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Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2009 by WESTCHESTER.COM

Stepinac High School Adds Swim Team
Posted by Westchester.com   
Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Westchester School & Education NewsWhite Plains, NY - Thanks to an initiative by an alumnus of Archbishop Stepinac High School and the cooperation of two community neighbors—Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School and White Plains Family YMCA—competitive swimming has returned to Stepinac.


The team, comprising six swimmers, was formed in December and has been undergoing intensive training under the supervision of a professional coach.

The Stepinac swimmers are Vin Catarinacchio, Mike Nunez, Isaiah Campbell and Devin Thomas of Yonkers and Ryan O’Connor and Joe Mastoloni of White Plains.

Although the team wasn’t formed in time to join the New York

Catholic High School Athletic Association, the largest such Catholic athletic league in the U.S., it will be ready to compete in the 2009/2010 winter season.  The swim team joins the Stepinac Crusaders line-up of varsity football, baseball, basketball, hockey, lacrosse and soccer  teams as well as indoor track, outdoor track, winter track, bowling, tennis, golf and fall baseball.

Stepinac discontinued its swim team in 1986 because of lack of access to pool time for practice on a consistent basis.

Kevin Dervin (class of 1981), a member of the Stepinac Foundation and a strong believer in the benefits of Stepinac having a swim team, got together with Stepinac Coach Mike O’Donnell, Bob Hyland (class of 1963 and Maura Lynch, Athletic Director of the Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, White Plains, which also had trouble getting pool time for its all girls’ swim team.

Dervin and Lynch  approached Robert W. Lapp, President and CEO  of the YMCA of Central & Northern Westchester. Working with the leadership of the White Plains Branch, the schools secured a Monday through Friday time block from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. for the teams to use. They also had similar good fortune in finding a coach. He is Kevin Stone of Empire Swimming of White Plains, a year-round competitive swim program for swimmers ages 6 and up. He is also an elementary teacher at Good Counsel.

Dervin said the return of a swim team at Stepinac is a significant addition to the school’s extensive and highly-regarded sports program. “Swimming appeals to many students and is a competitive sport in its own right as the Olympics demonstrated. It will also provide members of Stepinac’s football, basketball, baseball and other teams an opportunity to stay in shape in their off seasons.”

Good Council’s Lynch said the arrangement was a win-win for both schools. “The YMCA pool is a short distance from our schools. We are both enjoying the cost effective benefits of sharing the same block of time for training and the expertise by the same coach.”

Mr. Lapp added: “We are pleased that the YMCA is able to accommodate these two local high schools by providing a training facility for their young swimming enthusiasts. Our YMCA mission is to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities. This says a lot about the strong community spirit that White Plains enjoys.”

Founded in 1948, Archbishop Stepinac High School’s mission is to offer young men a highly competitive academic and extracurricular program that will prepare them for college and leadership roles.  The faculty and staff accomplish these objectives by pursuing excellence and creating a supportive, disciplined atmosphere with a strong sense of camaraderie and Christian values that are unique to the Stepinac experience.  For more information on Stepinac High School please visit www.stepinac.org.

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