Two of the four area’s boys swim team have a new man in charge on the pool deck.
For Marysville – the reigning Blue Water Classic champions – will have Steve Rogers replacing Mindy Mallwitz. St. Clair will see Ken Sygit take a step back into an assistant coaching role while promoting recent St. Clair grad Marcus Cronce to head coach.
It’s a change that could shake up a few teams, but the Vikings and Saints are ready to hit the ground running this winter.
“We have a large amount of kids out this year,” Rogers said, who will also be assisted by his wife, Julie. “We have a vast array of abilities, but what’s impressed me is how enthusiastic they are about getting better.”
The Vikings will be missing a bit of talent from last year as Kyle Raymo, Tommy Butler, Dillen Perron and Dylan Pankow graduated. However, strong returning swimmers like Michael Rasnick, Derek Wilson, Andrew Patchel, Ian Hall, Noah Rogers and Cody Hepinstal will still keep the Vikings gunning for the Macomb Area Conference Blue title.
The title they barely lost to Anchor Bay last season.
“What left a bad taste in the mouth was the Anchor Bay loss by two points,” Rogers said. “They want to better themselves.”
Also being competitive in the MAC Blue chase will be the Saints, led by the 22-year-old Cronce. The young age is hardly a notable with his swimming résumé that includes coaching all seven days of the week between St. Clair and Blue Water Swim Club.
“I wouldn’t say it’s nerve-wracking, it’s more exciting than anything,” Cronce said. “It’s more exciting that I get to do this and they get to look at me as the head coach.”
St. Clair proved they have reason for their lofty goals by placing fourth at the Warren Woods-Tower Relays over the weekend. They’ll also be returning state tournament-caliber swimmers Evan Wonner, Adam George, William Oldford, Christian Doenges and Tristian Fraley to make the Saints a team that will likely be one of the most improved teams from last season.
“We have some lofty state goals,” Cronce said. “If those guys can hit the times we planned out they will be top in the state for the relays.”
Port Huron United returns talent
The Port Huron Pirates, the combined Port Huron and Port Huron Northern team, only graduated one senior from last year’s team in Eric Langolf. Albeit he was a great swimmer, but the Pirates are looking forward to a team that’s returning seven swimmers to the pool led by Zach Seim, Felix Archer, Jarred Ross, James Kennedy and Anthony Romzek.
Coming off a second-place finish in the MAC Gold from a season ago, the Pirates have reason to be excited for the upcoming year.
“With the added roster size and key swimmers working in the off-season, I’m really looking forward to what this team does in the Gold, and our area,” head coach Kyle Doty said.