FORT MILL — The 2013 high school swim season will open this week locally when the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets head to North Augusta for the Yellow Jacket Invitational.
Nation Ford will open next week with against South Pointe as they bring in a cross-country flavor to the team this year.
The Falcons have several new swimmers on their 42-member roster from different parts of the United States including Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and Texas.
I think we will be really strong, said Nation Ford head coach Meredith Yocum. We have a lot of different swimmers from different states that will bring a lot of dynamics to the team. It is good to have new athletes come from different programs because it brings different elements to the team.
Nation Ford will also see the return of the Sweezer brothers Brandon, a senior and David, a junior. Another junior, Jacob Martin, returns this season as well.
On the girls side, the Lady Falcons will be led by senior Rebekah Peterson.
Yocum said Nation Ford should do well in a tough Region III and have a good number of swimmers qualify for the state meet Oct. 5 in Columbia.
Fort Mill is also looking to qualify a lot of swimmers for the state meet, as well as defend its Region III title.
The Jackets will have 50 swimmers on their roster this year. Some returning swimmers looking to do even better are juniors Zach Piedt and Jacob Kohlhoff on the boys side, as well as, juniors Meg Wiggins, Madison Little, senior Michelle Case and freshman Madison Coughlen on the girls side.
We look very strong and Im excited for the season, head coach Cindy Van Buskirk said.
Like Nation Ford, Fort Mill has new blood on the team and Van Buskirk is looking to see how it will help the Jackets.
It will be really interesting to see how they do, she said.
Van Buskirk pointed out the girls team finished just 10 points from winning a state title last year and their one goal for this season is to make up those 10 points.
It is going to be a highly congested state championship meet for the girl, she said.
She also said the boys could do better than expected at the state championship meet as well.
Its going to be a wonderful surprise at how they do, she said.