Undefeated boys swim shooting for state title

Jackson Jogan '21, Supervising Editor

UPDATE: MHSAA suspended all winter tournaments, including the swimming championship, indefinitely on March 12. As a result, the team was unable to compete. 

The boys’ varsity swim team will head to the Division Two state meet this weekend, competing for two days at the Holland Aquatic Center. The team has gone undefeated in dual meets in the Macomb Area Conference (MAC) Red Division and earned a second-place finish in Wayne County followed by a first place finish in the MAC Red Division Championships. The boys will begin their conquest for a state title ranked second in Division Two.

Head coach John Fodell said the team is focused on competing for a state championship – that if the team comes together and fights for a greater goal, representing South, then nothing is out of reach.

“If we swim well and get some things to go our way, we have a shot,” Fodell said. “I think we’re doing everything we need to do right now with taper and focus and trying to stay smart outside and inside the pool.”

The team has been in the final portion of their season for close to four weeks now, competing in the Michigan Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (MISCA), Wayne County and Macomb County championships. Fodell has helped lead the team through the end of the season, according to teammate Tucker Briggs ’22.

“He’s really gotten us all focused, and as much as we like to have fun at practice, he really makes sure that we’re all prepared and ready to go,” Briggs said. “We’ve all been pushing it really hard in the past few weeks at practice and making sure we’re staying healthy, eating right and keeping the right mentality.”

The team has big goals for the meet, according to swimmer Raef Akkary ’20. He said he is excited for the chance to earn his best times and possibly become state champions with his team behind him.

“I’m looking forward to, first of all, having a good time with the boys,” Akkary said. “But most importantly, (I am excited to) see how well we can do, and hopefully win, because we have a good chance.”

The competition between teams is the best part of the big meets, according to Fodell. He believes the team has a chance to do something special at the state level, with an eye on first place.

“It’s the battle the team goes through and the competition part – moving up and down spots continually,” Fodell said. “ It will be a close meet even if it’s for first, second or third.”

The team has gotten closer this year than ever before, according to Briggs. He said that this change in culture has been a big help in all of the success the team has achieved.

“I think everybody here has proven to be a competitor, and we all really want to do well and see ourselves perform at the highest level,” Briggs said. “We’ve proven that we’re one of the top teams in the state, and I really think, for everyone, that the team bonding that’s gone on has kept everyone really motivated.”