WRITTEN BY PHIL ROULIER
Though the spotlight for high school sports might always be on the grand spectacle that is American Football, other sports hold just as much meaning to the students, coaches, and parents who participate. Though void of many of the grandeur of the Friday night lights, these sports develop a sense of teamwork and the spirit of competition that will last a lifetime. For those on the Farragut Swim Team, this is no exception.
The Farragut Swim Team was formed with the sole intention of developing swimming skills in young students. Although the ability to make an open field tackle or to kick a soccer ball with the perfect amount of weight might be useful on the field, swimming offers a unique skill that serves as a trait that has the potential to save lives, making it arguably the most useful sport in terms of lifelong practicality. The Farragut Swim Team has grown incredibly in the past decade, both in the number of swimmers and its quality. The Middle School Team, which was established 5 years ago, has since blossomed and now showcases over 60 of Farragut Middle School’s best. Development at a young age is key, and many of these swimmers will go on to practice and compete on the High School team and beyond. In fact, many of the Farragut Swim Team’s senior swimmers have gone on to swim at the college level.
Brenda McGrath, the team manager for the past five years, has played an integral role in developing the program to the high standards of competition that it showcases today. “We know how important it is to develop the skills of swimming at a young age, so we try to make the process as competitive as possible. We attempt to follow all TSSAA standards. Doing so makes for a more competitive and overall productive environment for our swimmers.“ Brenda has had a hand in all aspects of the team: from coaching selections to organization of meets, but knows it’s a group effort. “I cannot express how valuable the parents of our kids are. Anyone who has been to a swim meet knows it can be sheer chaos at times: without the parents and their dedication to the team this would not be possible.” Coaching is also a huge part of what makes the Farragut Swim Team jive. Head coach Cameron Higdon, who swam at the college level, has been coaching the team for 2 years now. “Cameron is a wonderful coach and leader for our teams”, says Brenda. “We have had the luxury of some great coaches throughout my time as manager for the team.”
The Farragut Swim season starts after Labor Day, with team practices 3 times a week (2 per week for the middle school) for the duration of the season. Meets are held on Sundays at the UT Aquatic Center, giving a grand setting for the nearly 100 competing students. The team competes in standard swimming competitions, as well as diving competitions. The team holds meets against universal rivals such as Bearden, Hardin Valley, and Maryville.
Those who wish to experience these competitions are welcome to come out and show your support!