(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Sharks swim team is set to start their summer season this Saturday at Poplar Bluff, when they'll take on several Southeast Missouri Swim Conference teams starting at 8 a.m.
New coach Aiden Marshall, who took over the program in time for the winter season, said she's excited about the group of swimmers she has.
"My first year has been great," she said. "Coaching the kids has really taught me a lot. I love working with them. So it's just kind of a good experience for them and for me."
After taking part in eight meets last season, this year will be slightly shorter with seven meets scheduled including two at home.
"It's a short season this year," Marshall said. "But in the seven meets we're competing against everybody (in the conference).
"The problem is a lot of towns don't have pools to use this summer. They're remodeling and stuff like that."
This year's group consists of about 65 kids ranging from the six and under age group to 15-to-18-year-olds with a majority centering around the 9-to-10 year-old range.
In it's second year of existence, the local YMCA's indoor pool will once again host the Sharks home meets and practices.
Marshall said the construction of the new center, allowing swimming year round for the first time last year, has really been a boom for youth swimming in the area.
"It's great because our kids can swim all year round and stay in shape," she said. "We had our first winter season this past winter.
"Most of those kids if they're not swimming with us this summer they're swimming with another area team. So it keep our kids in the swimming program and keeps them striving to do better."
As for her team's upcoming season she added she has two main goals for summer.
"Our goal this summer is for the kids to improve whether that be stroke-wise, time-wise, or whatever," she said. "Also we're shooting to win our conference championship. Because we have a chance at doing that."
Sikeston's two home meets will take place on June 19 and July 17.