Swim team trudges through illness, injury, rough waters

Facing adversity has helped the team become closer. Team members are working together and encouraging each other.

To compete this season, the boys and girls swim teams has had to overcome adversity. Head coach Louis Williams and the team captains are creating an environment where people compete and play for one another.
According to senior captain Will Leyland, last year the boys team lost a lot of talent when their three top swimmers, Reid Sinkinson, Jake Kramer and TJ Yaglenski, all graduated and went to swim at the collegiate level leaving many places that needed to be filled.
“We had a lot of shoes to fill and we didn’t know if we were going to be able to do it going into this year,” Leyland said.
According to Williams, on top of losing players due to graduation, both the boys and the girls swim team also lost many swimmers due to sickness and injuries.
While the boys’ team has lost a couple swimmers, the girls’ team is trying to positive while hoping that the swimmers they have lost to injury and illness can hopefully make a comeback but in the meantime, they have a lot of depth that can fill in those roles.
“There have been a lot of people stepping up into their spots and hoping and praying that the people we lost get better,” senior captain Hannah Christie said. “Were mostly just trying to stay positive for their sake and make sure that they can get back in time so that they can accomplish the goals that they’ve set for themselves.”
Those people who have filled in has also helped them score more points in meets which has helped them win.
“A couple of our meets we’ve won just solely because we’ve had more people come in second, third and fourth places rather than getting first in every event, “Christie said. “The newer players have stepped up a lot and have been a big part of the team scoring points and doing well.”
The adversity both teams have faced has helped them come together and improve so they can try to finish the season with a decent record.
“We still are just as good as before and that’s because we have a lot of good freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are willing to put in work and really grind and get better,” Senior captain Erik Moyer said.
This is possible because Williams cares about every member on the team and he wants players to grow physically and personally.
“He’s an awesome coach when it comes to building character and he’d rather see you grow as a person than he would as an athlete, which is what some of the best coaches in the world are able to do,” Leyland said.
Williams also motivates the team during meets and practices to push players do the best that they can.
“During practice he’s always on the side. He’s always yelling at us to go faster, then at meets after races he always talks to us and tells us how he did and what we can do to be better,” Christie said.
According to sophomore Angelina Morrow, Williams always “pushes you out of your comfort zone” to help swimmers learn and improve on things that they are struggling with.
“If you’re not really comfortable with in the event, he definitely wants to put you in it and help you get better at it,” Morrow said “If you mess up, he tries to help you as best as he can and tells you what you can do to improve next time.”
They also feel like the coach does a great job of making the swim team feel like a family where players care for one another.
According to Moyer, everybody on the team “feels like a family” and they all “embrace and stick together.”
“We’re all really close and we all just swim for each other and for the people who are hurt,” freshman Alicia Jones said. “We do our best and just like we help each other through things. I think we become closer through it.”