Swim Team Accomplishes Many Goals
The Rockland High School boys’ and girls’ swim teams honored their seniors on Friday, Jan. 26 before their meet with Scituate.
Julie Margolis, the swim teams’ coach called the night a success and praised all her swimmers along with the seniors. “We had a lot of fun tonight. The kids swam great. There were lots of best times despite losing.”
Wins have been hard to come by this year for the hard-working swim teams but that is not the point, says Margolis. “Our goals this season were to have fun and to improve our strokes. Everyone has done so,” she said.
Specifically she points to the fun atmosphere at practices where students enjoy learning and trying new things. “We’ve had a fun year. The kids have all earned some personal best swims and continue to get better every week. Most are even trying different events.”
She added, “Almost everyone can do a flip turn and most have at least three strokes legal for meets.” These are big accomplishments for her swimmers since many are largely inexperienced unlike many of their opponents.
With such a positive outlook regarding all her swimmers Margolis did not want to single out one or two as unsung heros. She believes that all of her swimmers are unsung heroes. “These kids come Monday through Thursday, 7:45 p.m.-9 p.m. every week and work really hard. Most hadn’t even had swim lessons and have learned to swim and race in legal strokes. Every time out in the pool these kids work so hard to improve and to win but it’s really hard to compete with other towns that have town pools or year round swim opportunities.”
Margolis also feels that her swimmers have to overcome a lack of notice and respect at school. She said, “These kids hear all day at school ‘that’s not a sport; swimming is for sissies,’ and much worse.”
She wishes that the school would give them as much attention as the other sports. “They [swimmers] continue to come to meets discouraged because every other team at the school gets announced for their games but not swim.”
Junior John Ellard who switched over to swimming after being in the basketball program for two years has similar feelings about the swim team not being recognized as much. “Swimming isn’t really a popular sport at RHS. We don’t have any faculty or students attend our meets regularly, a lot different from basketball. For next year, I’ve made it my goal to hype up the swim team more. We put in as much hard work and dedication as everyone else, and deserve to be recognized for it.”
For Ellard, one of the positive aspects of being in the swim program is the ability to do other things as well as be on the swim team because they practice at night. “With swimming, I can play a sport at a varsity level while also becoming more involved in [after] school activities.” Ellard admits that he misses being part of a great basketball program. “With all of the success they’ve had, I do miss wearing that uniform alongside my teammates.”
But swimming has brought new challenges and opportunities.“I’m definitely happy that I switched over to swimming. The team is phenomenal, our coach is outstanding, and the sport itself is challenging in a good way.”
Swimming has also given Ellard the opportunity to meet new people.
“Another pro [of joining the swim team] is that I get to become so close with a variety of students. Being able to develop close relationships with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise, is definitely a plus.”
Coach Margolis would love to expand the program and hopes that with more student participation they could even add a diving team next year.