H2O Frogs ready to begin season

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    Starting off their season during Fall Break, the Horned Frog swimming and diving teams look to begin on a positive note. The teams have been training hard for the start of this season.

    “We have done everything from stadiums to four-mile runs,” coach Richard Sybesma said. “We have also done a lot of cross training and obviously a lot of swimming.”

    The Frogs will first take on the McMurray Indians in Abilene Thursday. Later that day, they will travel to Midland to compete against the UT-Permian Basin Falcons.

    These meets will provide experience for the younger swimmers and divers, which Sybesma said will help success.

    “A strength for us is meet experience,” Sybesma said.

    Sybesma said he will also look for his seniors to step it up when needed.

    “Our senior class is really strong, and they have good leadership,” Sybesma said. “We have a good group of leaders and a real good group of kids who are following them.”

    What has clicked and will definitely help success is the chemistry of the teams, Sybesma said.

    “I cannot wait to see how our team chemistry will grow, and I think this trip will help us with that,” Sybesma said.

    The Frogs’ season is a long one that goes through March 2007.

    “The biggest thing we need to do is keep focus,” Sybesma said.

    Sybesma and senior freestyle/butterfly swimmer Rikki Covey said they agree their main goal is to finish higher than last year.

    “Our goal is to finish in the top three of both the men’s and women’s divisions,” Sybesma said.

    Individual goals are also concerns for Covey and junior backstroke/freestyle swimmer Jonathon Berrettini, who qualified for the 2008 Olympic trials.

    “This season, I have set an individual goal to make NCAA in both of the backstroke events,” Berrettini said.

    Covey also said he set individual goals for himself that include finishing in the top three in all of his events.

    Covey said the one thing Sybesma has come to expect from the team is hard work and determination.

    “So far, this is the hardest I have ever seen us work,” Covey said. “I really believe we have come together after our big loss last year; it is just going to be incredible.”

    Following the meets Thursday, Sybesma said he will take advantage of his surroundings. His teams will train at the Balmorhea State Park.

    Sybesma said the team will have a unique opportunity to swim in a natural setting, and, on top of that, they will add mountain climbing to further condition themselves.