Falcons have at least shared NFL title last three years
By David Yarger
For the last three years, Niagara-Wheatfield girls swimming and diving has set up quite a history. After not winning a Niagara Frontier League title until 2015, the team started their own little legacy by clinching a share of the NFL titles in 2016 and 2017. For 2018, Falcons coach Mike Corsaro thinks title No. 4 could be in reach, too.
The Falcons girls swimming and diving team is coming off a 13-1 season where they won the NFL finals meet and sophomore Danielle Carlson clinched a spot in the state meet for the second time.
Carlson, now a junior, returns this fall for the Falcons and Corsaro said it's great to have a swimmer like her on the squad.
"She's one of the kids. She's one of the girls. As good as she is, she's one of the girls and I'll tell you, she works hard in practice as anybody. You'll never see anybody work as hard in practice as her. I think that kind of spills over to everybody else," Corsaro said.
Corsaro added that Carlson is one of the team's captains and an excellent leader. Also returning from last year's championship team are Danielle's sister, and eighth-grader, Sarah Carlson, Sydney Dippold, Maegen Mueller and Hannah Seiler.
Corsaro said this year's team is a fun group to be around and they really work to perfect their craft.
"They are hard workers," Corsaro said. "This is such a good group of girls, they work hard every day - all of them. They all get along ... it's nice. If you watch practice, you can't complain about anything."
The girls picked up where it left last season, so far, as the team finished first in the Sprint Invitational at Niagara Falls High School, then defeated co-NFL champion Lewiston-Porter in its first meet last Friday, 113-69, and then defeated North Tonawanda, 134-52, Tuesday.
At the invitational, Corsaro said he was able to get a look at the depth he has on the team and came away satisfied with the results.
"I took the kids and I tried them in different events - I only put them in a few events. I had everybody equal and they all performed so well we won that, without even putting our top lineup (in). Kids performed so well in events that, necessarily, weren't theirs. They did great and this is a great group," Corsaro said.
Corsaro added that the meet versus the co-champs to begin the season was a great test to start the season.
"It was hard," Corsaro said. "You don't know what they're doing this year and they don't know what we're doing this year. They have new girls that have come up, so I don't know how well they're going to perform under pressure. ... It makes it a little more difficult."
With pressure on for a possible fourth straight NFL title, Corsaro said that accomplishment would be tremendous and that younger swimmers have just followed the leads of the upperclassmen.
"It would be great," he said. "The young kids keep coming and keep working hard. They see the older girls working hard, so they follow it. That's it - you get a tradition going and everyone follows it."
The girls swimming and diving team's next meet is a 5 p.m. Friday at Grand Island.