Tonawanda News — In the midst of a 1-7 season, North Tonawanda boys swimming coach Kevin O’Donnell has leaned heavily on one of his leaders — senior Nick Vossler — to keep the team focused and, at times, lighten the mood.
Vossler has been the perfect man for the job.
He swims four events regularly (200 medley relay, 200 individual medley, 100 breast stroke and 400 free relay), giving McDonnell a versatile swimmer that has competed in every race on the board at some point in his career. McDonnell looks to his senior to have a positive impact on the rest of his team.
”Nick is a leader on the team,” he said. “As a senior, his light-hearted and positive attitude serves as a good example to the rest of the team. He has a strong work ethic and is constantly seeking to improve.”
The disappointing season has taken a toll on NT’s spirits, but Vossler always takes it upon himself to lighten up the mood. He’s always quick to tell any of his coaches that will listen that the zombie apocalypse may be coming. “I don’t really believe it would happen but I always tell everybody — be prepared, always be prepared,” Vossler said.
In the pool, Vossler’s demeanor changes. He said that being a competitive swimmer requires a strong mind and an unflappable dedication to training. During the school year student-athletes are forced to manage a number of activities and finding a balance between them is an everyday challenge. Vossler also plays volleyball in the fall and McDonnell said that he’s always impressed with how well Vossler — a member of the National Honors Society — performs in both the pool and the classroom.
”Nick pushes himself to go above and beyond,” McDonnell said. “He puts the work in at practice, but he also takes the time before and after to talk to the coaches about strategy, how to improve his breaststroke and his plans for the zombie apocalypse.”