By Kevin Eickman
This past week, winter sports started in earnest for Milford High School. The boys and girls swim teams hosted Caravel and Lake Forest to start the season. The Tuesday opening day victory by both teams over Caravel was impressive. The boys won 112-46 while the girls posted a 103-67 victory.
On Thursday they returned to the pool again, this time the girls won 121-49. During Thursday’s meet there where several swimmers who stepped up including junior Morgan Parsley, who on two separate occasions came from behind to defeat the swimmer she was matched against.“Morgan really had to dig deep today and she came through in very impressive fashion,” said coach Michele McKenzie.
While the boys lost a tough meet 87-83 on Thursday, there were positives to be taken from that matchup as well. In a loss that came down to the final event, the Buccaneers gave it all they had just to come up short. Illness played a big part in the loss and gives coach McKenzie cause for optimism. “Everyone has been incredibly sick and even with that they battled very hard today,” she said. Two swimmers that McKenzie believes distinguished themselves on Thursday where sophomore Robbie Clendaniel and junior Trevor Maloney “Those guys worked very hard and had some great swims today.” she said.
Just two meets into the new season, the Milford girls swim teams is off to a fast start. Winning their first two meets by substantial margins, it is easy to understand why coach Michele McKenzie is optimistic about this year’s team. “We have a very solid team, we are very deep and versatile,” said McKenzie. “We have been working very hard to get ready for this season and we are happy to be off to such a good start.”
On the boys side, while the depth is not where Coach McKenzie would like it to be, the boys are improving by the day and she hopes it will continue “These guys are giving it there all and they are getting better each and every day,” she said.
Even though the season has just begun, Milford has already had some swimmers that have turned in times good enough to qualify for the State Tournament meet in February. On the boys’ team, James Hagen has qualified for both the 50 and 100 freestyle. On the girls’ team freshman Sara Lingo has qualified for 500 freestyle and 100 breast stroke and sophomore Osi Chilton has qualified for the 100 back stroke.
One thing that Coach McKenzie puts stock in is leadership and this year Milford will have six captains: Morgan Parsley, Peyton Shockely and Jessica Downs for the girls; Trevor Maloney, James Hagen and Philip Berry for the boys. The key to this leadership is the fact that they are all returning swimmers who understand what the program is all about “This is a program about being a family, it’s about all of us pulling for each other and making ourselves better,” commented Coach McKenzie. “We are lucky to have such a dedicated group.”