Leaving it All in the Pool

Everyone wants to leave a legacy behind when they end a chapter in their life and are ready to start a new one. The Lake Ridge swim team seniors have left not only an impact on their school but in the pool as well. With only a few meets left in their high school careers, the senior swimmers have already begun thinking about their goodbyes. 

When you bond in and outside of pool with your teammates it makes leaving only harder. Kylie Sheppard, senior swimmer, enjoyed the relationships she made with her teammates throughout the years. 

“I’ve gotten pretty close to the other swimmers, I try to hang out with them outside of swim, I enjoy it because you get the fun side of them and not the competitive swim side,” said Sheppard.

Sheppard will cherish the memories she’s made competing for Lake Ridge.

“I’m going to miss the fun on the team, we are like one big happy family, and it’s going to be sad leaving that behind,” said Sheppard.

It hasn’t been easy competing at such a high level for the swimmers. Adam Kammaz, senior, will definitely not miss one thing in particular as his career comes to an end. 

“I’m not going to miss waking up at 5:30 every morning, but I’ll miss bonding with the team and the sport in general,” said Kammaz.

Kammaz will look back fondly when he finally hangs up his swimming cap. One moment in particular stands out to him. 

“My favorite memory would have to be the boys winning Regionals last year. All of the boys going up on the podium, and then all the guys going out to eat afterwards, it was a really cool experience,” said Kammaz.

When you swim with the same people everyday for three years you can’t help but grow close to your teammates. Khadijah Brown, junior, has over the years become great friends with the senior swimmers.

“The seniors have been like big brothers and sisters to me, they’ve always taken everybody in and made them feel like they were apart of the family,” said Brown.

The senior swimmers have even influenced Brown helping the accomplished swimmer up her game even more.

“The seniors are a big part of the swim team, and they’ve helped me get faster and I like to use them to pace in practice and it’s really going to be hard to do that when they are gone,” said Brown.

The final meet will be a big moment not just for the seniors, but also for their parents as well. Janet Sheppard, Kylie Sheppard’s mom, has watched her daughter compete since she was a little girl, and seen Kylie’s success first hand. 

“My favorite memory was her sophomore year when she made it to state in the 100 Fly and three relays. I remember as she hit the wall at the end of the race the coaches were jumping up and down, and the teammates were all giving her high fives and were hugging each other,” said Sheppard.

Although Sheppard is going to miss her daughter she’s eager to see her daughter excel in the next chapter of her life.

“I’ve got mixed feelings about my daughter leaving. I am excited for her to experience living and growing at college, but I will be sad to not see her everyday,” said Sheppard.

The strong bond that the senior swimmers created didn’t just happen overnight. It was instilled into them early their freshman year. Rhinnan Boseman, senior, wants to make sure that legacy continues.

“When we were freshmen and sophomores we had junior and seniors that were good about creating a family bond and showing us what it’s like for the whole team to be connected. So now that we are seniors we know how to make everybody feel welcome and how to support each other with swimming,” said Boseman.

With all the years of practices and competitions coming to an end, the connection Boseman has made with the team is going to be hard to walk away from.

“We work so hard together and we go through a lot, with the season being so long, so I definitely miss all the people on the team,” said Boseman.

These swimmers have not only influenced their friends and families, but also left an impact on their coach. Blake Kahla spent the past fours years with his morning and afternoon group senior swimmers and isn’t quite ready to let them go.

“We have a great group of seniors and I’ve built a close bond and respect for those swimmers, and it will be sad to see them go. I’ve loved being able to see them grow as both athletes and students,” said Kahla.