Moorestown may have come up a bit short in its quest for a state championship, but with such a deep pool (no pun intended) of talent, coach Jeff DeNick knows his team will be back.
The Quakers (16-2) did a lot right, but Summit, their opponents, just did it better. Summit bested Moorestown 88-82 in Saturday’s state Group B championship at The College of New Jersey.
"The Summit team we faced was strong in a lot of areas," said DeNick.
Moorestown lost one of its best swimmers, junior Ryan Caffrey, earlier this month. Caffrey was out for the entire postseason with a serious back injury and the team "ran into some shortcomings" without his sprinting ability, DeNick said.
"Without him, the guys kind of pushed the urgent button and swam a little bit harder," he said, which led to the team posting some of its fastest times all year during the playoffs.
The state final was the farthest Moorestown has gotten in the last several years, according to DeNick. Last year, the team made it to the state semifinal and lost.
Fortunately, Moorestown will return with a very solid core of swimmers, including Caffrey, next year to help the team finally "get over the hump," as DeNick put it.
The team had 49 swimmers this year (the biggest in the state), and though he'll lose 18 seniors this year—11 of whom swam all four years—DeNick said they're still positioned well for a run at the state title again next year.
"It does bode well for the future of the team, because I have the depth to choose from," he said. "There's no reason we can't be back in it again."
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