By Sophia Brady
The Davie High swim team had a roller coaster of a season. This team was incredibly determined which is the reason they were able to prevail during these difficult circumstances. While dealing with some unfortunate situations like the unexpected departure of the previous head coach, Kelly Jo. To ensure that they would have a season, these swimmers had to come together as a group.
The first two weeks of the season were very challenging. Many swimmers and parents questioned whether there would even be a season because no one had shown much interest in the head coach position. Luckily, a few parents were able to take time out of their schedule to supervise the team’s practices. Once the swim team scheduled mandatory practices with various workouts, attendance began to rise. Those practices caught the attention of Tyde swim coach Chad Zuleger and Doctor Tak Hirata. Lance White also stepped up as a coach and behind-the-scenes coordinator for the team. Without him, the swim team would not have been able to have a season.
Davie’s first swim meet was in late November against West Forsyth and Parkland. Over the years, Davie has had a very small swim team and this year was no exception. The tension was palpable as West Forsyth arrived with thirty-plus swimmers. After the meet started, everyone seemed to relax and the general nerves of the season’s first swim meet started melting away. To spectators, it was clear that the team was starting to bond. Energy levels climbed as the team began to cheer each other on. Overall, that meet was a success and everyone was able to come together with the understanding that the team would support each other no matter what.
Without knowing how many meets they were able to have, the swim team continued to practice as if it were a normal season. Due to the hard work of Coach Lance White, Davie was able to fit in three more swim meets than initially expected, excluding Regionals and Conference. As the season progressed, there was significant improvement with all of the swimmers on the team. Even if they were put in an event that was not necessarily their strongest, swimmers were able to give all of their efforts and put up a strong fight against their opponents. One of the best nights for the team was against North Davidson. In this meet, each swimmer put up great performances with both their individual and relay races. It was an amazing performance, though unfortunately the team was too small to achieve a team win.
While the Davie Swim team did not emerge victorious at meets throughout the season, the individual success and improvements were amazing. As senior Ava Rajacich noted, “This season, everyone was so dedicated and I am so proud of everyone’s hard work. We had some amazing coaches this year, and they really encouraged everyone and helped us achieve our goals!”
The swim team’s final regular season meet was the conference championship in Kernersville. There was some very strong competition with everyone being placed in their best events. But even with this pressure, the swimmers represented Davie well with thirteen athletes making regionals. The practice continued through the next week in preparation for regionals. Everyone was nervous but still excited to compete on a higher level. Sophomore Earnhardt Harris swam two individual events, and he was able to qualify for states in the 100 fly. While no one else qualified for states, each relay was able to drop time and obtain individual success.
The Davie High swim team has been through a lot this season. Both the coaches and the swimmers have shown amazing perseverance, which has created a lasting team bond. Due to the small size of the team, they were not able to have the success they hoped for, but the individual improvement is astonishing. The Davie Swim team only has room to improve in the next few seasons, and it is exciting to see the development of the young team.