Diving into the future

Devyn Irvin

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Swimmers stepped onto the diving block as they waited for their coach’s instruction to dive into the water for the last time, the realization their final swim as a part of the school’s team settling in.

The swim team honored their seniors with their annual senior night, where each senior prepared to leap into the water, and had the coach read out their achievements and goals for the future. This year, there were eighteen seniors that took their dive on Monday night, October 15. A majority of those eighteen were reflective of their time on the team.

“I’ve always been on a team, like a swim team, but coming into a high school swim team was kind of a big adjustment. It was a little bit scary, a little bit fun,” senior Alexis Bryant said. “My goal every year since freshman year has been to make it districts, and I have. I was very proud of myself; it’s a cool feeling. You’re like there in the big leagues.”

Parents of the seniors, also reminisced on their child’s time on the team by showing pride for their achievements during their final dive.

“I’m incredibly proud,” father James Partlow of senior swimmer James Partlow said.. “He started swimming in ninth grade and now he’s earned the ability to be the captain now for two years on the team.”

Senior night was filled with tears of sadness, but also joy. Coach Leana Parrish announced many accomplishments made by the swimmers, as their teammates clapped in acknowledgment.

“We have had three school records broken that were held since 2012,” Parrish said. “And at our past conference over the weekend we’ve had seven medals achieved.”

However, the end of the season has given players time to reflect on the past few months, which also includes setbacks as well as triumphs.

“[An injury] destroyed my entire senior year,” senior Martin Kuadjo said. “In my first races, I was fast. Then after that, I just lost everything, but I decided to still swim because [even though] I can’t win anymore races, I can still have fun.”

At the end of this season, swimmers showed their dedication to the sport and to each other. Underclassmen made decorative signs to show their appreciation for the graduating swimmers.

“We’ve definitely grown as like a family,” senior Jaylen Parrish said. “Doing a sport changes your high school experience because you’re not just playing for yourself you’re playing for your team.”