Snyder proves to be valuable teammate
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
Swimming has always been something that’s been in Raymond Snyder’s blood. The junior came to Southern three years ago from Sacred Heart High School, where he was a four-time All-NVL Swimmer of the Year award winner.
Snyder said this season has been “very productive” and that it has drawn resemble to that of his sophomore year because the team is very young.
“We have a young team that’s been showing a lot of improvement,” Snyder said. “Sophomore year we were undermanned and had to rely on everyone if we wanted to win NE-10’s.”
So far this season Southern’s men’s swimming and diving team has had their ups and downs. After opening Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 with West Chester and Shippensburg at home, where the Owls placed second, they fell to Iona College 166-120 and TCNJ 166-118 on the 22nd.
More recently, they won in Syracuse over Le Moyne College 153-133 Jan. 14 and fell to the University of Connecticut, a solid Division I program, 166.5 to 119.5 Jan. 20.
“Ray is a great teammate to have in and out of the pool,” teammate Drew Dantino said. “He is a natural born leader and constantly tries to bring the best out of us in practice and in the classroom, as well. He gets along with everyone and makes our practices feel more relaxed.”
Snyder said being around his teammates more than 20 hours a week makes them feel like “brothers and sisters.”
“At times they can be the best and other times they can be a pain in the neck,” he said. “At the end of the day I have their back and I know they have mine.”
Dantino said the chemistry on the team is great and that this team feels like the “closest he’s ever been on.”
“Team chemistry is one of the most important aspects in a sport like ours because of how monotonous the season can be,” said Dantino.
The swimming and diving season consists of a lot of individualized work and technique. The coaching staff, which mirrors for both the men and the women, focuses on making sure each and every athlete is ready for the meets ahead.
Tim Quill leads the teams, now in his 18th season, and is assisted by coach C.J. Moran, who swam for Southern from 1995-99. Moran has bounced around in three separate stints as an assistant for the Owls, most recently helping out the Woodland Regional High School team.
Snyder said he is most looking forward to the conference championship meet, which starts Feb. 16 at Southern, and has been since the team won it last season.
“I knew the personnel we had this season was not as experienced as we had the past few years so this year’s task is more difficult, but the timing is exciting,” he said. “I love the attitude this team brings to the table and I think they can do spectacular things.”
After the NE-10 Championships commence Feb. 19, the NCAA Division II meet begins in Birmingham, Ala. Another four day meet; the NCAAs last March 8 through the 11th.
Photo Courtesy: John Steady