- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Plenty of teams can explain to you the pain and agony of losing.
Even in a regular season game or meet or match, losing hurts.
But ask the 2011-12 Leonardtown Raiders boys and girls teams what it feels like to lose and they might be speechless.
Reason being, the Raiders boys and girls teams combined to go 24-0 in the 2011-12 season, sweeping the regular season by each going 12-0 during Southern Maryland Athletic Conference competition.
It was a swim meet on Feb. 1 that helped the Raiders achieve the 24-0 combined mark, with the girls winning its meet against Chopticon 185-84 and the boys winning 190-72 over Chopticon as well.
For the girls, it was the eighth-straight 12-0 season.
“Emotions didn’t really kick in until the last senior relay,” said then senior girls swimmer and now Leonardtown graduate Jaime Branaman in February. “We [Nikita Raley, Cassandra Osvatics and Emily Pipkin] started crying. Four years is a long time to be with this team. I’m probably going to take away from this team how much it has taught me to grow and has helped me get to where I am as a person.”
Leonardtown head coach Chuck Jacobs added on the 12-0 night in February, “It was all about the seniors tonight and letting them showcase their talents. Everybody participated and had a good time.
Then Leonardtown senior Nick Crescini was the lone double winner on the night the boys clinched the 12-0 season. He won the 200-yard individual medley, with a time of 2 minutes 20.13 seconds, and captured the 100 backstroke in 1:01.34.
The girls would later add another win at the SMAC championships to its undefeated season, by 80 points over second-place North Point, while the boys placed tied for second overall with North Point.
The Raiders girls won seven of 11 events and went on to claim the title, their eighth consecutive.
“It’s just the kids work hard and we don’t have as many club swimmers as we used to in the past but the kids we have are pretty dedicated,” Jacobs said after the conference championships which took place at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. “We’re just fortunate to have a good group of kids and I think the success early on has carried over the last couple years. The team is not as fast as it used to be, but we certainly have some individuals who are fast.”
The boys and girls teams both placed third at the Class 4A-3A East Region championships.
JAMES A. McCRAY III