Their numbers and experience may have been affected slightly with losing three swimmers to graduation last year, but head coach Baxter Heinert is still optimistic about a promising and exciting season.
“We currently have 11 swimmers on our roster, and about half of those students are returning swimmers,” he said. Returning this year are seniors Michael Gifford, Jacob Elliot and Kade Guenther.
“All three of our seniors have made incredible growth over the past three years, and we are expecting to see that this year as well,” Heinert said. “All three of them went to state with us last February, so coach (Stacy) Wood and I are optimistic about what we will see from them this year.
“Gifford is definitely one of our strongest swimmers. He has had some big improvements since his freshman year and knowing Michael, I think we should all expect him to go all out for his senior year.”
Also returning to the Bearcat swim team will be juniors Jeffrey Cuevas and Jack Winslow. Junior Ronnan McPherson, who was a diver last year, will be returning as a swimmer for this season, according to Heinert.
“Both Cuevas and Winslow have made significant growth over the past three years, not just in times, but they have both become strong leaders on our team,” he said.
There are some new faces to the team this year that Heinert is excited to work with.
“We have a group of underclassmen that we are excited to work with. Our team has made such amazing growth within the past three years and we hope to continue that trend,” he said. “They have rearranged the 3A teams for swimming as well as the east and west conference so we are looking forward to new competition this year.
The first meet will be Dec. 11 in Buffalo.
“This will be an interesting, exciting and a brand new year for the Bearcat swimmers and we are ready to get started.”