EAST WENATCHEE — In one way, this is rebuilding year for the Eastmont boys swim and dive team. In another way, it’s far from it.
A small turnout — less than a dozen athletes — will hamper the Wildcats, but the team has several members that are eyeing long trips into the postseason.
“We had seen (this season’s low turnout) a couple years out,” Eastmont coach Chris Stark said. “When I started coaching at Wenatchee in 1994, we had nine guys and developed the program a long ways. It’s a rebuilding year, and I’ve been through this before. But (each athlete) will get a lot more attention, so it will pay off to have a smaller group.”
Stark and the Wildcats are adamant to make a positive out of their numbers.
“Don’t underestimate us,” he said. “This is a good group of guys. To them it’s not a rebuilding year, it’s a chance for individual attention and to excel. Maybe they’ll play as sort of underdogs, but these guys are tough and they’re not afraid of training. They’re not wimps by any stretch of the imagination.”
Senior diver Nick Jacobus, a state competitor last year, will serve as the team leaders, and like all the other divers he’ll be expected to help out in swims, too.
Grayson Porter, a junior, is projected to be the top swimmer on the squad, and a pair of Cashmere co-op athletes — Cam Moser and Harrison Collett — will turn some heads.
Nick Jacobus, sr. (diving, sprints, butterfly)
Grayson Porter, jr. (sprints)
Nathan Ashbrook, jr. (diving, middle distance)
Cam Moser, jr. (middle distance)
Harrison Collett, fr. (backstroke, butterfly)
With such a small roster, the Wildcats will focus much more on individual accomplishments than Big Nine dual meet victories this season.
“Obviously in dual meets we’ll just be outnumbered … so there will be less emphasis on team victories and a bigger emphasis on improvements during the season,” Stark said.
Wenatchee at Eastmont, 4 p.m., Dec. 13
Moses Lake at Eastmont, 4 p.m. Dec. 20
Eisenhower/Davis at Eastmont, 4 p.m. Jan. 8
Eastmont at Wenatchee, 4 p.m. Jan. 15
Districts, Feb. 1-2
State, Feb. 15-16