Diving into the Pool with a Positive Start to the Season

The swim team is jumping back in for their long-awaited season. In preparation for their upcoming district meet on Jan. 20, the athletes started early morning practices, in Decatur, around the second week of school.

Senior team captain Phoebe Mosley participates in an outside-of-school swim club that practices in the same pool in Decatur, 30 minutes away from Azle. She is breaking school records left and right and is planning to continue breaking more records.

“I rebroke my 200 freestyle record again because I had already broken that record once before, I broke the 500 freestyle record, and I broke the 100 freestyle record as well,” Mosley said. “I want to try and break the 50 freestyle, 4-by-1 relay, and then Coach Estes’ 100 breaststrokes. As of right now, I have nine of the 11 records.”

Coach John Epps said he enjoys watching his students become good adults. He wants to watch the new chapters of the seniors’ lives and continue to view the successes throughout their careers.

“Helping students challenge themselves and become better athletes is the reason why I started coaching for 3 years,” coach Epps said. ”When you coach, you’re not just teaching athletes, you’re teaching students to have commitment, hard work, dedication, and good characteristics.”

Swimming since she was little had definitely paid off, coming back in her sophomore year in high school, junior Emory Hann has been awarded achieving free times and back times.

“I’ve gotten my best 50 free time and back time this year,” Hann said. “I’m hoping to cut my 100 free times by a second and 100 back time down to 1:25.”

Senior team captain Steven Manley is looking forward to his final year in high school and hoping to achieve his goals in regionals, breaking the school’s record.

“Swimming competitively since my freshman year, I want to be able to break the school’s record including the 100 breaststrokes,” Manley said. “Also qualifying in the regionals.”

Junior Kalen McCullough has a favor towards swimming and beginning his third year on the swim team.

“I have always loved swimming, it just came naturally to me so I decided to sign up,” McCullough said. “I love the family, and everybody’s friends and you can make every practice fun.”

Seeing the swimmers achieve their goals and break records is any coach’s dream along with being able to teach a wonderful group of swimmers.

“It’s awesome seeing students breaking the school record. We have a great group of kids who are working very hard to achieve their goals. The big focus of going into the year was setting goals,” Epps said. “To watch them work hard in the water, in practice, in the weight room, and take all that compassion to accomplish a win is astonishing.”