Numbers are somewhat down for the Lady Indians swim team at Hillsboro High School with only five girls on the squad, but for the boys numbers are up with a total of 11 swimmer for the Indians.
“Our numbers aren’t that great for the girls with only five, but the five we do have are extremely talented,” Joe Rhonemus, head coach of the swim teams said. “We were able to take four girls to sectional last year and placed 9th out of 20 teams with just those four, which in swimming, is a pretty good feat.
“We have one senior this year in Reaghan Haines and it is her first year swimming. She has been tossing around the idea of swimming the past three years and decided her senior year to try it and now she’s kicking herself for not doing it before. She has proved to be a very good swimmer already.
“The other girls on our team are freshmen and sophomores, which is exciting because we have a young group to gain experience and build around.”
For the boys teams, coach Rhonemus is very excited because for the first time in a while, they have numbers to go with their talent.
“Just like the girls, these guys placed 9th at sectionals with just four swimmers against teams that had 10,11, or 12 guys,” Rhonemus said. “There was talent but not the numbers. This year we have both, so I’m excited to see what we can do in the league, sectionals, and districts.”
Braden Wildey, the lone senior on the team, will look to finally make it to the state tournament after missing it in years past by just fractions of seconds.
“Braden is a senior on out team this year and this will be his fourth year. He has been just tenths of seconds away from qualifying for state. If he has a good year, which I think he is going to, I think he can get that qualification for state.
“One of our foreign exchange students, Jaime Carmonce, is a surfer back home in Spain and you can tell because he is an amazing swimmer. I think it’s going to be fun to watch what he can do for us this season.”
The swim team may be youthful this year, but coach Rhonemus couldn’t be more excited because not only are they talented this year, they can use this group to build for years to come.
“We only have one senior this season and of course we’ll lose the exchange students after this year, but everyone else is a freshman or sophomore,” said coach Rhonemus. “That means we’re going to have a nice little nucleus of young guys to build on for next year and hopefully add to.
“The kids on both of these teams know how hard they have to work to be successful at it and I don’t have to push them for that. I push them very hard but it’s a sport where you have to push yourself or you’re not going to do very good.
“We’d like to get people to see that swimming is here and it’s going to take some time to build it up, but once it gets going, it’s going to be a sport that most kids are going to really enjoy. I’m hoping that the school continues with the sport and the community gets behind it and we can really start to build something special here.”
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.