(with Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge)
Coach: Scott Lattyak (second season)
Last year: First place in conference, two state qualifiers (2017 graduate Ethan Hare in 200 free; Hare, Fadden, Babakhani and Castro in the 200 free relay)
Top returners: Omid Babakhani (CLC), sr.; Kolin Fadden (CG), jr.; Cameron Castro (CLS), jr.; Connor Dolezal (CG), sr.; Cole Seeger (CG), so.; Peyton Richardson (PR), so., Noah Siegmeier (PR), so.
Key newcomers: Hunter Jackson (PR), fr.; Bram Byer (PR), fr.
Worth noting: The Trojans are going after their 11th consecutive Fox Valley Conference Invite title. ... Lattyak said they’ll likely be challenged by Jacobs co-op after not being pushed the past few seasons. C-G won the FVC Invite with 368 points last season and Jacobs (264) was second. ... Jackson and Byer should both be impact swimmers as freshmen, Lattyak said. ... Ethan Hare, a 2017 graduate, was the team’s only individual state qualifier last year in the 200 free. ... “Last year, the team focused internally on what they needed to do as individuals, instead of it being a joint effort,” Lattyak said. “This year, everything is about strengthening the trust and the bond ... the final times and the reward.”
Coach: Brenda Czarnecki (third season)
Last year: Fourth place in conference, no state qualifiers
Top returners: Alex Haiges, sr.; Marco Lo Piccolo, sr.; Zachary Michael, sr.; Nicolas Ardila, jr.; Tyler Kalscheur, jr.; Joseph Koterwski, jr.; Brandon Ary, so.; Maxwell Hagberg, so.; Jack Harper, so.; Matthew Kim, so.; Evan Tocmo, so.; Mark Vandy, so.; Anthony VonderHeide, so.
Key newcomer: Kacper Cebula, fr.
Worth noting: A year after losing four seniors and gaining 11 freshmen, the Red Raiders bring back their entire team from last season. ... Huntley has taken fourth at the FVC Meet each of the past two years. ... Hagberg finished seventh in the
500 free at last season’s St. Charles East Sectional and Vandy, Michael, Hagberg and Tocmo placed eighth in the 400 free relay to lead Huntley. ... “Our boys have been working hard in the offseason either with their club or on their own,” Czarnecki said. “We have a group that has meshed well together and I am looking forward to being a competitive force in our conference.”
(with Dundee-Crown and Hampshire)
Coach: Rick Andresen (12th season)
Last year: Second place in conference, no state qualifiers
Top returners: Reid Coyle (Hampshire), sr.; Elijah Stuart (Hampshire), sr.; Harold Ogaban (Hampshire), jr.; Eric Boysen, (Jacobs) jr.; Jacob Carignan, (Hampshire) jr.; Alec Orndahl, (D-C) so.; Caden Waddell (Jacobs), so.
Key newcomers: Vince Chiappetta (Jacobs), fr.; Nate Herrera (Jacobs), fr.; Alex Lee (Jacobs), jr.
Worth noting: Andresen likes the mixture of old and young swimmers on this year’s team and expects to compete for the FVC title. ... Reid and Coyle have three years of varsity experience. ... Ogaban won two individual events at last season’s FVC Meet (200 freestyle and 100 backstroke), and also was part of the Jacobs’ winning 200 medley relay with Elijah Stuart, Alec Orndahl and Coyle. ... Orndahl set a new school record for D-C in the 100 backstroke (54.46) at the FVC Meet, and was named co-FVC Newcomer of the Year. ... “Our goal is to win the FVC,” Andresen said. “We are solid in all events this year and we should give Cary-Grove its biggest challenge in many years.” ... Already this year, Jacobs has won the Harlem and St. Viator invites and was runner-up at Rolling Meadows, losing to Cary-Grove by four points.
Coach: Sharon Lesniak (first season)
Last year: Third place in conference, no state qualifiers
Top returners: Luke Rose, sr.; Riley Hedberg, jr.; Jonah Smith, sr.; Nathan Murrin, jr.; Dylan Qualls, jr.; Tyler Hemphill, sr.; Bryce Williams, jr.
Key newcomers: Adam Shattuck, so.; Jorge Aragon, fr.
Worth noting: The Warriors’ numbers are up this season and they enter the season with 30 swimmers: five seniors, seven juniors, nine sophomores and nine freshmen. ... McHenry still isyoung, but Lesniak thinks that it can qualify up to five events for state. ... Murrin, Qualls and Rose were named team captains. ... .. Qualls took first in the 100 breaststroke at last year’s FVC Meet.... Lesniak said expectations are “to work hard and show dedication along with a strong will to succeed. Our goal is to mold these young men into leaders in school, the community and into their future.”
Woodstock North co-op
Coach: Ian Shanahan (15th season)
Last year: Fifth place in conference, no state qualifiers
Top returners: Andy Johnson (WN), so.; Logan Lorr (WN), so.; Jake Maher (WN), sr.; Dylan Wolf, (WHS), sr.; Nick Phillips (WN), so.; Aidan Teuber (WN), so.; Ben Thuma (WHS), jr.; Anthony Thomas (WHS), sr.; Colton Wolf (WHS), so.; August Hutchens (WHS), sr.; Brian Jagman (WN), so.; Nick Kobler (WN), so.; Cameron Scharff (WHS), so.
Key newcomers: Quinton Cynor (WHS), fr.; Gunner Dunnett (WHS), fr.; Jackson Emmons (WN), jr.; Bojidar Kostov (WHS), fr.
Worth noting: Shanahan is excited about this year’s outlook and said the incoming freshman class is the most talented to enter the program in the past 10 years. ... He expects Cynor to be among the top swimmers in the area as a freshman. ... 2017 grad Jeremy Wolf was the team’s top swimmer a season ago, placing first in the 100 freestyle and second in the 200 free. ... So far, the Thunder are 3-1 in duals, with their only loss coming to Cary-Grove.