Boys swimming dives into the season

Coaches, swimmers prepare for season

Senior+captain+Andre+Barajas+practices+the+freestyle+stroke+Dec.+2.+Parks+first+meet+is+6+p.m.+Dec.+9+at+the+Hopkins+North+Junior+High+School.

Ava Ashby

Senior captain Andre Barajas practices the freestyle stroke Dec. 2. Park’s first meet is 6 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Hopkins North Junior High School.

Lilia Gonzalez

As the boys’ swim team gets ready for the season, assistant coach Joe Yaeger said the swimmers have already established a strong community within the team. 

“They’re definitely what I would consider a team across the board — they all want each other to do well. Then on the other side, they’re very competitive. So for them to lose, they have to take it from them. They’re not going to give it to anybody,” Yaeger said.

Senior captain Andre Barajas said the team is focusing on team bonding after losing the social aspect last season due to COVID-19.  

There’s a lot of energy flowing throughout the pool, especially during practice where we all scream at each other and just have fun. That encourages us to work hard.”

— Hiro Mckee

“It was really hard to come together as a team,” Barajas said. “But obviously that team bonding effect is pretty important. It adds a different effect to the meets, we feel a lot more connected. So Hiro, the other captain and I have really been trying to prioritize planning some team bonding events like a team sleepover, pasta parties before meets and stuff like that.”

According to senior captain Hiro Mckee, the strong bond and fun atmosphere makes the swimmers want to succeed. 

“There’s a lot of energy flowing throughout the pool, especially during practice where we all scream at each other and just have fun. That encourages us to work hard,” Mckee said. 

According to Barajas, the team is excited for their first meet against Hopkins, as the swimmers are well acquainted with many of the opposing teams swimmers.

“It’s Hopkins, and that’s not our biggest rival, but they’re a big rival in the way that we know a lot of the kids on the team because we swim club with them,” Barajas said. “(The team) feels more comfortable going against people they know and especially for a first meet, that’s a good intro to the season.”

Mckee said that the only thing the team needs to work on is going above and beyond with their effort. 

“If we just keep doing what we’re doing, and put our 110% effort in instead of our 100% effort, we can do so much better,” Mckee said. 

Park will face off against Hopkins at 6 p.m. Dec. 9 at Hopkins North Junior High School.