Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 14, 2013

Valdosta swim programs continue to develop

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta High School swim teams, nicknamed the Catfish, overcame some challenges during their third season of competitive swimming, under the instruction of head coach Brandon Joiner and assistant coach Carmen Batch.

The Catfish finished fifth at the Region 1-AAAAAA swim meet at South Georgia College in Douglas.

The combination of entering a new region and losing many key swimmers from the previous year were challenges for the Catfish this year. The members of the Catfish know that their latest season was a building year, but they feel every bit of their hard work was worth it in order to create a solid foundation for the 2013-14 season.

“I’m really proud of the swimmers that stuck with us throughout the year,” Joiner said. “I’ve got a really good group of kids. I’ve got some really good seniors that are leaving us, and I’ve got a really good group of freshmen this year. And I hope that we get some freshmen next year that are just as capable as the freshmen that we had this year. I think if we continue to grow the way we’ve been growing, we’re going to have something special there at Valdosta.”

In years past, Valdosta High School has been a part of Region 1-AAAAA. The Catfish have had an individual region champion their first two competitive seasons of swimming. Now that Valdosta has joined Region 1-AAAAAA, they are up against seven teams, instead of five. The two new teams in Region 1, Brunswick and Camden, have stiffened the swimming competition.

“Camden, especially, has made the region competition much more intense. The pressure to qualify and perform is at a much greater level compared to last year, due to the addition of teams at the region meet,” team captain McClain Talley said.

At the Region 1 meet, freshman Cecilia Carroll finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke. The girls’ 200-yard freestyle relay team, consisting of Carroll, Olivia Clements, Samantha Kielma and Talley, finished third. Team captain Austin Wallace finished third in the 100-yard freestyle. Many other Catfish added to the team’s success by accumulating points in their events. The team managed to earn enough points to give them fifth place overall.

“For what we’re doing, with the amount of swimmers that we have, I’m pretty satisfied,” Joiner said. “They’ve worked their tails off. They’ve given me everything I’ve asked of them. They’re just an awesome group of kids. They’ll do just about whatever you ask them to do, and won’t complain about it too much either.”

The members of the Valdosta girls swim team are: McClain Talley, Olivia Clements, Claire Kirkpatrick, Kate Ganas, Suzanne Alcidonice, Brooke McAllister, Tiffani Huff, Lexi Colbert, Maddy Wallace, Katelynn Kenworthy, Cecilia Carroll, Mary Talley, Lauren Pope, Samantha Kielma and Carly Loudermilk.

The members of the boys team are: Fowler Perry, David Posas, Austin Wallace, Clarke Wilson, Calvin Foster, Robbie Beeland and Chris Hanson.

Joiner says that many of his swimmers also compete in other sports. The swim team includes athletes who are also on the Valdosta track, cross country, soccer and baseball teams. Some of them swim year round. And according to their coach, all of them are good students.

“The swimmers that I have are all pretty much straight up athletes,” Joiner said. “I don’t think I have a kid on the team that wouldn’t make the honor roll. I don’t have to worry about their grades at all. They’re fantastic.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Former Blazer Kugbila out for season

    Now, after missing the 2013 season with a knee injury, this signals another hardship for the promising guard.

    July 25, 2014

  • LHS baseball signing Two Lowndes grads sign scholarships

    Lowndes graduates Henry Hoff and Nick Higginbotham decided to take the next step in their respective baseball careers together on Thursday as both signed a letter-of-intent with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More