The crowd roared with excitement as South’s boys’ varsity swim team sent water flying with every stroke; banging on the clear panels of the stands, their teammates watched on with a renewed excitement. With a million thoughts racing through his head, senior David Rugen gets into his ‘ready position’ as he prepared to dive into the water. A feeling of nervous-excitement consumed him when suddenly a whistle is blown and into the water he goes.
In preceding years, the swim team has been competing well, according to Rugen, and he expects the team to do no different this year.
“My goal for the team this season is to make sure everyone is always giving their all,” Rugen said. “People tend to get tired as the season goes on so I want to make sure everyone is putting as much effort in.”
The boys are able to motivate and support one another through training as well as the mental side of the sport, Rugen stated. When things don’t go as planned, the team has learned to get back up on their feet and utilize their past experiences, according to Rugen.
“If we have one bad day we can’t worry about it the next,” Rugen said. “We just have to keep going, forget about the day before and start each day over, pushing ourselves and [learning] from our mistakes.”
Head coach Keith MacDonald reflected on his past as a swimmer and acknowledged the dedication and time needed to achieve the goals of a committed athlete. MacDonald respects his swimmers and appreciates their eagerness to excel both individually and as a team.
“I like that the kids are all in,” MacDonald said. “They are extremely committed, and focused [on] being the best they can be.”
As one of the varsity boys’ swimmers, senior Kevin Becker also notes the special bond the boys create during the season. Originally, Becker was unsure of his commitment to the team, but after bonding with his teammates, he knew that swim would become a part of his life for the next four years.
“After [freshman year], I realized that this is the community and this is the team that I really connected with at Glenbrook South,” Becker said. “It was definitely the people.”
Although the team may have some tough competitors up against them this year, MacDonald believes that the boys should be able to work hard and not have to worry about their opponents.
“It doesn’t matter who [our competitors are],” Macdonald said. “We will focus on being the best we can be.”