The boys swimming season is expected to be a highly competitive one this year, led by the Concord Minutemen.
Last year, Concord won the Northern Lakes Conference with a 7-0 conference record. They won the NLC championship invite and the sectional title as well as a team, advancing two individuals and two relay teams to the state meet.
This year, the Minutemen return a lot of depth from last year’s team. One of the events that helped Concord win the sectional title was the 500-yard freestyle race. Sophomore Thomas Brunner and junior Ben Ramer are back this season from those events, with those two finishing first and fourth, respectively, at the sectional last year.
Senior Will Harris won the sectional championship in the 50-yard freestyle race last year and is the lone senior on the current Concord roster. Harris, Brunner and sophomore Brayden Sellers comprised 3/4ths of the winning 200-yard relay team, giving them experience coming back in that event as well.
Harris, Brunner and junior Derek Angel also posted a good enough time in the 400-yard freestyle relay to advance to the state prelims last season.
While a lot of experience returns for Concord, coach Tom Johnson knows there will be others who will need to step up and fill roles left behind by graduating seniors.
“Over the past several years we have graduated a large number of exceptional athletes who made huge contributions to our program,” Johnson said. “We have a number of holes to fill, so all of our returning athletes are going to need to step up and improve. We are also going to look for our freshman class to contribute immediately.”
Northridge returns some swimmers with state experience as well. Senior Luke Dibley and junior Tristian Bratt return from a 200-yard medley relay team that tied for first at the sectional last year and finished 10th at the state finals. The duo was also part of the 200-yard freestyle relay team that finished 15th.
Dibley also competed individually in the 500-yard freestyle race, finishing 10th at state. As a team, Northridge placed 16th overall with 39.5 points scored.
While the Raiders lose two strong seniors in Turner Koch and Joey Garberick, Northridge coach Kyle Hembree is excited with the work his team has been able to put in during the offseason.
“I am looking forward to this season and think this team has a lot of room for growth,” Hembree said. “We spent a lot of the down time over the summer getting back to the basics and it is really showing as our boys are swimming faster than ever. We are excited to get to racing and show what this team is capable of.”
Head Coach: Tom Johnson, 14th season
Assistant Coaches: Nicolle Corporon, Kyle Mallory, Dave Rose, Tom Adams
Last season’s record: 8-2 (7-0 NLC)
Returning letterwinners: Seniors: Will Harris; Juniors: Derek Angel, Sam Carnall, Ethan Davies, Ben Ramer, Ethan Smith; Sophomores: Alan Arriaga-Perez, Tommy Brunner, Caleb McDonald, Brayden Sollars, Austin Zimmerman
Other varsity players: Freshmen: Wesley Bachman, Andrew Krause, Braeden Messenger, Alex Navarro, Brady VanKirk
Head Coach: Mia Miller, 2nd season
Assistant Coaches: Laura Rupp, Rick Hetler, ChaLi Kuiper, Katie Younghans
Last season’s record: 10-6 (3-4 NLC)
Returning letterwinners: Seniors: Will Franks, Xavier Groves, Drew Sweetser; Juniors: Austin Elliott, Jackson Gaby, Logan Harkenrider, Nick Zehr; Sophomores: Logan Cid, Sam Goertz, Caden Hodge, Logan Lagunas-Velazco, Jeremy Stutzman, Pablo Viveros Viruez, Max Yegorov
Other varsity players: Sophomore: Nathan Gaby; Freshman: Aiden Anglemyer, Levi Moser, Rigo Salazar, Skye Steury
Coach's comments on the upcoming season: “Our boys are aiming high this year. In addition to staying safe and healthy, we are looking forward to significant improvements and raising the bar of excellence.”
Head Coach: Kyle Hembree, 4th season (22-16 overall)
Assistant Coaches: Bob Burns (Diving Coach), Marissa Gardner, Travis Hembree, Evan Troyer, Trevor Sallee, Chris Shorthouse
Last season’s record: 6-7
Returning letterwinners: Luke Dibley, Jacob Sullivan, Tristin Bratt, Caleb Kauffman, Reid Haney, Braden Marshall, Trey Johnson
Other varsity players: Mason Floria, Jonah Hyden, Tim Blough, Carson Clemens, Cole Hively, Kayden Mayer
Head Coach: Sheryl Hawkins, 3rd season
Assistant Coaches: Scott Bowers, Doug Berger (diving)
Returning letterwinners: Seniors: Nick Jones, Alex Bowers, Brennan Parvu-Timmer
Head Coach: Jason Scott, 2nd season
Assistant Coaches: Ryan Harper, Seth Cripe, Dawn Yoder, Angie Metcalf
Returning letterwinners: Karlson Hand, Blake Roose, Joshua Metcalf, Zeke Kiem, Devon Kuhn, Nate Kryder, Joseph Hackleman, Harry Doss, Keegan Hurst, Camden Powell
Coach's comments on the upcoming season: “The boys are working hard and have big goals for the season.”