Swim team dives into season undefeated

The 2017-18 Wildcats swim team is Ethan LaRock (back row, left to right), Logan Streeter, Peter Bagans, Zack Acton, Brandon Powers, Michael Scepka, Matthew Sabadac, Paul DeAngelis, and Steven Felcyn. In the third row are Coach Paul Howard (left to right), Alex Olheiser, Lochlan Palmrose, Garrett Warren, JJ Bagans, Zach Beatty, Peyton Nagher, Ethan Mattesan, Coach Jackie Rank, and Coach John Pearson. In the second row (left to right) are Zach Allion, John Keller, Caelan Leone, Ethan Pearson, Thomas Giberson, Mitchell Mulligan, Cameron Mumbrue, Max Jenson, and Caleb Watson. In the front row (left to right) are Nolan May, Randy Puff, Ben Datsko, Carter Pollard, Evan Covert, Max Charlton, Garrett Blaylock, and Cole Bukoski. Photo provided.
The 2017-18 Wildcats swim team is Ethan LaRock (back row, left to right), Logan Streeter, Peter Bagans, Zack Acton, Brandon Powers, Michael Scepka, Matthew Sabadac, Paul DeAngelis, and Steven Felcyn. In the third row are Coach Paul Howard (left to right), Alex Olheiser, Lochlan Palmrose, Garrett Warren, JJ Bagans, Zach Beatty, Peyton Nagher, Ethan Mattesan, Coach Jackie Rank, and Coach John Pearson. In the second row (left to right) are Zach Allion, John Keller, Caelan Leone, Ethan Pearson, Thomas Giberson, Mitchell Mulligan, Cameron Mumbrue, Max Jenson, and Caleb Watson. In the front row (left to right) are Nolan May, Randy Puff, Ben Datsko, Carter Pollard, Evan Covert, Max Charlton, Garrett Blaylock, and Cole Bukoski. Photo provided.

Oxford’s boys swim and dive team is looking to wash away its competition this season and is well on its way with a 3-0 record.

The Wildcats made a name for themselves as they claimed a 136-50 victory over Oakland Activities Association (OAA) White division rival Clarkston on Dec. 21. Oxford took the top spot in all 12 events that day and also swept three of the nine individual events.

Of the 32 boys on the team this season, 18 are returning athletes who, according to Head Coach Jackie Rank, should help lead the team to the top of the white division.

“We want the boys to always be harder-working and tougher than their competition,” Rank said. “We are teaching them that they are stronger than they think and that they always have a little more that they can give.”

“From a team standpoint, we are looking for individual improvements which will, in turn, generate a stronger performance than last season. We also want the boys to have a sense of accomplishment and develop relationships that will last far beyond their high school career.”

While Rank said it will take all 32 boys on the team to win dual and championship meets, she said several students have shown great leadership, work ethic and talent in the pool this season. They are senior captains Mitchell Mulligan (diver), Garrett Warren and Brandon Powers (any-distance freestyle).

She also said the coaches are “expecting great things out of” junior captain Alex Olheiser (freestyle and backstroke) and returning seniors Zack Acton (any-distance Freestyle) and Michael Scepka.

“We have many other returning athletes that I could easily list here, plus we have an excellent freshman class and new additions to the team that are already making names for themselves,” Rank noted.

Thanks to the dedication shown by this season’s swimmers, Rank said the Wildcats are bringing several positive attributes to the pool.

“Our biggest strengths for this season include leadership, team buy-in, working together and having a versatile group of athletes that we can rearrange in a lineup depending on the opponent,” Rank said.

As the Wildcats compete this season, Rank is confident her team has what it takes to meet and overcome every challenge.

“We have some great leadership in this group of returning athletes, especially our senior class. We also have a great group of young athletes. With all of these boys together for one season, this will be our best season to date,” said Rank.

The team’s next meet against Rochester will be held Thursday, Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. in the Rochester High natatorium (180 S. Livernois Rd., Rochester Hills).

 

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