The Roar

Swim Team Awaits Announcement of New Coach

Winter sports are just around the corner, and the boys and girls swim team remains in the dark as to who will take on the job as head coach this year. The coach will remain anonymous until Loudoun County Public Schools officially announces his or her hiring, making it uncertain as to when the team will finally learn who will take on the role as their leader for the 2018-2019 season.

As the set dates for tryouts quickly approach, swimmers are feeling a variety of emotions in response to the controversy surrounding the coach. For senior Stephanie Dye, this will be her third head coach in her four year swim career at Potomac Falls. “It’s kinda scary honestly,” said Dye. “I don’t know who the coach is going to be and if they will change our practice schedule or switch up the meet order and stuff like that, so it’s kinda scary.”

Swimmers returning to the team also looking forward to the opportunity a challenge brought with working with a different coach.“I think I’m more excited than nervous. I am concerned that since we don’t know the coach we won’t be able to acclimate to his or her coaching style in time for a strong start to the season,” said Sophomore Sophia Castor.

With hopes of improving both in and out of the water, swimmers believe a coach with strong leadership qualities will help them achieve such goals. “I look for a coach who knows what they are doing and has the initiative and strong personality to really kick us into gear and get us ready for a strong swim season. I also look for a coach who is willing to work with the swimmers to further improve their times and not just be there to watch them where they are,” Castor added.

To avoid tensions internalizing within the team, it became important to the swimmers that there is communication on both sides. Freshman and newcomer to the team Tess Durham believes that he or she must, “be open minded and have fun because it’s high school [swim].”

The swim team also has traditions that shape the dynamics of the team.  Keeping these traditions, including playing dodgeball and having pasta parties, is important to swimmers because it helps with morale. “Definitely dodgeball. Pasta parties are kind of, you know that has to happen. Definitely dodgeball,” said junior Will Fontaine.

Athletic Director Michael Sipe expressed his approval for the head coach, whom he ultimately chose as the primary nominee to send to the Loudoun County Central Office. “Any time I send a candidate up to be hired, you know we’ve made the decision that they should be the right one for the job. Only time will tell, but that’s part of the decision process, and we have to make that decision before we send them. I’m not gonna recommend anybody for a job where I don’t feel like it’s the right position for them.”

Acknowledging the team’s concerns about the upcoming season, Sipe stated, “Anytime we have a new coach with any of our programs, I would ask that everybody gives them a warm welcome. Secondly, give them an opportunity to build a program, work with them, you know a coach can only do so much. I have always told people and parents that the athletes have to be fifty percent of the process and a coach has to be fifty percent of the process. Everybody’s got to be willing to work together for one goal and purpose. We can’t have one fighting against another. It’s a two way street, not a one way street.”

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