Plenty of new blood on swim team
December 01, 2010 - In only it's second year of existence, the varsity boys swimming team is starting over with 15 newcomers to the program who are ready to learn.
|Back Row: (from left) J. Tasch, J. Walker, C. Bell, J. Clark. Second row from back: (from left) Coach Walker, Coach Lopez, Z. Lavender, D. Merrill, J. Butler, C. Wiebell, Coach Miller, Coach Rank. Third from Back: (from left): D. Wagner, B. Hibdon, C. Wiebell, S. Thomas, C.
Jones, B. Dixon, C. Lavender, L. Marshall. Front Row: (from left) D. Stockard, S. DeClercq, D. Hency, E. Vandecar, A. Sorgatz, M. Doell, D. Butkiewicz. Not pictured: T. Cook and A. Twork.
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|Varsity Boys: Back Row L-R: Jason Petty, William Logan, Mitch Guzanek, Brandon Barber, Matthew Kessler. Front Row L-R: Coach JR Lafnear, Kyle Woody, Kevin Rein, Brandon Hurlburt, Coach Steve Burgess. (click for larger version)|
Head Coach Jackie Rank has nine returning starters from last year's squad who finished 3-3 in the Flint Metro League last season, so she is counting on their leadership to help guide the program and help move the younger swimmers along.
Among those returners are senior captains Corey Bell, Jake Clark, Jimmy Walker and junior captain Joey Tasch.
"It will be the captains and the other returning members that the coaches will be looking to for guidance for the new members," Rank added.
Even though the Wildcats will be moving to a new league, the Oakland Activities Association, Rank doesn't see any challenges in switching leagues since the program is so young.
The boys will be swimming against OAA blue opponents Rochester Stoney Creek, Southfield Lathrup, Troy Athens, Bloomfield Hills Andover, Hazel Park, Bloomfield Hills Avondale, Royal Oak and Ferndale.
They will also swim against FML rivals Brandon and Lapeer High School.
|Varsity Girls: Back Row L-R: Coach JR Lafnear, Caitlyn Wroblewski, Alyssa Hurtado, Ashley Darocha, Alex Logan, Coach Fred Heichel Front. Row L-R: Ashley Miller, Heather Lafnear, Colleen Walters, Emily KaLohn. (click for larger version)|
Even though the schedule looks intimidating, Rank is ready for the season to begin.
"I think the new boys are really excited and I am excited about all of the new boys that want to be on the team," she said. "It will be tough, but hopefully they can stick with the training and we are going to see what we can do."
The boys open the season at Southfield Lathrup on Thursday Dec. 9. After that, their next meet doesn't occur until after the new year, when they open the home portion of their schedule against Troy Athens and Bloomfield Hills Andover on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.
Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.