During the first team meeting of the season, the Christian Brothers Academy swimming team quickly shifted their focus away from what would be missing from the 2021 condensed season.
Instead, they decided on their goal for the season: prove they were the best in the state.
After a condensed season, the Colts are New Jersey's top team, earning NJ.com's Team of the Year honor. They were also ranked NJ.com's number one team in their end-of-season top-20.
"This team believed in themselves, in each other, and that they had what it took to be the number one team," said first-year head coach Alex Fitton '09.
Christian Brothers finished the season with an 8-0 record, including a standout win over state rival Westfield High School. The Colts defeated the Blue Devils, 106-64, back on March 17th.
"No matter the opponent or pool, every single guy on the team gave nothing short of his maximum effort," senior Matt D'Elia said. "Combine that with the winning attitude that each guy embodied since day one, and the results followed without question."
D'Elia was one of the senior standouts for the Colts, earning first team All-Shore accolades as part of the 200 Medley Relay and 200 Freestyle Relay.
Senior Kevin Truscio was named an All-Shore first teamer for the 200 Medley Relay, 200 IM, and 200 Freestyle Relay. He also was All-Shore second team for 100 Breaststroke.
Altogether, CBA earned seven All-Shore first team and five second team nods from the Asbury Park Press.
Virtual meets, where teams swam at their own pool and shared scores, were also a regularity in the pandemic-restricted season. Most impressively, the Colts won a virtual meet against Bergen Catholic, 155-55.
While there was no state championship, this 2021 team will certainly be remembered.
"In most years, we have six weeks to prepare for the first meet and this season, we only had six weeks for our entire season," Fitton said. "What this team was able to accomplish in a short amount of time is absolutely remarkable. They have cemented their spot alongside the other great teams that have come before them and did it with a team-first mentality."