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Photo by Jim Mulcahy
Members of the St. Marys Area Dutch swim and dive team are, front row: Maranda Leidwinger, Josh Reed, Megan Bridges, Lauren McAnany, Max Struble, Nathan Koss and Kyle Pistner. Second row: Emma Daghir, Joey Ferragine, Corey Koss, Alexis Hanes, Aubrey Wiesner, Rebekah Caretti, Krista Doran, Tim Mosebarger and Josh Burns. Third row: Alec Foster, Kylee Proudfit, Jeffrey Moore, Cassie Wonderling, Michaela Rupprecht, Maura Keyes, Shannon Bridges and Amy Orr. Top row: Andrew Cotter, Alex Renwick, Ryan Struble, Melinda Stebich, Gideon Woelfel, Scott Barber, Matt Hoffman, Alette Kraknes, Jake Burns, Wes Challingsworth, Steph Buerk, Mikayla Oâ€™Dwyer, Gina Schneider and Katie McFadden. Missing when photo was taken was Saige Leidwinger.
The St. Marys Area swim and dive team has a total of 19 letter winners returning to form the nucleus of the 2011-12 squad for head coach Mark DeMuro.
Those returning letter winners for the Lady Dutch squad include Melinda Stebich, Steph Buerk, Kylee Proudfit, Cassie Wonderling, Michaela Rupprecht, Maura Keyes, Emma Daghir and Amy Orr.
The Dutch squad will have Andrew Cotter, Alex Renwick, Ryan Struble, Matt Hoffman, Gideon Woelfel, Jake Burns, Alec Foster, Jeffrey Moore, Corey Koss, Joey Ferragine and Tim Mosebarger returning.
DeMuro and assistant coach Mary Secco are entering their ninth season with the program. Also on the coaching staff are Eric Wonderling as the diving coach; Travis Secco, a former Dutch swimmer and former record holder in the 100-yard backstroke; and Justin Huey, who will be a volunteer assistant diving coach.
â€śWe have very strong upperclassman leadership,â€ť said DeMuro.
â€śThe kids are very hard-working and goal-oriented,â€ť he added.
The other members of the St. Marys Area squad include Scott Barber, Alette Kraknes, Wes Challingsworth, Mikayla Oâ€™Dwyer, Gina Schneider, Katie McFadden, Saige Leidwinger, Shannon Bridges, Alexis Hanes, Aubrey Wiesner, Rebekah Caretti, Krista Doran, Josh Burns, Maranda Leidwinger, Josh Reed, Megan Bridges, Lauren McAnany, Max Struble, Nathan Koss and Kyle Pistner.
DeMuro noted that one area of concern is lack of depth.
â€śIt will be hard to fill all the events,â€ť he said. â€śOur main goal is to continue to improve on an individual basis. As a team, we always strive to compete for a league title as well as a Region 6/9 title. I am not sure we have the depth to reach these goals, but we will continue to work towards that end."
Coach DeMuro said he feels that District 9 and the 6/9 Regional will be very competitive this year, with any number of teams capable of winning.
The St. Marys Area divers will be competing at Bucknell University on Saturday, Dec. 17 when they will take part in the Kinney Natatorium Meet. The SMA teams will open the season on Saturday, Jan. 7 when they compete at the Arctic Swim Classic in Clearfield.