By Tom White
On Saturday, the Morgan County High School swim team closed out a season described by Head Coach Patrick Kicklighter as “topsy turvy.” He added that despite limited practice times, available meets, and quarantines, “this group of young people always kept a positive attitude and strong work ethic.”
The contest was hosted by West Hall High School and held at Frances Meadows. The team did not set school records or claim victory on Saturday but several beat their personal records during the competition.
Mary-Liz Daughtry, Sabrina Long, Harrison Cribbbs, Maddy Brown, Amelia Potter, Gracie Christian, Braden Newsom, Annie Breedlove, and Maddie Berry set personal bests. Simon LeClair (50 meter freestyle), Maddie Berry (50 meter freestyle), and Braden Newsome (500 meter freestyle) were all just seconds away from qualifying for state.
Kicklighter also stated, “I fully expect to see 10th graders, Maddy (Berry) and Braden (Newsome), make state with ease next year. They consistently got closer and closer every meet.”
The final meet is always a sad one for swimmers and coaches but Kicklighter said this one was different.
“Saying goodbye to this year’s seniors will be one of the most difficult senior farewells I have had to do in my 12 years of coaching. They have graced this program with such amazingness…. They will be greatly missed by this team and this coach but I know they are off to make the world a better place.”
The class of 2021 Swim team are: Annie Breedlove, Simon LeClair, Keller Zamudio, Sabrina Jones, Gracie Christian, and Bennett Evans. Breedlove and LeClair both spent four years on the team.
Finally closing out the season, Kicklighter thanked his assistant coach, Robert St. John, for the joy, laughter, and handling of the behind-the-scenes assignments. Kicklighter closed his comments saying that “to work with these individuals makes me the luckiest coach in showbiz.”