Year One of the Borgia boys swim program saw an athlete advance to state.
Now in its second year of existence, the program would like to go one step further.
“The goal is to get more than one person to state this year,” Borgia Coach Jennifer Alferman-Molitor said during the first week of the 2014 fall sports season.
Borgia senior Michael Matthews competed at the MSHSAA Championships last year, finishing eighth in the 100 butterfly finals. Alferman-Molitor expects Matthews to have a stellar senior year.
“He was three-tenths away from going to state in the 50 freestyle and he made the time in the offseason,” she said. “Hopefully he’ll qualify in multiple events this year.”
And Alferman-Molitor hopes Matthews has some company at the state meet, too.
“Hopefully we can get a relay team to state this year, too,” she said.
The Knights have 12 athletes out for the sport.
“That was my goal,” Alferman-Molitor said. “Last year we had 10 and lost two seniors, so my goal was to gain four more and we did.”
There are eight returning swimmers this year, to go along with four newcomers.
Alfterman-Molitor said the team has been working hard in preparation for the season. The team practices at the Four Rivers Area YMCA.
“Right now, we’re coming in and just swimming,” she said. “We’re getting in shape, learning what we can and fine-tuning what we can.”
The YMCA will be closing for two weeks soon, so the swim team won’t have anywhere to practice. The Knights will be running and lifting weights during those two weeks to stay in shape.
Borgia should host a home meet this season, but it hasn’t been scheduled just yet.
After a successful inaugural season of Borgia swimming, Year Two could be an even better one for the program.
“I’m very excited for the season,” Alferman-Molitor said. “Both teams, boys and girls, did amazing last year. The boys swim against the bigger schools that have well-established teams and they have lots of kids to pick from. So we’re doing good so far. They’re improving and they swim hard every time. We’re excited.”
Borgia has a new head soccer coach this fall.
But he’s no stranger to the program.
Andrew Alfermann moves from assistant to head coach for the Knights in 2014.
The program’s JV coach last year, and a former Borgia player, Alfermann takes over for Grant Kang, who stepped down due to health reasons.
Alfermann said 32 athletes are out for the sport, with 14 juniors. The program lost 10 seniors to graduation last year.
He added things have gone well thus far.
“The first day went well,” he said. “The kids worked pretty hard over the summer. They’re in pretty good shape. Some of the guys were a step slow the first day, but that’s to be expected.”
The Knights return a solid core from last year’s team that was 12-7 a year ago. Many of those returners will once again be key players, but Alfermann stressed that many varsity spots are still up for grabs.
“There are a few spots where I know where guys will be, but there are still some competitions going on for some other spots,” he said.
Tim Ottens will be the JV coach, while former East Central College Head Coach Benji Grimes will be an assistant coach.
Borgia’s 2013 season ended on a sour note, as Union edged the Knights season for the district championship on penalty kicks.
Alfermann said his returning players haven’t forgotten how the season ended. And that’s motivation in 2014.
“After last year’s debacle in the district championship game at Union, there’s a chip on these guys’ shoulders. They definitely want to win the district this year.”