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.”

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Blazers to play three games on GSC-TV

    Valdosta State will play three televised games this fall, the Gulf South Conference announced Wednesday as it released its GSC-TV schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • 2014 World Championships 216 (640x427).jpg Best of the Best

    The students of Performance Martial Arts Academy continue to rack up accolades and after a weekend in Little Rock, Ark., those accolades include the title of world champion.
    Mark Webb and Madison Swain both earned world championships at the American Taekwondo Association's Taekwondo World Championships a few weeks ago. Four other Performance Martial Arts students also competed in the event.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Berrien practice 1a.jpg Moving forward

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Falcons_Ryan.jpg Ryan takes teaching role for Falcons offense

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bridgestone_Tiger.jpg Woods faces 2 big weeks that shape rest of season

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.

    July 28, 2014

Blazers Blog