Wednesday, September 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Young Blue Devil boys have veteran swim leadership

DHS' Matt Whittle — then a sophomore — swims to a section record in the 2012 Sac-Joaquin 100 breaststroke finals. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

By
From page B1 | February 26, 2013 |

*Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a 12-part series previewing Davis High’s spring sports.

Just 11 points removed from Sac-Joaquin Section champion Granite Bay last spring, the Davis High boys swim team should have razor-sharp focus during what could be a watershed season.

“Do we have enough to (win a title)?” veteran Blue Devil coach Tracy Stapleton repeats the question. “Yes. There are a lot of unknowns probably between now and section. But I think it will be us, Jesuit, Rio (Americano) and Granite Bay.”

When the Grizzlies (245 points) nipped the Marauders (243) for the crown, there was DHS at 234 — soooooo close in third.

With a young team this year — only four seniors among 42 swimmers — Stapleton ponders his main torpedoes with excitement.

Sophomore Riley Hickman and junior Matt Whittle were huge contributors in 2012. Hickman helped teammates Jonathan Pun, Connor Stapleton and Whittle set a new SJS record when the quartet won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:33.94.

Whittle also won the 100 butterfly (48.98) and 100 breaststroke (55.74). The latter time tied former Devil Keenan Newman for another section mark.

Meanwhile, Hickman’s 1:40.30 captured the to spot in the 200 freestyle.

“I really enjoyed working with him as a ninth-grader,” Stapleton says of Hickman. “This year he has so much more confidence and poise … he’s bought into the program in a wonderful way.”

Also ready to cut a rugged wake for DHS is Whittle.

“He can swim just about anything,” Stapleton says. “He is great at the strokes (butterfly, breast, back). He is the real deal.

With seniors Connor Stapleton, Adam Raabe and Andrew Block returning, the Blue Devils have a versatile front line that — should they simply maintain some of their numbers from last season — will send the locals into the Sac-Joaquin championship battle.

“Connor has great credibility as an athlete,” Tracy Stapleton says of his son, who is headed to Stanford on a water polo scholarship. “He trains hard … doesn’t swim year-round, but can do any stroke.”

Stapleton also praised the other two point-making 12th-graders:

“I’ve known Adam since he was a little boy … he’s unbelievably coachable and strong in the distances and freestyle.

“Andrew is going to help us with the IM and breaststroke. Another versatile swimmer who adds to our senior leadership.”

But it’s the supporting cast — or the emergence of the next big aquatics name — that could be the difference between also-ran status and title No. 10 for the Davis boys.

“We have a crew of people who could play a pivotal role come sections,” Stapleton continues.

Guys like juniors Zac Anderson, Graham Fullerton, Garrett Fisk, Wyatt Millstone and Tyler Ujifusa join sophomores Torin Halsted and Brad Nicholson and freshmen Sean Li, Ben Culberson and Owen Yancher as wildcards who are expected to grow and add valuable points when the chips are down in May, according to Stapleton.

“Where are they going to be? The thing is to communicate to them that ‘you could be difference-maker,’ ” says Stapleton, who is in his 25th season coaching. “The margin between first and third last year was (slim). Given that, you’re talking a 14th-place finish could be the difference in (team) placing.”

The Devils’ goal is to get as many qualifiers to sections as possible. Sixteen or 18 swimmers are expected to be in the starting grid during those trials and finals at Tokay High on May 10-11.

Along the way, there are some interesting stops …

Friday and Saturday, the locals swim in the Jesuit Invitational. Delta Valley Conference competition has an early start when Franklin comes to Arroyo Pool at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5. Jesuit, Davis and Bellarmine meet on March 22 in Sacramento. The NorCal Challenge (Woodcreek on April 12-13) and Palo Alto Section Challenge (April 20) should get the Blue Devil boys ready for the finals.

Stapleton, who this spring also takes over as coach of the DHS girls swim program, has Ro Davis and Matt Crawford as assistants. Davis is a longtime area aquatics mentor, who won a CIF water polo title at Fairfield High. Crawford has spent several seasons with Stapleton after a distinguished pool career at UC Davis.

“Ro will be involved at the varsity level of both teams and Matt will focus on the frosh-soph swimmers,” the head coach told The Enterprise.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

.

News

Rainbow City revival plans, one meeting at a time

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Show off your electric vehicles on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Learn about youth leadership program on Sept. 28

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up now for free Community Yard Sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
AAUW hosts conversation with Gilardi

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Master Gardeners will answer questions Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Storyteller will draw on music, dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sign up soon for a new year of Writing Buddies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Free introductory yoga, chanting workshop offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Saylor meets constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotary seeks project requests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Mental-health treatment lacking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Braly’s column lightens the heart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Bicycle bells needed for safety

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Are we going to wait until someone here dies?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
Firefighters went above, beyond

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Grocery bags are biohazards

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Can’t we work collaboratively?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Please vaccinate your children

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Formidable UCD defense melts Hornets

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils go the distance to triumph at Chico

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD women take third at elite golf event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggie men stay in 10th to finish St. Mary’s Invite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sounders win U.S. Open Cup in overtime

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

 
AYSO roundup: Ultra Violet illuminates a victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Diamondbacks slam Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Baseball roundup: Peavy, Posey lead Giants past Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Legacy roundup: Gunners get a win over Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Alliance roundup: Soccer success comes on the road and at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name Droppers: Bamforth leads international brewing institute

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Name Droppers: UC Davis announces eight new fellows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Just desserts? A sweet treat is worth the effort

By Julie Cross | From Page: A10

 
.

Arts

Apply now for Davis Community Idol

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis students prepare dishes for Empty Bowls fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Nine Davis artists chosen to show in KVIE Art Auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Sacred Harp singers will gather

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Classic ‘Hello, Dolly!’ wows at Woodland Opera House

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics