The task: take down the team that beat them by 26 points last week. Chaminade's response: Yeah, we can try to do that.
Optimism remains high for the Flyers, despite a recent loss to CHSAA power Fordham Prep, coach Angelo Pellicone said.
"They're the team to beat, so it really pushes us to try and achieve the same level of success," he said.
The Bronx school has won three consecutive CHSAA and state Federation boys championships. But across the Whitestone Bridge, Chaminade has talent that shines.
"By our times, our number of state qualifiers and our depth, I think we should be considered the top team on Long Island this year," Pellicone said.
Led by seniors Christian Foti, Keith Christianson, Tyler Nussbaum, Conor Carey and James Brittan, Chaminade has qualified at least one swimmer in each event of this year's state championships, including all three relays. Sophomore diver Kieran Seratta is the CHSAA's highest point scorer.
Brittan was a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that placed third last year in 3 minutes, 10.29 seconds, though Chaminade finished seventh overall.
"Our team is doing well and I feel like I'm much stronger this year," Brittan said.
The Flyers believe that a strict rule has helped build team chemistry. During the season, Chaminade swimmers aren't allowed to practice with their club teams.
"I'm nowhere near excited for my club races as I am for my races with Chaminade," Brittan said. "I feel like only swimming for one team brings us together more as a family and forms a brotherhood."
His coach agrees.
"Part of our success is that we work hard and have talent," said Pellicone, whose team practices six days a week. "But I really think the reason this team has come together is because they care about each other. They're like a family."
Chaminade defeated rival St. Anthony's for the first time in four years this season, and Pellicone believes his team can eventually surpass Fordham Prep.
"I'm hoping to get as close to Fordham Prep as possible this year," Brittan said. "I think it's in reach."