SHP Swimming Season Changed Dramatically

Winter sports are close to arrival, meaning the swimming season is on its way. Although
with COVID-19 cases at record highs in the past few weeks, the rampaging outbreak will
effectively change the layout of this upcoming season making this one of the most interesting
seasons in SHP history.

COVID-19 has affected all aspects of life at Seton Hall Prep including academics,
social life, spiritual life, and  athletics. The NJSIAA, New Jersey’s Athletic
Association, recently announced that swimming can only begin practices on February 1 and
competitions can begin on February 16. But what felt like a punch to the gut was the cancellation of
the swimming postseason before the season itself has even started. Especially for our fellow seniors,
who are definitely grateful for having a season, a final year without playoffs will not be the
same. When asked about the recent changes to the season, swimmer Jack Devilbless ’21 says,
“I was pretty devastated… I don’t understand why they can’t move it to spring… a month-long
season is pretty underwhelming.”

The hope from Devilbless and other fellow swimmers is that an eventual vaccine for COVID-19 could

very well change the outcome of these results. That is
why a potential solution to this problem is moving the season to the spring allowing for a
potential vaccine to take full effect and to give the players a full season.

Another change to this swimming season is the decision of NJIT to close rentals to their
pool until at least April or May. This is a very problematic decision because this was the Prep’s home pool
and the host pool for the Essex County Championship. Not having a home pool, especially during
a time like this is very stressful as pool rentals are at all-time lows due to the rising cases of
coronavirus. This begins the search for the new home pool for Seton Hall Prep. Personally, I

do not worry since the delay of the swimming season gives the swim team ample time to find
and rent out a home pool.

Despite these unfortunate changes, the swim team this year looks very strong. Last season
The Prep won the Essex County Championship for the twenty-third time in a row. Now Seton
Hall Prep looks to make it a twenty-fourth because as of right now a county championship is
still allowed. The Prep would achieve this success through the amazing depth of the team, due to the
fact that a majority of the swim team is made up of club swimmers. Bringing number twenty-
four is also very likely because of the stellar freshman class that has arrived at Seton Hall
Prep. With more than four freshmen having the times to make a huge impact for this team, it
certainly contributes to what the swim team can achieve. Most importantly, the veteran
swimmers on this team are returning and are even better than before. The juniors and seniors of
this team include seven top ten Essex County Championship scorers, three Essex County record
holders, and two school record holders. These impactful players are Dominic Ancey ‘22, Jack
Devilbless ‘21, Jose Rodriguez LaLave ‘22, Dylan Negron ‘22, Joaquin Quezada ‘21, Connor
Townson ‘22, and Jaeden Yburan ‘21.

With the talent on this team, it is reasonable to say that the success they can
accomplish can be unparalleled. Even Coach Alexander has referenced the potential for success, mentioning  “the possibility of this year’s team being the best in school history.” This season Christian Brothers Academy, Saint
Peter’s, Montclair, St. Joe’s, and Bergen Catholic are The Prep’s biggest competitors. So, it can be
said that if a state tournament were to happen, a ring for Seton Hall Prep’s swimmers would certainly be