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Boys Ready to Make their Splash

Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2007 by Daniel Jacob

Boys ready to make their splash
By Daniel Jacob, Times Sports Correspondent

Needham - This 2007-2008 Needham swim team looks strong, with only three seniors from last season having graduated. Leading Needham this season will be senior Ronald Sisco at breaststroke, who will assume the captaincy for the second straight year. Senior Nick Franks will be a key swimmer at freestyle, and junior captain Eddie Timmerman (butterfly) should also have a strong year.

Coach Adam Cole, a Needham alum and former swimmer for the Rockets, is returning for his fourth season as head coach. Aasia Saleemuddin, also a Needham High alum and former swimmer for MIT, is the team’s new assistant coach.

Cole has said time after time how he feels the Rockets will have one of their best seasons in years.

“This being the most experienced team I have had in four seasons, and with nine seniors returning, there is a lot of potential,” Cole said. “Also, this is one of the biggest teams we have had, with about 30 swimmers. All together, it should make for a fantastic year.”

This feeling that Cole has expressed day after day at practice seems to be the general feeling of the team as a whole. Sisco echoed his coach’s sentiments.

“I honestly feel that we have the potential to go second in Bay States,” Sisco said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with at least six wins, either.”

The swim team has not always set the bar so high, having recorded only three victories in the past three seasons, with all of them coming in the 2006-2007 season. That is what makes the hope surrounding this year’s team all the more encouraging.

“Most of the team has returned, and this season could be the one that turns this program around,” Franks said.

A winning season, at least at this point, does not seem so farfetched. Strong seasons are expected from sophomore star Mike Richie in freestyle, sophomore Josh Balk (breaststroke), junior Brian Keeller (butterfly), junior James Coclin (long distance) and Michael V-K (also long distance). The wild card is Chris Rogers, who still has yet to decide if he will be on this year’s team. Currently ranked third in the country for swimmers 18-and-under in the backstroke, Rogers has already accepted a scholarship to swim at the University of California-Berkeley.

The Rockets have been working vigorously in heart-racing practices as well as team runs and dry-land workouts. Soon enough, all that practice will finally be put to the test.

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