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The Homer Horizon 012518 SPORTS SPORTS the Homer Horizon | January 25, 2018 | 41 Athlete of the Week 10 Questions with Maddy Smietanski Maddy Smietanski is a senior at Lockport Township and a member of the competitive dance team. How would you describe competitive dance? Well, now it’s called competitive dance, but it used to be called the poms team. It’s sort of a mixture of cheer and dance, but it’s more of a style. People think of it as an art form, but you’re judged on an entire team performance, not just as an individual. How did you get involved in competitive dance? When I was in junior high, I loved playing basketball. I was on the team there, played travel, everything. But I also did dance. So, when it came to high school, I was debating on basketball or dance. But my teammates from Elite Dance Academy studio [in Homer Glen] convinced me to stick with dance, and I love it. This Week In... Porters Varsity Athletics Boys Swimming and Diving ■Jan. ■ 25 at Homewood- Flossmoor, 5 p.m. Girls Bowling ■Jan. ■ 27 at Dixon Invite, 9 a.m. at Plum Hollow Center ■Jan. ■ 30 host Minooka, 4:15 p.m. at Strike and Spare II Boys Basketball ■Jan. ■ 26 at Stagg, 6:30 p.m. ■Jan. ■ 30 host Joliet Central, What do you love about it? I love the friends that I’ve made. I’m the youngest of four and have three older brothers [Jake, David, Matt], so they’re the sisters I never had. But I’m also very competitive. So, I love competing and the determination. I love setting goals and reaching them. How did the SouthWest Suburban Conference meet go for the team? That was on Jan. 10 at Bolingbrook. We finished third, but we had a point violation for jewelry. Otherwise, we would have won. So, it was disappointing, but we know in our heart that we won. Have you gone to state before? Yes. I personally made it to state freshman year and junior year. So, I hope to make it again this year. We do the same dance performance 6:30 p.m. Girls Basketball ■Jan. ■ 25 at Lincoln-Way East, 6:30 p.m. ■Jan. ■ 30 host Homewood- Flossmoor, 5 p.m. Celtics Varsity Athletics Boys Basketball ■Jan. ■ 26 host Leo, 7 p.m. ■Jan. ■ 30 at Lincoln-Way East, 6:30 p.m. Girls Basketball all year. So, there’s a lot of cleaning and perfecting the performance. How do you come up with the routine? In the past, we’ve used an outside choreographer, but for this one, other than getting a few pointers, we didn’t have to get an outside choreographer. We choreographed it all ourselves. The song we perform to is called “Something in the Water,” and it’s by Carrie Underwood. We like that she’s relative, but we wanted to make it our own. We wear blue, sparkly costumes and smile and dance throughout it. Since you perform to the same song all year, do you ever get tired of it? We’ve been doing it since October, so a good, solid three to four months. In the past, I’ve got tired of it, but not this year. We came up with it and did it. But there are times you don’t even hear the song as you’re ■Jan. ■ 30 at Joliet West, 5 p.m. Boys Bowling ■Jan. ■ 26 IHSA State Final, TBD ■Jan. ■ 27 IHSA State Final, TBD Cheerleading ■Jan. ■ 27 IHSA Sectional Final, TBA Wrestling ■Jan. ■ 25 at Mount Carmel, 6 p.m. performing. You just hear the count and the beat. What have you learned from Julie Rolston, your competitive dance coach Voting is now open! THE FRANKFORT STATION • THE HOMER HORIZON • THE LOCKPORT LEGEND THE MOKENA MESSENGER • THE NEW LENOX PATRIOT THE ORLAND PARK PRAIRIE • THE TINLEY JUNCTION 22nd Century Media File Photo at Lockport? This is her first year as head coach. She was an assistant last year. She always says, “Less is more.” But I’ve also learned to go all out and be confident from her. She’s voting open Jan. 18-feb. 12 Help your favorite local businesses take home an award in the third annual Southwest Choice Awards. Complete at least 50 categories and be eligible for 22nd Century Media’s Southwest Choice Awards prize — one three-night trip for two (2) adults to Riu Caribe in Cancun, Mexico, courtesy of Apple Vacations. Vote in the ballot inside your 22nd Century Media newspaper or online at always very encouraging, uplifting and has faith in us. Are you planing to do anything with dance in college? Yes. I could either go and continue dance at a college like DePaul in Chicago or Grand Valley State in Michigan. Or, I could go study it at a university and get a major or minor in it. Then potentially go teach it. But I’m leaning toward going to continue to do dance as a performer. What is the best thing about being an athlete at Lockport? I think that Lockport sets a very good environment for everyone. All the coaches at Lockport are very helpful and encouraging. Interview by Freelance Reporter Randy Whalen

42 | January 25, 2018 | The Homer Horizon SPORTS Boys Swimming and Diving Lockport boys swimming overcomes Warriors 105-77 in New Lenox Team gears up for postseason competition Randy Whalen Freelance Reporter With an eye on the upcoming conference meet and sectional to follow soon after that, the Lockport Township and Lincoln-Way West boys swimming teams tuned up last week. The two teams met in a SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover dual meet on Jan. 16 in New Lenox. There, Lockport outdistanced the host Warriors 105-77. While the win was nice for the Porters (3-4, 2-3), both they and West (2- 7, 1-6) were looking toward the conference meet and beyond. “We’re nearing the end, so we’re looking to finetune everything,” Lockport swimmer Erik Firganek said. “Our turns, our touches, our walls, everything. We’re swimming tired now. Some of the younger guys are looking ahead to the conference, while the guys that have been on varsity longer will look to taper more toward the sectional.” Firganek, a senior, captured the 100-yard butterfly against West with a time of 59.06 seconds and was also on a pair of winning relay teams. “It went pretty well,” Firganek said of the meet against the Warriors. “We swam in some off events [he usually swims the 100- and 200-yard freestyle for individual events]. But it’s a good refresher to swim those off events. My goal is to get to state. I haven’t yet, and I’ve worked four years for that.” Also winning individual Lockport’s Michael Bates reacts to his time after winning the 50-yard freestyle Jan. 16 during a meet against Lincoln-Way West in New Lenox. Photos by James Sanchez/22nd Century Media Jacob Sweis swims the butterfly leg of the 200-yard medley relay for the Porters. titles for the Porters was junior Michael Bates (25.58 seconds) in the 50-yard freestyle and Connor Hecker (51.83), who outraced fellow senior teammate Colin Onak (55.37) in the 100-yard freestyle. Also, sophomore Augusto Ureta (5:30.14) won the 500-yard freestyle by over 18 seconds. In the diving, senior Logan Morgan (271.05) outscored junior teammate Wrigley Fields (263.60). The week before, on Jan. 11 against Sandburg, Morgan set a new Lockport pool record with a six-dive score of 289.80. That broke the previous mark of 286.40 set by Michael Howard in 2015. Lockport also won all three relays, starting with the 200-yard medley relay to kick off the meet. There, the senior foursome of Hecker, Giovanni Onesto, Jacob Sweis and Haleem Ajibola won with a time of 1:49.92. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Porters pulled out the Top 3 spots. Finishing first was Firganek, Ajibola, junior Tyler Thompson and Sweis (1:35.25), while the foursome of Ureta, Hecker, junior Simon Harmata and Bates (1:41.21) placed second. It was more of the same in the 400-yard freestyle relay. There, the Porters also placed all three top spots. Firganek, Sweis, Onak and Hecker (3:35.17) captured the top spot, while Ureta, Bates, Ajibola and Thompson (3:49.78) took second. Also taking second in individual events for the Porters was junior Josh Martinez (2:10.66) in the 200-yard freestyle and senior Matt Zalesko (1:09.48) in the 100- yard breaststroke. The team is doing OK,” Lockport coach Jason Ozbolt said. “Our winter break training was good. We are at a point now, though, that we are battling sickness and injury. We really need to stay healthy for the next few weeks. “We [had] senior night on Thursday [Jan. 18 against Stagg], so we are saying goodbye to 13 seniors. The next few weeks we are going to look at some of our underclassman to step up and realize that they have some big shoes to fill. We also are looking in the next few weeks and conference to see some guys race for spots on the sectional lineup.” The Warriors won four events, including a pair by Sean Finley. Those were the 200-yard individual medley (2:10.30), which he captured by nearly 14 seconds over sophomore teammate Lukas Gonda (2:24.28), and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:04.65). A freshman, Finley continues to sparkle in his initial high school season. West coach Eric Pavlacka is extremely happy to have Finley in fold. “He set a school record at the start of the year,” Pavlacka said of Finley’s mark in the breaststroke. “He’s got a strong swimming background and we’re expecting him to be a big part of our success the next four years.” Also winning for the Warriors against Lockport was another freshman, Gavin Boomsma (2:04.72), in the 200-yard freestyle, and junior Jacob Wroblewski (1:05.45) beat out junior teammate Brad Small (1:09.89) in the 100-yard backstroke. Placing second for West was senior Brennan O’Brien (:26.20) in the 50-yard freestyle, Gonda (1:01.85) in the 100-yard butterfly and Boomsma (5:48.78) in the 500-yard freestyle. The foursome of Wroblewski, Finley, Gonda and freshman Joe Valente (1:56.21) took second in the 200-yard medley relay. “One of the big things [in the meet against Lockport] is that we had people out sick,” Pavlacka added. “But we still had other guys, including other freshmen, step up and make a big impact. In the [five-team] conference meet, we’re expecting to be in the middle of the pact. We would love to stay consistent and finish second, like we have the last two years. We just have to have some guys step up and have their best times.” For swimming, the SWSC is still divided into two divisions. The Porters are in the Blue Division and will travel to Stagg on Friday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 3, for the conference meet. West will host the SWSC Red Division meet on those same dates. In both, the diving is done on Friday, and the swimming on Saturday.