It’s winter sports season, which means it’s time for high school swimming and diving to start. Leesville’s team has always been consistently dominant, especially the women’s team. They’ve been Conference Champions for the past 7 years and are coming off a state championship title. The men, on the other hand, made large strides last year, winning their first duel meet in three years.
This year’s team will be quite different from last year, which graduated fourteen seniors. Many of the swimmers who graduated were also high school regionals and states qualifiers, so the team will undoubtedly feel their loss. The team is going to have to rely on their young talent to rebuild after losing so many seniors, but there’s no doubt young athletes will step up.
The new freshmen are excited to join the team, and are aware of the big shoes to fill. “I have a lot of confidence and I’m excited to see what it’s like to be a part of a team that has won state championships in the past,” said Alexis Mast, a freshman on the team.
Also notable is a change in coaching. For the past few years, the swim team had been coached by Jack Rogers, athletic director. This year, however, new art teacher Stephen Shingler will take over the swim team, after coaching at St. David’s for the past ten years. Not only did Shingler previously coach swimming, but he was also a swimmer in high school and understands the excitement of high school swimming. “I am really looking forward to working with a much larger team than I am used to. Team spirit here at Leesville has been incredible and I am looking forward to seeing that passion take form on the pool deck,” said Shingler.
Competition with the new team starts soon, and many freshmen will get to make their high school swimming debut. The first swim meet will be November 26 at 7:30pm at Triangle Aquatic Center.