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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Swimming Patriots’ Senior Night wraps up the regular season

Photo Credit: The Declaration Staff

With the winter sports season in session, the Swimming Patriots at Colonia High School have been having quite a season. Competing against many high-level schools after being moved up a division, the competition sure has improved- but so has the Patriots. The swim team has a 2-4 record so far, and continues to work every single morning, at 5 AM to be exact, to become the best swimmers they can be.

A Family

The team is led by Coach and teacher at Colonia, David Degraw. The Swimming Patriots’, have a family environment, which makes the group particularly special. Yash Sharma, a junior swimmer at Colonia, said, “Being apart of any team is really amazing. We have funny bus moments, and many inside jokes. Even at practices, we are serious but are able to have a lot of fun. We do everything together, it really feels like a family.”

Photo Credit: The Declaration Staff

A large part of the reason why? “Our seniors”, Sharma adds. “The older representatives are really role models. They help us with small knit-picks of technique, and are always there for us”. Yash, who has been on the swim team, his last three years of highschool, has made very close friends with the seniors, who have helped him to correctly learn how to dive, and grow as a competitor over the past few months.

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Seniors taking charge

After losing many high-level seniors from last year, the incoming seniors really picked up the pace. They have held their own to lead the Patriots to growth. On Wednesday, January 16,  the swim meet at home, was the swim team’s annual senior night. At CHS, one important tradition during a season, is hosting a home meet to honor the seniors on the team.

Camilla Wnek, a senior swimmer, at Colonia was very emotional, but excited for her senior night. “I have been swimming here for four years. The seniors when I came in always motivated me and pushed me to become the best I could be, even when I was a freshman.” 2019 seniors include: Nicholas Amorin, Kevin Boguszewski, Thomas Cortez, Kevin DeMatos, Adrian Hernandez, Mikolaj Jucha, Sean Ragan, and Camila and Isabella Wnek. Adrian Hernandez, has been a captain both his junior year and senior year. He said that his favorite memory  is “breaking many school records on the 200 free relay/making new friends.”

Senior Night Ceremony

These seniors were honored for their hard-work and dedication for the last few years at Colonia on Wednesday. Participating in the many fundraisers, such as a famous one as Applebee’s, to waking up for practice at 5 AM, they have been able to help the program grow and develop. While at the same time, they remain role models for rising underclassmen. “As a freshman, and even now, I look up to John Pear, because he was a great captain and was always helping us with our technique. It helped me to pass on lessons I learned from him, to the freshman this year,” Adrian Hernandez added.

Photo Credit: The Declaration Staff

The Senior Night had been quite a success, with many tears and hugs shared between teammates. With a 96-74 win against Wardlaw-Hartridge, the Swimming Patriots had a sweet victory for their last home meet.  Seniors were called up before the meet, receiving a certificate and a bear from build-a-bear workshop, as Coach Degraw explained their contributions to the program.

With the swim team improving over the past few months, from the addition of the sponsorship of Nike, to competing above a division for better competition, the team still has the rest of the season to grow. The Swimming Patriots have had wonderful leadership in the past with the many seniors that act as role models, and will continue as underclassmen move up in the future.

Camila Wnek is not sure if she would like to continue swimming in college. But she really does want to set an example for incoming swimmers. She tells underclassmen, “You are capable of anything. I know it may seem like it’ll be impossible to get up at 5 AM, but it’s not. As long as you push yourself to your best ability, you will succeed. And you have a wonderful family and support system around you.”   

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About the Contributor
Angelina Wintonick
Angelina Wintonick, Co-Editor in Chief
Angelina Wintonick is a 17 year old senior at Colonia High School. She has lived in Colonia her whole life, from attending Pennsylvania Avenue School #27 for elementary school, to moving into junior high at Colonia Middle School, and now attends Colonia High School.  Angelina enjoys many things, from sports to movies, photography, shopping and hanging out with her friends. But most importantly, she enjoys playing volleyball, a sport she has loved since she was in third grade. Playing on the high school team here at CHS for four years, she also plays club volleyball for a national team, outside of school.  She has recently verbally committed to Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. She will play volleyball there and continue her education after highschool. When she isn't playing volleyball, she enjoys hanging out with her younger sister, who is a junior at Colonia. She also enjoys reading novels along the genre of suspense and or thriller. Wintonick has been writing for the Declaration for three years, since she was a sophomore at Colonia.  

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The student news site of Colonia High School
Swimming Patriots’ Senior Night wraps up the regular season