Ward Melville Diving Star “Captain Jack” Recaps a Phenomenal Final Season

Ryan Fan, Sports Editor


On January 20, 2015, Ward Melville senior Jack Faraci received a score of 234.20 in the 1 meter diving event in a dual meet against Half Hollow Hills, breaking the then Ward Melville school record that lasted since 1987 set by Tray Scott. With only one season of experience under his belt on the Ward Melville Swimming and Diving Team, Jack shattered the previous record of 210.91 by 32.29 points, a tremendously magnificent feat for a relatively new diver with plenty more meets in the season to compete against the county’s best. His score would qualify him to compete at the Section XI County Championships on February 14, 2015.

However, the previous record on the record board was deemed inaccurate by the previous record holder. “Only after Jack broke the school record and several days before Jack was to dive in his State Qualifying meet which also would be his last meet, the old record was now in question,” said the Ward Melville Diving Coach, Jeff Perfetti. “Apparently, the diving records weren’t transferred correctly. Last month, the family of the diver produced a newspaper article which backed-up  their claim.”

But Jack and Coach Perfetti did not see this as a setback.

“Although the news was disappointing, Jack handled it better then all of us. If given correct information from the start, Jack and I and all who know Jack have no problem believing that he would have broken it anyway,” said Coach Perfetti.

Faraci’s score qualified him to compete at the Section XI County Championships on February 14, 2015, where he placed 10th with a score of 332.30 with an extended number of dives. Although not the result he had hoped for going into the meet, he reminisces upon it with optimism and gratitude.

“I didn’t dive very well and I got nervous and shaky,” Faraci said. “But I was happy to get myself there.”

Looking back upon his two years on the diving team, Jack’s hard-working and competitive nature sees his winter commitment as “a passion that I should strive to keep getting better at.” When asked which individuals were most important to helping him succeed, he responded: “My diving coach, Jeff Perfetti, was the most important. He helped me get better.”

But Jack’s modest and succinct comments on his success in diving belie noble aspects of his character. Most of the student body at Ward Melville recognize him as a very talented golfer, and before this article, I knew very little of his diving career. His consistent and tremendous success in both sports show not only his excellent versatility, but also his exceptional work ethic and utmost dedication to his commitments. For most athletes, these traits are enviable, but Jack also complements his athletic and personal prowess with an impressive academic repertoire. In the fall, he will attend Binghamton University and plans to major in biochemistry or chemical engineering.

In the Spring season, Faraci will continue his more passionate pursuit of golf under coach Bob Spira. In the fall, he led the team to an undefeated record of 6-0, and has higher goals as an individual to end his final season with a bang.

“I want to qualify for STATES in golf, and then I want to start my freshman year on the Binghamton team.”

Here is a statement from the Ward Melville coach, Jeff Perfetti, as a testament to Jack’s character and determination:

“In my opinion, high school diving is one the most difficult sports to master. It takes years to train your body to do some of the easiest dives well. I believe that that foundation can be learned from similar sports (i.e. Gymnastic/Tumbling) or may be learned over years in our Junior High Diving program.

Jack Faraci, however, never stepped foot on a diving board until his junior year. In addition, he never participated in Gymnastics or Tumbling. Jack is a high level golfer whose plans are to continue in college. I believe it’s the way Jack is wired that he became the best diver on the Ward Melville Boys Varsity Swimming & Diving Team.

In Jack’ first week on the team he found the team’s “Record Board” on the wall near the bleachers. His eyes fell on the diving high score which read 210.91. Jacks goals were now set and he worked everyday with that number on his mind. ‘I’ve got this, coach!’ was his go-to-response to everything that was asked of him.

On January 20, 2015, Jack dove beautifully, his hard work prevailed, and scored a 234.60 setting what we believed to be a new Ward Melville Diving high score record.

Jack has a good support team, looking back on Jack’s two year journey… I appreciate his consistent work ethic, his ability to set goals, his positive attitude, & his willingness to be a mentor to the younger divers. He is a true leader, and that’s why I called him ‘Captain Jack'”