DeMatha swimming coach reaches career milestone: St. Jerome basketball; DeMatha hockey win championships
BY CHRIS MCMANES
Things are usually pretty quiet for DeMatha swimming and diving coach Tom Krawczewicz after he packs up following a meet. But that wasn’t the case in late January when he notched his 300th career victory.
“As I come out to the lobby, everybody was still there,” Krawczewicz said. “They had cake and the captains spoke, and it was really nice. I was definitely touched. I was kind of blown away.”
Krawczewicz (Kraz-a-wits), who just completed his 31st year as head coach, led the Stags to another stellar season. The team finished 15-1, placed in the Top 8 of every championship meet it entered and beat out 27 teams to win the Robert Sawyer Invitational in Greensboro, N.C., for the first time.
In addition, DeMatha set two new school relay records (200-yard & 400 free). Brett Padfield, who will swim at St. Bonaventure next season, established a new school mark in the 100 backstroke.
“It was a very successful year,” Krawczewicz said.
Krawczewicz grew up swimming at the New Carrollton Pool and coached there from 1981-86. He came to DeMatha in 1991 as an assistant to current Stags Athletic Director Ed King. He became head coach the next year.
Krawczewicz has mentored several high-level swimmers, including 48 All-Americans and 33 Academic All-Americans. Matt Harris, a 2005 graduate, helped Kenyon College of Ohio win four NCAA Division III national championships. He won four NCAA individual titles and was part of 11 national-championship relays.
Harris, Alex Chen, Patrick Husson and Nnamnse Ammons competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials. Ammons, in his DeMatha Hall of Fame speech, said Krawczewicz is the reason why he came to DeMatha: “He really sold me on the culture, the academics and the opportunities.”
Riley Foran, a senior swimmer and football player, also spoke highly of Krawczewicz.
“He’s always congratulated me on any big event in my life,” Foran said. “And anything I need help with, like college applications or anything, he’s there for me and always willing to help.”
Krawczewicz led the Stags to the 2005 Washington Metropolitan Prep School Swim Dive League championship. The organization has three times (1999, 2005, 2020) named him Coach of the Year, as did The Washington Post in 2004. He was for the 2000s named Prince George’s County Coach of the Decade.
Krawczewicz has a career record of 302-68-2 (.815 winning percentage). The 1981 DeMatha graduate plans to continue teaching (English and computer science) and coaching.
“We get some really good kids at DeMatha,” he said. “I really enjoy watching them grow and mature. That part hasn’t changed.”
Hockey team wins championship
The Stags hockey team on Feb. 27 defeated Georgetown Prep 5-2 to capture the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League (MAPHL) championship. The crown was a surprise because DeMatha entered the tournament seeded eighth with a sub-.500 record.
The Stags (11-15-3) advanced to the championship game with wins over St. Albans (2-0), Gonzaga (6-2) and St. John’s (4-0). They had lost to Georgetown Prep in December but seized control of the final with four second-period goals.
The victory was DeMatha’s first MAPHL title since 2008. Under 21-year head coach Tony MacAulay, the Stags have also won six state championships and four Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles. His career record is 427-254-57 (.617).
Alex Sandel, a St. Jerome Academy graduate, was a senior defenseman.
St. Jerome captures basketball titles
For the first time in parish history, the St. Jerome boys and girls 14U teams each won the CYO Mid-Atlantic championship. The feat hadn’t been accomplished since St. Jude won both titles 33 years ago.
For the boys, it was their second straight championship and seventh overall. The Jaguars 32-10) had never won two in a row before. They took the crown with a 57-38 victory over St. Pius X on Feb. 21. Kaylen Chilton (MVP) and Khyair Phillips scored 11 points apiece.
Major Jones, son of DeMatha basketball coach Mike G. Jones, led all scorers with 13 points.
The girls captured their third title with a 31-26 win over Blessed Sacrament. Aubrey Penn was named MVP after leading St. Jerome (11-5) with 18 points.
Chris McManes (mick-maynz) reports on DeMatha athletics for the Hyattsville Life & Times.