It is a tremendous honor to be named a captain of a varsity program at Catholic Central, and we wanted to take some time to check in with our swim and dive captains with some Q&A...
What was your first reaction when you heard you had been named a captain?
Chrisitian Dunaitis '21 - The previous captains set a new standard of excellence, and I was excited to expand upon the prior leadership. I felt honored and privileged to continue the tradition of the CC Swim and Dive Team. As I look over my previous 4 years at Catholic Central, it was a humbling experience being named captain of this team. It is something I’ll never forget.
Mattthew Kozma '21 - I was excited and satisfied because it was what I had been working for ever since I was a freshman.
As a captain, what additional responsibility do you feel toward the team?
CD - As a captain, I pride myself on leading the team by example. I am at every practice from start to finish, and last to leave every practice. It is important that I set strong standards in and out of the pool. In addition, it’s important to be a vocal leader. I lead team cheers. I encourage teammates before their events. Finally, I own the responsibility to ensure the freshman are embraced and feel part of the swim family.
MK - It's the first time I have officially had a leading role on my team, and I feel like it's my job to be the best example of future leaders. It's important that I stay positive and bring my teammates along with me because as a leader, they will more than likely mirror my sentiment for the sport and season.
What are your best memories of competing for Catholic Central?
CD - One of my favorite memories was during the Catholic League Championships in 2020. For most of the team, all of our hard work in training leads up to this final meet of the season. Typically, many of the team’s best times come out of this meet, and the meet represents the rewards for our hard work and perseverance during training. The 2020 league meet shinned bright compared to other seasons. In each individual event, our team had major time drops, new state cuts, and school records. Equally, we went into the state championship in my sophomore year as one of the favorites. The state meet starts off with 200 medley relay, and I was given a chance to be apart of this relay. We set the stage for the rest of the meet by dominating and winning our heat. I will never forget the energy our relay brought the team for the remainder of the state championship!
MK - My first great memory on the team is winning County's for the first time in program history freshman year. It felt sort of groundbreaking because I knew the team was breaking into uncharted territory, and it really started the movement of continuously breaking down new barriers every year. Our team also started the tradition of going to a big meet in Ohio at the start of each season, which has come along with some great memories. I had the chance to race some of the fastest kids in the NCAA right now, which I wouldn't have had the chance to if it weren't for this team.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through competing at Catholic Central?
CD - One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is you must own the process from start to finish. It is about doing the little things right that will make the difference in the end. You must focus on details, push your self to new limits, and always enjoy the ride along the way. By doing so, it will always be about the journey that gets you there and not necessarily the end result.
MK - I've learned that through competition comes great friendship. Many of the top competitors that I've raced throughout the years have been on this team, so it's not always about winning meets, but racing my teammates in every practice, dual meet, championship, etc. This competition doesn't have to do with who wins, but just the action of trying to win teaches you a lot about yourself. When you lose, do you give up, or keep pushing, and this sport has taught me to always keep pushing.
What advice would you give a student who is considering attending Catholic Central?
CD - Catholic Central isn’t like any other school. You are not just going here for an education but for a experience of a lifetime. Unlike anywhere else, this school will challenge you personally, mentally, and academically a positive way. There’s no doubt about that. If you embrace the challenges, I promise you will be on your way to a successful future. I would also say to get involved and participate school activities. Whatever your interests may be, CC provides teams, groups, and clubs for you to explore, develop, and grow. The more you put into this school, the more will get out.
MK - Don't be afraid to try something new. I came to CC knowing maybe four people total, not even in my grade, and I have had the best possible high school experience. I have no regrets about attending this school, and I guarantee you'll have a great time. Playing a sport is one of the best ways to meet new people and form lasting relationships, so if you decide to come here, I highly recommend sports and other extracurriculars.
“Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge” is the motto of the Basilian Fathers and the sacred mission of Catholic Central High School. For ninety years, the graduates of Catholic Central have made a positive impact locally, nationally, and around the world.