2014 Team of Honor
1966-83 Liverpool Swim Team
Perhaps one cannot say it with certainty, but …We’ll say it anyway:
There will never be another scholastic swimming dynasty in Central New York to match Liverpool High School, circa 1966-83. The Jim Funiciello era — 17 seasons, which began when the Warriors did not even have a home pool — produced an incredible 98 percent success rate in dual meets.
Only five losses … not one of those in Liverpool water. For 15 years running, Liverpool won the Section 3 championship. For eight of 10 years — and nine of 12 beginning in 1972 — the program was No. 1 in the state rankings. There were 21 All-Americans and the 1979 team won what was — at the time — the closest thing to a scholastic national championship.
From New England to Florida, most of the nation’s finest high school swimmers — including Olympians -- assembled in Lawrenceville, N.J., for the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming Championships. Liverpool demolished the field.
Runner-up Nova (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), beaten by 42 points in ’79, deprived the Warriors of back-to-back titles by edging Liverpool in the ’80 Easterns by a single point.
Was Liverpool a dynasty? You bet! What else would you call a program that ran off 113 consecutive victories?
You also could call Liverpool swimming a Family Affair, because some of the last names sounded familiar, no matter the year. Lewandowski, Edwards, Henry, Funiciello … just a few of the families to have two or more siblings swim for the Warriors.
Certainly, Liverpool swimming 1966-83 -- directed by a National Coach of the Year and Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Famer — deserves recognition as this year’s Team of Honor.