Coach Harry McGarrigle would guide the Pirates to an undefeated 11-0 season in 1957-58, the last of his three years at the helm. He would be succeeded by Jim Fetten, who would have a 35-10 record over his four seasons.
It was during Fetten’s tenure that SHP swimming would have its first individual state champion, Dick McDonough. Dick McDonough remains SHP’s most decorated swimmer, winning two state championships in each of his junior and senior seasons, capturing the 200 Freestyle and 150 IM (An event no longer swum) in 1959 and the 100 Butterfly and the 100 Freestyle in 1960. This was the beginning of an amazing run of 15 individual event championships in 10 years for SHP swimmers. In 1961 Fred Larue was state champ in the 200 IM along with Fred Brown in Diving. Pat Powers would win the 200 Freestyle in 1962 and come back in his senior season of 1963 to win double gold in the 200 Freestyle and the 100 Butterfly. Joining him as a state champ in 1963 was Mike Faltraco in the 200 IM. Fred Brown would win his second state Diving championship in his senior year in 1964 (and will perhaps be the last, as diving was discontinued in the 1980s). Bill McDonough, Dick’s younger brother, would add to the family and SHP trophy case by winning the state 100 Freestyle Championship in 1965. The Prep’s first relay Championship would come in 1967, with the foursome of Terry Smith, Joe Slowinski, Dave McDonough and Tom Keough winning the 200 Medley Relay. Tom Battaglia would cap the run with a dominant double in 1968, capturing both the 100 Butterfly and 400 Freestyle. The coaches at the helm during this run were Fetten, Ferinden, and Rev. William Gibbons (41-12 from 1963-64 through 67-68).
John Prisco would begin a 13 year run as head coach with the 1968-69 season, compiling a 99-43 dual meet record. Prisco’s run would be highlighted by two individual state championships – Bill Barrett in 1973 taking the crown in the 400 freestyle, followed by Frank Fitzgerald the following year in the 100 backstroke – as well as the first two Essex County Team Championships for SHP in 1980 and 1981.
John Slevin (65-18-1) would take the helm beginning in 1981-82. His seven-year run would see three Essex County Championships in 1982, 1983 and 1986, plus the championship of the inaugural Iron Hills Conference Meet in 1983, with a repeat in 1984. 1983 featured a state championship in the 400 Freestyle Relay, featuring Ron Karnaugh, Charlie Webber, Chris O’Connell, and Tom Rathbun.
Ron Karnaugh would go on to be a double state champion during the 1984 season, winning both the 200 IM and 100 Backstroke titles. He would continue after graduation to become the most prominent of all SHP swimmers, finishing 6th in the 200 IM at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, and becoming the American record holder in the event in 1993.