The 2012-13 campaign will be one of challenges and opportunities for the Nordonia High School swimming and diving teams.
As far as challenges are concerned, the girls squad will have perhaps its smallest team ever in terms of participation.
"It's the first time we've had more boys than girls," said Nordonia head coach Claudio Costanzo.
Leading the way for the Lady Knights are senior captains Emma Toaz and Jill Grell. Both Toaz and Grell accounted for record-setting performances at last year's district meet.
Other senior girls include Katie Farley and diver Dominika Janisz.
"Janisz dove in last year's district meet and is looking to build on that this season," said Costanzo.
In addition, sophomore Jenna Dash set three school records last year at the district meet. According to Costanzo, other girls expected to make major contributions are sophomore Sorya Sadegi, junior Erica Abbott and sophomore Sabrina Soltis.
In terms of opportunities, the Nordonia boys team looks to be very strong, as the Knights return quite a bit of talent from last year's squad.
Spearheading the attack for the Knights will be senior captains Zach Zuercher and Nick Tanczos.
"Zuercher finished last season with a great district meet performance by setting six school records," said Costanzo. "We expect to see continued high performance from Zach this season."
Seniors Phil Rinehardt, Cory Krusinski and Liam Van Buskirk are also expected to be team leaders this coming season.
"Some of our younger talent will include [sophomores] Jarod Riedel and Andrew Grell," said Costanzo. "Riedel also had a great district meet last year, and we are already seeing some great signs from him this season."
Returning divers for the Knights are junior Stephen Romanik and senior David Williams.
"Romanik returns after a runner-up performance at the state meet last year," said Costanzo. "I get the sense that he wants to finish the job this season."
According to Costanzo, the Knights and Lady Knights were not invited back to the Bedford Relays this year.
"The reason given to us was because we won it too often," he said. "It's a disappointment for us because the kids enjoyed that meet."
On Dec. 4, Nordonia was set to host Aurora, but results were not available at press time.
On Dec. 7, the Knights and Lady Knights will welcome Cloverleaf to town. Meet time is set for 6 p.m.