PrideTime Blog Editor
The Norwalk-McMahon Boys Swim Team has been making history this swim season.
With a record of 7-2 so far, the boys have made it clear that they’re set on making a splash in the FCIAC pool. Starting off with a loss against Ridgefield, the boys quickly redeemed themselves with wins against Amity, Trumbull, Staples, and Hamden-- all leading up to the ultimate watershed moment of the New Canaan win, which was followed by two more wins against Danbury and Wilton.
Pictured: Members of the team
**Not all are pictured here
Obviously, the boys have been having an amazing season. But the biggest win this season was over New Canaan-- the first win over them in 18 years. A lot has changed since 2002, though. The team has grown immensely, both in numbers and talent. New Canaan was a big win and proved that the boys team is changing for the better. With head coach Marco Minocci leading the team alongside senior captains Lucas Balderrama, Henry Velazquez, and Chris Dauser, the boys have been building anew their reputation as a team.
Pictured: Senior captains Lucas Balderrama, Chris Dauser, and Henry Velazquez
The boys started the New Canaan meet strong, with their 200 medley relays placing first, second and third. The boys A relay, made up of Kalen Anbar (‘24), Jorge Chajon (‘21), David Montoya (‘21), and Chris Dauser (‘20), finished with a time of 1:43.13, followed by the team’s B and C lays, coming in with times of 1:51.45 and 1:56.87.
They carried on steadily through the meet, dominating races and scoring points from divers Ben Bradley (‘24), Peter Soares (‘21), and Elijah Villacis (‘21). Midway through the meet, the boys had established a 10-point lead, which from then on, was back-and-forth. Senior captains Henry Velazquez (‘20) and Chris Dauser (‘20) played a huge part in the win, scoring a combined 24 point total. Velazquez scored 12 points in individual events, where he placed first in the 200 free (1:52.10) and the 100 butterfly (51.02), and Dauser scored 12 points as well, with firsts in the 50 free (22.16) and the 100 back (53.50).
The team’s 95-89 win over New Canaan didn’t just break precedent, but also inspired the boys to continue working hard, proving in their successive wins over Danbury and Wilton. Senior captain Lucas Balderrama (‘20), says “We’ve been working really hard this season, both in and out of the pool. As a team, we’re working harder than ever before and it’s all paying off. ”
Following the New Canaan win was the Wilton meet. The boys demolished Wilton’s team with ease; their lineup was not their highest scoring one-- they didn’t need it to win. With swimmers not in their usual events, the meet proved to establish the notion that NMS didn’t need to put all their cards in to win this meet. However, the next week’s meet against Darien was a tough one. Darien beat Norwalk, but not without a fight.
If anything is clear about the boys this 2019-2020 season, it’s that they are not here to play. Determined to crush opponents and rank high in the FCIAC conference, the boys are destined to make a big splash. Looking forward, the team is set to face Westhill/Stamford (2/19), and Greenwich (2/21), concluding the duel season with their final home and senior meet versus Fairfield Ludlowe/Warde (2/26) at 6pm.
With the UEFA Champions League round of 16 returning on February 18th, 2020, lots of exciting games are awaiting. The Champions League is one of the most prestigious tournaments in all of sports. It is a soccer tournament consisting of 32 teams that compete in five rounds for the right to be crowned the best club in European soccer. The first tournament was held in 1955 and was won by Real Madrid. The current Champion holders are Liverpool and have a total of 6 Champions League trophies and the club with the most Champions League wins is Real Madrid with a stunning 13 trophies. Currently, all 4 Spanish and English teams, 3 Italian Teams, 2 German teams, and 1 French team made it past the group stages and are through to the round of 16 of the Champions League. Whichever team each team is chosen to play against, they will have to play each other twice, one game at their home stadium and one in the other team’s home stadium. If they end up tying, it will mean whoever has more away goals(the team who scored more goals in the opponent's stadium) wins and if they are still tied, then they will go to extra time(an additional 30 minutes) and penalties afterwards if needed.
The round of 16 brackets are as follows:
I will be going down this list and I am going to be making my predictions on who will be going through to the quarter finals:
Borussia Dortmund vs Paris Saint Germain: I think that this will be one of the most exciting games to watch and although Dortmund are a strong team and have a great squad, it will not be enough to put away PSG(Paris). PSG is looking like one of the best teams in the world right now and one of the favorites to win the champions league with the likes of Neymar and Mbappe up top. This game will definitely have lots of goals from both sides but while Dortmund will put up a fight and especially at home, they'll still lose to this strong PSG team.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City: This is definitely the best game out of the rest and there will be lots at stake for both clubs. With Manchester City being banned from the champions league for the next 2 seasons(not including this one), and also 25 points behind Liverpool in the premier league, they have to give it their all in this current champions league. Real Madrid having had one of their worst seasons last year has been doing great and have improved this year with being at the top of La Liga and the whole team being in great form. Real Madrid also have some of the most experienced players having won the champions league multiple times meanwhile Man City have never won once. This game will definitely be a tight one but I think that both teams will win 1 game each and in the end Real Madrid will come out with the most goals and move to the quarter final.
Atlanta vs Valencia: This game might seem as one of the more ‘boring’ games but it really is one of the most underrated ones considering it is Atlanta’s first time being in the champions league since 1991 and Valencia who have plenty of experience with European competition. Valencia are currently sitting in 7th place in La Liga and Atlanta are in 4th place and have scored the most goals in the Serie A. In the end, I think that Valencia’s experience and competitiveness will help them to beat an Atlanta who barely made it through the group stages and is still trying to improve.
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool: I predict that this will not be a very high scoring game considering that Atletico is a very defensive team and Liverpool also have the best defender in the world at the moment. Liverpool also haven’t been scoring much lately but are still undefeated and unstoppable in the premier league and are one of the favorites to win the whole thing. Atletico have been in pretty poor shape and have some of its strikers injured. In the end, the current champions, Liverpool, will come out on top with the win.
Chelsea vs Bayern Munich: Chelsea vs Bayern instantly brings back memories to the champions league final of 2012 where Chelsea beat Bayern on penalties. Currently, Chelsea are in 4th place in the premier league but are in very poor shape. Bayern is in 1st place in the bundesliga but are a bit inconsistent. I think that Bayern should be able to beat Chelsea relatively safely and it should be a game with plenty of goals.
Lyon vs Juventus: I think that Juventus should easily be able to beat Lyon. Lyon is missing Memphis Depay who is a key player for them and they are also in 11th place in the Ligue 1. Juventus are a very strong team sitting in 1st place in the Serie A and having the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, who knows how to win and get you trophies.
Tottenham vs Leipzig: I think that this game is very interesting and the outcome can go both ways. At first glance you might think that Tottenham should be able to easily win since they have a pretty good team on paper and they made the champions league final last season but they really haven’t been all that great and as good as people thought that they would be at the start of the season. Leipzig are 2nd in the Bundesliga and have and their striker, Werner, is second top scorer in the league with 20 goals meanwhile Tottenham’s main striker, Kane, is injured and will not play for those matches. I conclude that Leipzig might surprise some people and end up beating Tottenham.
Napoli vs Barcelona: This game is very interesting because both Napoli and Barcelona have been very inconsistent throughout the season. Napoli had a very poor start and are currently sitting in 9th place in the Serie A while Barcelona are in 2nd place in the Serie A and are out of the Copa Del Rey after being beaten by Athletic Club Bilbao. In the end, I think that Barcelona will beat Napoli because there is no way that Barcelona will lose the game in the Camp Nou and they have Lionel Messi who can put amazing performances anytime.