A Dive Into the Hopes and Goals for the Swim Season


Josephine Robinson

“We are already swimming three times 100 yards more than we were at this time last year,” Mr. Dreisbach said. “I’m just excited to see that people seem to be in good health and are really enthusiastic about it and ready to go.”

Rita Tran, Staff Reporter

Even though the winter swim season has just begun, the swim coaches have high hopes for how it will progress.

“My hope is really simply that everyone improves. I really want to see the most experienced swimmers set some high expectations and exceed those expectations,” swim coach and English teacher Mr. Paul Dreisbach said. “I want to see the least experienced swimmers really gain some confidence over the course of the season.” 

With 65 people signed up on the swim roster, this year’s practices have had to look a little different for everyone to be able to practice efficiently. “We have extra practices, which means that there’s gonna be smaller groups, so it’s not too crowded,” said Mr. Paul Collins, head coach for the swim team and religion teacher here at La Salle. 

The extra practices were implemented to be a way for teammates to practice with the same people, letting them practice with their friends while training for meets. Additionally, there will also be a way for people to practice for more than an hour each day if they want to.

Although swimming is a competitive team sport, “it’s very individual and personal, you want to set your own goals,” Mr. Collins said. The team collectively competes for points, but each swimmer is focused on beating their personal record. 

One of the biggest goals the coaches have this year is for there to be a strong connection between the swimmers and the coaches. Even though the sport is mostly about individual records and goals, they want the team to be strong as a whole.  “I am most excited to cheer for other teammates because it is a lot of fun, like last year,” sophomore Kayla Chapman said. Last year, Chapman said that everyone came together and supported each other, cheering along the edge of the pool. The coaches hope that this can happen again and that the team can become even closer and stronger as a result. 

Last year the COVID-19 virus was very prevalent, forcing many team members to not be able to participate as much in community building or practices. This year, with lower chances of getting sick, making sure that the team is fully healthy with no injuries is a desire of several coaches. “Swimming is a way to stay healthy through life, and we don’t want swim to become something that causes injury or causes people to get sick,” Mr. Collins said. 

As far as competition goals, “I would like to win most or all of our dual meets,” Mr. Collins said. With so many new team members coming with different experience levels, the coaches think that this season could have a good outcome if everyone pushes themselves to try their hardest. 

Being a dedicated team member is essential to becoming a better swimmer, but the coaches also express to the team that they are students before athletes. It is expected that the students should be able to focus on their studies as well as all of their extracurricular activities. “I think it’s healthy to be involved in a lot of different activities,” Mr. Collins said. “Not just sports, but drama and all these other good things.”

The coaches want each member to be able to grow into a better and stronger swimmer during this swim season, but also grow into a happier and better person overall. “My job is to get students to participate in swimming and to be fit, as well as build a happier community for others,” Mr. Collins said.

So far, many of the team members have felt that the first few weeks have been a chance for them to get back into the swing of things. “I think that we have all been improving a lot with our hard work these past weeks,” sophomore Melly Riel said. 

Something that has helped motivate new and old swimmers this year to put in their best efforts is everyone on the team cheering and supporting each other. “It helps when everyone is bringing each other up and they are encouraging each other,” sophomore Maria Buczkowski said. 

Even very early in the season, the team feels a sense of community, support, and care from those around them. “I came in not really knowing anyone and now I am pretty close with people,” Buczkowski said. “It definitely was nice to come in and be welcomed.” 

As the season progresses, the members of the team have a lot of goals for the season. “I hope that we continue to win meets, that people can meet their personal records and make new ones,” sophomore Emma Graves said. “I also hope we can get closer as a team even more.”

The first invitational swim meet of the season took place at the North Clackamas Aquatic Center this past Friday, Dec. 2. La Salle competed against two 6A schools, Central Catholic High School and St. Mary’s Academy. The La Salle girls team lost to St. Mary’s Academy, 58-112, but both the boys and girls teams beat Central Catholic: girls winning 93-76 and boys winning 91-68. The points will not contribute to season rankings as the meet was considered a friendly invitational to kick off the season. 

The team’s first competitive meet will take place on Dec. 9. It will be at the North Clackamas Aquatic Center at 4:00 p.m.