Warriors on cusp of undefeated season

Published 8:03 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Warriors swim team could achieve its first undefeated regular season this week.

The Nansemond River High School boys’ swim team is currently 8-0. That is the best mark in the school’s history, and they have one more meet left to go. Last season, the boys’ team accomplished a school-best six wins, and they have since surpassed it and could be undefeated by the regular season’s end.

They will take on Hickory High School this weekend for a chance at a Southeastern District title. Hickory has been a tough opponent for all Southeastern District teams over the years, only losing one meet to district opponents. Nansemond River will have a chance to give them their first loss this season and the Warriors’ first win over Hickory in the school’s history.

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Even though both teams are undefeated, the Warriors will be underdogs, and coach James “Shamus” Riley believes that other teams in the district will be rooting for Nansemond River to win.

“It is almost like one of those David and Goliath situations,” Riley said. “No one in Suffolk history has beaten Hickory, and we have a chance to be undefeated, and they are always the top team in the district. If my guys come to swim, it’s in their hands.”

After the regular season, the Warriors will quickly shift focus to the regional championship meet, which will take place next week. Riley believes that this will be his best group going into the post season since the Warriors had been moved up to 5A classification. There are several swimmers who have qualified for the state meet events, and the Warriors have their 200-meter relay team qualified for states.

“The qualification for regionals this year has been changed and is a bit difficult to qualify for,” Riley said. “So, we may not have as many athletes qualifying for regionals, but I do think we have a chance of sending what we do have to the state meet.”

The 5A Region is filled with quality teams and swimmers, as the last two state champions have come from this region. During the month of January, routines may have gotten out of whack because of the weather, but Riley believes that it didn’t affect his team too much. He is confident about what his boys’ team can do once the postseason comes around.

Nansemond River is made up of seasoned swimmers who have both regional and state meet experience. Throughout the season, Riley knew that his boys’ team knew how talented they were, and they worked diligently throughout the season to live up to their potential.

“I feel like we are prepared for regionals,” Riley said. “The postseason is a chess game. You never know what other teams are bringing in. But I think my guys are ready.”