Boys varsity swim and dive team finishes its season with a 5-9 record and unbreakable bonds


Through the wins, losses, and morning practices, the boys varsity swim and dive team ended off its season by facing tough competition at the state meet. While the loss was not the result the boys had hoped for, being able to show off how much they have grown throughout the last few months was enough for them in the end. 

At the state meet, the boys showed their compassion for how hard they have worked and why they deserved to be there in the first place. The team was one of six schools to qualify for all three relays for the finals and dominated the diving scene with Cole Hysong, who showed out and placed third overall.

It’s been a ride for the guys this year. It’s only right to look back at the season’s roadmap.

In the first meet of the season, the team faced off against Battle Creek Lakeview, Portage Central, and Forest Hills Northern/Eastern, and with a score of 288, the boys placed fourth out of fifteen teams. In just the first meet, the freshman boys particularly were getting used to what the season ahead of them would be like and how competitive the swimming community can be.

Gavin Cai was a returning junior to the team and was ready to see how it would do during the early practices and the harsh conditioning. 

“I think, all things considered, it went pretty well; one of our fastest swimmers graduated last year and we have a lot of rookies, so I think it was a great first experience and a great way to start the season,” Gavin said. 

Next on the list, the team battled multiple opponents, such as Wayland, Grand Rapids Union, and East Kentwood. The boys pulled off a second win and swam laps around their competitors. The team was still getting to know the competition, though, due to the fact that it was only the second meet of the season. 

Head coach Dennis Neat was proud of the boys and excited to see how far they can go throughout the season. He was ready to train the boys to be the best swimmers they could be. 

“I’m excited about the team this year, as we are back to running a regular full-season schedule of training and meets,” coach Neat said. “Our goal is to be as competitive as possible at every meet.”

At the meet everyone had been waiting for, the boys faced off against their rivals in the Forest Hills Northern Huskies and scored a total of 100 points. Being on a varsity team is already difficult, and on top of after-school practices, the boys worked hard in the mornings and got to know each other and grow as a team. 

Freshman Nolan Breckon was eager to get to know the team and grow as a swimmer.

“Everyone is happy, they are all communicative. It’s a great community,” Nolan said. “Being there, doing the work, getting it done, and being ready for the next meet is my favorite part.”

With an impressive season and a lot of growth within each swimmer, the boys varsity swim team had proven day in and day out how much it deserved to be at the state meet. Overall, the boys finished their season with a record of 5-9. 

Coach Dennis Neat is beyond proud of the boys’ hard work and dedication. Seeing how much they have grown this season makes all of his hard work and time worth it. 

They have been through the most unique four years that I have ever seen as a coach and throughout all of the different life or school events,” coach Neat said. “I believe they all will be stronger from living through this adversity. They each brought out the best in each other and developed some special friendships.”