Fox Chapel diving team continues to develop
The Fox Chapel Area High School diving team has slowly developed into a force to be reckoned with compared to what it was a decade ago.
Coach Vernon Yenick, who has been coaching the FC divers for six years, deflects much of the credit to an increased interest at the school and one of his recent graduates — JB Kolod.
“JB had been a gymnast and he switched to diving in 2009,” Yenick said. “He got so good so fast that I think he inspired a lot of kids to give diving a shot.
“Now, we've put together a pretty good diving team.”
Yenick was quite a diver himself.
He was a member of the last graduating class at Turtle Creek High School before it became a part of the Woodland Hills School District. In his senior year, he won a silver medal in diving at the PIAA championships. He is also an assistant coach for the Pitt Aquatic Club, and he thinks that has also helped the Foxes' program.
“All of the kids are with me at the Pitt Athletic Club. We have a great facility and it's been a plus for our divers,” Yenick said. “This year, Miranda Simon and Addison Lynch have topped 200 points. JB did it numerous times while he was here and he finished second at states in his senior year. Before Miranda, the last time we had a girl top 200 was in 1998.”
When Yenick took over as coach, he didn't really have to start from scratch.
“It wasn't like the program needed an overhaul,” he said. “The kids trusted me and what I was doing. When I came here I didn't know what the mood was. It's been nothing but positive and the results have shown that.”
Along with Lynch, a junior, and Simon, a sophomore, the team has gotten strong performances from sophomores Emily Eames and John Zottolla, and juniors Paige Neid, Dan Tabas and Kyle Pawlikowski.
“We have four divers that have qualified for the WPIALs,” Yenick said. “Miranda is coming on strong and I feel that she has a good shot at states. I expect colleges to be looking at her shortly.
“I think all of our divers are going to be top-12 divers at WPIALs. I think we can put three in the top-10.
“In diving, Fox Chapel diving was by the wayside for a decade. That's not the case any longer.”
And with such a youthful and talented squad, it shouldn't be the case for the foreseeable future.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or email@example.com.