miguel Reynoso Gonzalez, Dylan Tripoli, Cormick Hnilicka, Mitch Tournour, Andrew Meyer and Inigo Acedo-Fernandez. Not pictured is Tuan Nyugen. — Photo by Ken Pannier PLYMOUTH — For head coach Clare Sedlacek, the 2012- 2013 Plymouth boys swimming and diving season stands out for several reasons. Sedlacek couldn’t be more proud of the Panther team which came on very strong in the final few weeks of the campaign.

“It was one of our most successful seasons since I began coaching in 2005, and also one of my favorite seasons, not just because we were successful but because it was a great team to work with on a daily basis,” she said.

The Panthers peaked at the end of the season – finishing second in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference Meet and the Division 2 sectional and placing ninth at state.

“I wasn’t surprised at how well we did by the end of the season, but don’t think I had the results in mind that these guys accomplished. I’m really proud of the efforts of the entire team to make this such a great year,” said the coach.

“The last month of the season was really something special, from seeing the entire team stretch from one end of the pool to the other on Parents’ Night, our individual and team performances at conference, including our exhibition swimmers, to one of the most exceptional sectional meets I’ve ever been a part of, all the way through to an amazing state meet.”

The Panthers qualified seven events for the state meet at the sectional. PHS continued its momentum in the state competition where it earned two medals and posted several season- or personal-best performances.

Winning state medals were senior Miguel Reynoso-Gonzalez who placed third in the 100-yard freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay unit of Gonzalez, seniors Mitch Tournout and Cormick Hnilicka and junior Matt Matz which placed fifth.

“The highlights [of the season] are how we performed as a team, both varsity and junior varsity,” commented Sedlacek.

“One of the best parts of this season was the strength of our JV team. Although they ended up competing against themselves much of the time, their only loss was to Division 1 Oshkosh West.

“Our numbers were crazy, with 39 guys finishing the season. Opposing coaches commented to me throughout the season on how impressive our numbers are, and that is a direct result of our guys committing themselves to work and the great results that we have as a team.”

Sedlacek was impressed with the Panthers’ sectional performance. The runner-up finish was Plymouth’s highest at the sectional level since 2010.

“It has been three years since we’ve had some hardware [toptwo teams earn trophies] for sectionals, so the time was ripe. What we didn’t think was that it would be such an emphatic showing by our entire team,” she recalled.

PHS got off to an excellent start in the meet when its four young divers (Evan Klemme, Michael Bolland, Corby Gafney and Hunter Saladini), all underclassmen, combined for a meet-high 51 points.

“From the beginning of the swimming portion it was pretty evident that our guys were hitting on all cylinders,” the coach said.

Sedlacek pointed out the major keys to the team’s successful season.

“The key to all our success this season is what it always is: the hard work and dedication our swimmers and divers display on a daily basis,” she observed.

“We had a great team, with tons of energy and a lot of camaraderie.” Sedlacek commended Hnilicka and Tournour, both four-year letter winners, for their senior leadership and dedication.

“When Cormick and Mitch were at practice, they never mailed it in, never gave it less than their best, and absolutely demanded that of the other guys in the lane around them,” she said.

On behalf of the team and the coaching staff, Sedlacek appreciated the support given by the parents all season.

“It was an exceptional season and part of the reason for that is the wonderful support we get from our parents,” Sedlacek said.

“Our booster club makes it easier for Sarah Maki [assistant coach], Greg Heberlein [diving coach] and myself to be better coaches by taking the responsibilities for running concession stands, planning spaghetti dinners, putting on the banquet, etc. It was fun to work with our parents.”

Sedlacek is very upbeat about next season as the team loses only six seniors off the 2012-13 squad.

“We are hoping to wrest that conference plaque away from CBV [Chilton/Brillion/Valders] next year, although they have a pretty good team coming back,” she commented.

“We will have awesome depth again, and although we are losing some amazing swimmers, we hope that our younger guys develop into the leaders we think they can be.

“Our divers will have a huge impact on the success of our sea- son as they challenge themselves and improve in the process.”

TEAM AWARDS

Hnilicka was named the Panthers’ Most Valuable Player for the past season. He also competed in the state 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle, was a sectional champion in the 100 butterfly and also won the EWC 50 freestyle and 100 butter- fly titles.

Sophomore swimmer Zach Gambrell earned the Most-Improved honor.

The Panthers’ letter winners include:

Seniors – Inigo Acedo-Fernandez, Miguel Reynoso-Gonzalez, Cormick Hnilicka, Andrew Meyer, Mitch Tournour and Dylan Tripoli.

Juniors – Ben Bachmann,Austin Ernst, Mitch Halderson, Brad Hetlet, Jake Landry, Matt Matz, Collin Miller, Mark Novak, Peter Roth, Tom Theisen and Andrew Ziegler.

Sophomores – Michael Bolland, Lucas Collard, Zach Gambrell, Evan Klemme, Dan Levan and Brent Thiel.

Freshmen – Corby Gafney, Chaz Halderson, Hunter Saladini and Payten Wimmler.


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