Despite graduating strong class, Deerfield eyes more success

State-qualifying divers Church, Scarry, relay swimmer Perlovsky return

By David Jaffe
December 5, 2012 02:09 PM


COACH: John Sullivan (14th season)

2011-12 RESULTS: 4-3 overall dual meet record, 4-1 in Central Suburban League North; 2nd at CSL North Meet;  4th at Glenbrook North Sectional; tied for 41st at state meet

RETURNING STATE QUALIFIERS: Junior Ryan Church (24th in diving) and sophomore Sean Scarry (19th in diving)

Senior Dan Perlovsky (33rd in 200-yard medley relay)

OTHER VARSITY RETURNEES: Seniors Alec Barry, Nate Block, Ben Heichman and Steve Warren; juniors Joey Barr, Jon Belrose, Danny Booker, Jake Dahl, Holden Danielewicz, Cole Faierstein, Evan Horwitz, and Jacob Kainic; and sophomore Patrick Abrahams

VARSITY NEWCOMERS: Freshmen Kyle Carson, Evan Fischoff, Matt Rodriguez and Ryan Smith

OUTLOOK: The Warriors had 14 seniors on last year’s CSL North runner-up team, led by top-12 state finisher Kevin Ewing and state qualifier Chris Roberts.

This year’s team doesn’t have quite the same type of experience as last year’s squad, but coach John Sullivan believes the Warriors are capable of coming together and getting better as a team.

“The guys we have back from last year are excited about finishing last year on a high note and I think will be ready to step up and take on more of a leadership role,” said Sullivan, whose team won its season-opening Warrior Relays Friday with 484.25 points, beating out Maine South and Warren (372.55 apiece) in the five-team field. “Everyone is going to have to aggressively take their roles. We have no individual superstars like we did with Kevin and Chris last year. But the seniors and upperclassmen we have are going to have to help the younger guys understand the importance of what it takes to swim at a successful level.”

Deerfield has plenty of state experience in diving. Sean Scarry was 19th at state last season, while Ryan Church was 24th. Now the two divers will try to build off that success.

“Getting to the state level really lets them see what it’s like not just diving at a level of 13-14 age range divers anymore, but what it’s like to dive with the best 15-18 year olds,” Sullivan said. “They grew a lot last year. And now they will have to step up the degree of difficulty in their dives. They will have to be able to challenge themselves and not just fine tune their easier dives but stick the harder dives. But they’ve started the season off well and I’m impressed with where they’re at right now.”

Dan Perlovsky is the only Warrior swimmer with state experience, as he was part of the 33rd place medley relay. As far as where he can succeed individually, Sullivan believes there are plenty of events for him to be a success.

“Dan swims with Coho in the offseason and I think that helps him be able to really emphasize many strokes in a lot of different events,” Sullivan said. “He swam breaststroke in the medley relay, but he can swim the butterfly, the IM, and has swum a little backstroke at the beginning of the year. I think it’s a tribute to Coho and a tribute to Dan as well that he has all four of those events down pretty well and under his belt.”

Joey Barr and Nate Block also will be relied upon to provide leadership and depth for the Warriors.

“Joey is more of a sprint free guy although he can swim the 500 effectively,” Sullivan said. “We’ll also use him in the IM. He always wants to do the breast and we kind of joke a little bit about that being an event that you either can do or can’t do. He may get a chance to swim the breast on occasion. But I think sprint frees are one of his bigger strengths. And I think Nate’s specialties are that he’s definitely a good butterfly swimmer and he also likes the sprint frees and has continued to get better at them. We’ll also be able to use him in a lot of different relays.”

Sullivan will count on three freshmen Evan Fischoff, Ryan Smith, Kyle Carson and Matt Rodriguez to contribute that he believes are ahead of the curve when it comes to their age.

“A lot of times when you’re a freshman just beginning in the program, there’s a lot that needs to be learned about being in the water and working on strokes and picking up techniques and that can be a long process,” Sullivan said. “But with this group of freshmen, it won’t be as much of a concern. Again a lot of these guys are coming up through Coho so they’re ahead of where you think they would be. It will fun seeing them get better every year.”

Sullivan knows that swimming in Illinois gets more difficult each year as the times for state cuts just keep dropping. So he’s hoping his team will continue to gradually be able to get to that point as the season goes on.

“I get blown away every time I see the state cuts for different events every year,” Sullivan said. “You look at the quality of swimmers and you think, ‘Oh, my God.’ A lot of our times in other states would be in the top 12 to top 16. But here you’re just trying to make the state cut. I do tell them to enjoy swimming here because you’re swimming in one of the most competitive states.”

“I think for us right now we’re trying to maintain a good base. A percentage of us swam with Coho in the offseason and some guys are still working their way back to the shape they need to be in. So we’re trying to work on a base of building some speed while at the same time trying to be balanced and not overemphasize the speed factor.”

Deerfield was perhaps the biggest surprise in finishing second in the CSL North. But even without swimmers like Ewing and Roberts, their goals haven’t changed.

QUOTABLE: “I think no matter who we have we always emphasize wanting to be the best and wanting to finish as high as we can,” Sullivan said. “Obviously teams like Niles North and Glenbrook North are very good. But I think if we work as hard as we can and swim our best, the results will take care of themselves. Again we don’t have any individual superstars so everyone is going to have to pull their own weight.”