COSHOCTON – Four swimmers from Coshocton High School made the trip to C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton for the state swim meet last year.
Two of those swimmers have graduated — Brian Rogers and Patrick Brouse — Rogers was known for his breaststroke on the team and Brouse was a first timer, who improved rapidly.
The Redskins have retained the other half of that 200 medley state qualifying relay — Bryce Philabaum and Cody McVay — both seniors and captains will make an impact on the boys season this year.
But, the loss of Brouse and Rogers still hurts.
“It’s a pretty big loss,” McVay said. “We lost our record breast stroker, so it’s kind of hard to replace that and Brouse got really good really fast. It’s a big loss.”
But there is a senior who can fill one of those spots — Talon Babcock.
“Talon has a pretty good freestyle,” Philabaum said. “Him and Patrick (Brouse) were always battling it out last year, so he will probably fall right in.”
But they will still be looking for a fourth swimmer to step in and give them some depth. But despite, that preseason uncertainty over the fourth swimmer, both Philabaum and McVay have high expectations for the boys’ season.
With six seniors and four returning lettermen, McVay said he believes the team can perform very well at districts and potentially earn a state qualifying spot in another relay — the 200 free.
“Talon (Babcock) is a good 50 swimmer, Bryce is a pretty good 50 swimmer and so am I, it’s just finding that fourth guy, which is key,” McVay said.
The girls team returns six letterwinners, all who witnessed the 200 medley group qualify for the state meet and captain Taylor Holderbaum believes that will motivate the young team.
“Instead of thinking it’s a dream you can’t really achieve, I think it will motivate everyone a lot,” she said.
The girls team is without any seniors this year, and with a young group Shaw said she wants to see them improve and that’s what Holderbaum expects as well.
“I expect everyone to at least get there best times or make it to districts,” she said.
The boys and girls teams will begin the season Tuesday at Orrville against River View and Orrville.
“I’m not sure what we are up against with Orrville,” Shaw said. “I know River View has a big team. I think the boys will fair well, but the girls we will have to wait and see.”