Baxter Barracudas rely on junior program for fresh talent

mbanks@comporium.netMay 23, 2014 

— The Baxter Barracudas come into the 2014 Metrolina Swim League season with 243 swimmers – about the same from last year, but with a large group of minnows.

Baxter head coach Christine Johnson said the team is loaded with kids in the 5 to 7-year-old age group. This is good for the future, but it may leave the present team with a steeper hill to climb.

“It’s going to be tough,” Johnson said. “We are missing several good swimmers because of other commitments this summer.”

Baxter’s most-stocked age group comes from the 7-8-year-old age range, which has 46 kids.

Johnson said she is counting on the Junior Barracuda teams to be a feeder program that keeps her team stocked with talent from year to year. The Junior Barracuda program, now in its second year, gives kids more one-on-one attention to help them improve to a more competitive level with the senior Barracudas.

“The goal is to get them to graduate to be on the team,” Johnson said.

Baxter will open its season at cross-town rival Tega Cay on June 9. The Barracudas will have home meets at the Baxter Community Center on June 12, 19 and 23. They will host Tega Cay June 19.

Although Johnson said she believes Tega Cay will still be pretty tough, she’s predicting Rock Hill Country Club may be the team to beat this summer.

The Metrolina Championship and Invitational meets are June 28 at the Rock Hill Aquatics Center.

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