By Jamie Ballard
The future of the swim program at SVHS was unclear up until recently, due to the fact that there was no swim coach available, and potential applicants were having trouble finding the job posting.
In the past, the SVHS swim team has begun practices in early Feb. Due to lack of a coach, students began to worry that the swim team would be nonexistent. Swimmers who had been on the team in previous years were caught up in a panic that their sport of choice would be no more. Luckily, Cynthia Leonard stepped in to take over.
Leonard, who coached the Petaluma High swim team last year, has high hopes for the swim program at SVHS. “I definitely expect to see the swim team grow. The more the merrier!”
Like many community members, she believes that having a pool on campus would be an enormous benefit. “I think the swim team would prosper a lot more if kids could just get out of school and have the pool right there, rather than having to drive across town.” (The swim team currently practices at Hanna Boys Center or Agua Caliente).
Leonard is also a huge fan of cross training, and encourages students who play other sports to join the swim team as well.
“When I coached at Petaluma High, many members of the swim team were football players interested in keeping fit and staying active during their off-season. They mentioned that swimming was the hardest sport that they had ever done, and that it definitely helped them keep in shape for football!”
As for those who are already devoted to swimming, Leonard hopes that they will “continue to improve… and of course I hope everyone has fun swimming as well.”
There was a meeting held for potential swimmers on Thursday, Jan. 27. However, latecomers are welcome to join.
Though the majority of the meets will be held out of town due to SVHS’s lack of a pool on campus, there is a possibility that Sonoma may host a meet at Agua Caliente later in the season. “It would be great if people want to come and cheer on the team,” suggested Leonard. “It’s really fun… and a great atmosphere all around.”
The boys and girls swim teams has won several SCL and NCS titles in the past, but there was an obvious decline in student interest once the pool was taken out in 2005.
Though the SVHS swim team has been small in the past, with Leonard at the helm, things may be well on their way to a revamp.