Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Coach of the Year

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Coach of the Year

Article excerpt

Stepping into the shoes of a legend is one of the hardest things to do in sports. When Jeff Krapels was presented with that daunting proposition, the mild-mannered Demarest swimming coach knew the approach to take.

"We wanted to change as little as possible," said Krapels, The Record Boys Swimming Coach of the Year. "We won [the sectional title] last year and it was awesome. I wanted [the team] to realize they were the same good team."

Demarest entered its first season without former coach Mike Ives with the goal of repeating its boys sectional title and advancing further in the state tournament, but also with the uncertainty of having never had any head coach other than Ives.

Bad December and January weather caused meet and practice cancellations and could have thrown the Norsemen off their rhythm, but Krapels was sure to send the right message to his team.

"The biggest challenge was that we had a lot of meets very close to each other and we missed a lot of time in the pool," he said. …

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