Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

New swim teams dives in

Blue Nation could make some waves during the 2014-2015 athletic year.
Unicoi County High School officially formed its swim team in mid-August, according to head coach Jonathan Kenney, and the team is currently in the process of preparing for its first meet t for Oct. 14, at Tennessee High.
“Joe Ebarb at the YMCA spoke with Mrs. (Denise) Brown and was able to get it started,” Kenney said. “We started practicing Sept. 14 and we have a month to prepare for our first meet.”
It’s been about building up the interest, Kenney added, with more than 10 student athletes taking part in the program.
“We have that amount right now,” he said. “We’ve had kids come up and ask about the team. There’s 11 or 12 girls and three or four boys currently, but the numbers are still fluxuating.”
Coaching has come naturally for Kenney. The head coach is coming off his first season as the head coach of the UCHS tennis team – a team that brought home a state title for the school.
But coaching a swim team has been different, he noted.
“There’s more of a learning curve,” Kenney said. “With tennis, we had kids who’ve played and newer kids that have had some experience and now it’s a brand new sport for the kids. We have a short time to learn as much stuff as we can.”
Kenney and coach Brandon Adams make up the coaching staff for this season.
“Brandon’s been great to work with,” Kenney said. “We’ve worked together in pool-related things. We’ve been lifeguards for three years.”
The riptide of interest for swimming has caught the headlines in the past for Unicoi County.
Recent UCHS graduate Katie Garrabrant represented the Blue Nation while swimming with the Science Hill team and experienced the Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association state meet.
“It’s great,” Kenney said about the induction of another team for the high school. “It adds another different sport for people that would be interested and don’t want to play the major ones.
“It brings students out. … We’ve had kids come out and show promise, but there are still things we have to cover. This season about getting the word out and interest going to continue for next year.”
UCHS will compete in five meets this season – all on the road. The season will feature a pair of multi-team meets, Kenney explained. The school is currently in the planning stages to have home meets next season.
“We’ll be on the road for five swim meets this season,” Kenney said. “We are going to look at getting the right things in place to host home meets in the future. The only team in our league is Elizabethton, but we’ll compete against teams Dobyns-Bennett, Tennessee High and Volunteer.”
The UCHS swim team is currently practicing at the Unicoi County Family YMCA on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.