Boys swim looks forward to rematch with Fenwick


OPRF vs Fenwick. It’s a rivalry that has been around as long as each school has been in Oak Park. Any OPRF team’s season gets a little better when they defeat the cross-town Friars and a little gloomier if they don’t.

This fact is especially true for this year’s OPRF boys swimming team. As a team they have one primary objective on their mind running through their head at all times: Beat the Friars at sectionals. Every two-a-day practice is dedicated to avenging last year’s loss to them at the 2016 IHSA sectionals in a few weeks.

While that defeat may weigh heavy on the minds of many OPRF swimmers, freshman phenom Will Raidt is new to the rivalry but has transitioned well to the high school swimming scene. “It’s such a short season so we have to squeeze in as many practices as possible… it’s a lot of work but a lot of fun,” Raidt said. Raidt, along with sophomore J.P Rotatori, went 1-2 in the 200 Freestyle at the Downers Grove South Invite Dec. 17. At that meet, the Huskies took first as a team putting them in a confident place moving forward.

Looking forward, Raidt has some particularly ambitious goals for a freshman. “A personal goal this freshman year is final at state which means top 12”. Raidt is one of four Freshman on the varsity roster marking a particularly youthful squad for the huskies. Those 4 along with Sophomore stud J.P. Rotatori have already made a splash for the huskies at quite a young age.

While speed is a big part of swimming, the new environment high school sports brings requires guidance from the older guys. Raidt has learned a lot from his elders about “working hard and having fun.”

“We are unable to name captains,” senior Alex Lavery says.  “As a result, seniors take leadership roles in organizing team activities.” Lavery said the team is faster but has less depth than in years past, meaning it is really important every Varsity member can rise to the occasion when necessary. “We have a young team right now, but fortunately, we have a faster top 8 (than in years past),” he said. Lavery recalled that two years ago, his sophomore year was a triumphant one as the 2015 Huskies succeeded in defeating the friars. A success they hope to regain this year.

The Huskies will have their chance against Fenwick at the Fenwick Sectional Feb. 18. Where the huskies are “very excited to go out and compete”