The Masuk boy’s swim team has had quite a start to their season. Beginning the season with little idea of who their coach would be, to the coaches they later got quitting within a week, the boys on the team have faced quite a few obstacles in a short amount of time.
In the past few years, the team has had many different coaches, and can’t seem to get one to stay permanently. The start of this season helped prove that.
The team ended last season led by Coach Emily Demace. Demace also coached Masuk’s girl’s swim team last year, and continued during their fall season this year. Other than her experience at Masuk, Demace also coached for the Rapids swim team. But, she had to leave both the Rapids and Masuk swim teams. This left the team searching for a new coach.
Tom Horan, who has coached the Masuk girl’s swim team alongside Demace for two years, decided to coach the boy’s team this season. Horan has also coached for the Rapids swim team and was an assistant coach for the boy’s team last season. He was coming into this season with experience, having already coached the current team for a season.
But, Horan did not take on this feat alone. Standing beside him was Rapids coach Scott Tummins. Unlike Horan, he was going in blind. This was the first season Tummins was with the boys. And, from the events that later played out, one can predict that it has also been his last.
The season started shortly after Thanksgiving break. While the swim team is a no cut team, their first three days of practice were treated as tryouts. Horan and Tummins came to the practices and met the boys, beginning to form bonds with the people they expected to see frequently for the following months. However, the bond between the coaches and swimmers, if ever formed, was short-lived. Horan and Tummins both resigned after only a week of coaching. An incident left the Masuk boy’s swim team without a coach only two weeks away from their first meet of the season.
“The beginning of the season was a bit rough, especially with both of our coaches resigning. Fortunately, our old coach returned temporarily and we found a new one” said Alexander Malecki, “At this point the season is beginning to look up.”
The team was in a state of panic, and rumors started to fly around. While the old coach, Demace, temporarily returned, the team was not truly set until the rumors of an alumni in the area would come back and coach became true. Meanwhile, the team temporarily halted their practices without a coach, only left to hope their season wasn’t over.
Soon, their wishes were answered.
“There was an issue with the two original coaches, which I don’t completely know what even happened, but neither of them could do it and they called me.” says the new coach, Aiden Lein.
A couple days after the team drama, Masuk swim alumni Lein volunteered to fill the role. Lein graduated from Masuk in 2021 and is bringing his past swimming experience into his new coaching job.
“I have a couple swimmers that look like they could be making opens.” says Lein in anticipation for the upcoming season, “One swimmer, Riley Sheppard, I know he wants to make states, so I’m gonna try to make that happen. If anyone has a goal, I want to try to help them accomplish that.” The team continues to look sturdy and unfazed despite the unusual circumstances they have faced. Lein is not the only one keeping the outlook of the season positive.
“I feel good, the team is looking good,” says sophomore Brendan Kirberger, “We lost some seniors last year, but we gained some freshmen, so we are feeling pretty good.” The team continues to work hard and practice every day to develop more technique and skill in the water.
“They’ve been doing really good. I’m glad that we could have a season. Even though it’s not what was expected a little bit in as to the coaches quitting,” says Lein, “They are really surprising me. They are very disciplined, good kids and we’re going pretty fast. We are going faster than I expected.”
The kids on the team also seem to like the addition of Lein.
“Our coaches quit. Now we have a new one and he’s looking good so far. I really like him,” says Brendan Kirberger, “He is a good coach and he is doing us well.”
While the future of the Masuk boy’s swim team is uncertain, the team is filled with resilience and energy. The Masuk boy’s swim team is expected to compete this Thursday at the Masuk pool at six p.m. for their first home meet of the season.