WICHITA, Kan.—The Trinity Academy swimming team has high expectations for themselves as they return eight swimmers from last year’s state qualifying team.
“Hopefully as the senior guys, Me, Cody Buettgenbach and Jon Vigilius can really step up from a captain stand point and a spiritual standpoint,” said Ben Johnson, senior co-captain.
Trinity will also need contributions from the younger swimmers as spots open up on the relay team.
“We’ve got a lot of new swimmers that have come on the team this year,” said senior Jon Vigilius. “Mostly sophomores and freshmen, my goal for them would be to just try and get them into swimming shape so that we could have a couple state candidates among them.”
This experienced Knights team will be looking to their veteran coach to lead them back to state.
“He gets us going during practice so that we can compete at the meets,” said Vigilius. “We’ve got a tough coach but he’s a good guy. I’m hoping we’ll make state like we did the last two years, I’m hoping to make it past the first cut [of state] this year.”
Being totally on board with swimming competitively has been a struggle for Trinity swimming in past years, but this year the team has committed.
“This team will be determined,” said Johnson. “We’ve had a couple kids quit already, but swimming is not easy and a lot of these guys have stuck with it.”
Johnson says that there will be struggles early for the team as they replace former teammates.
“As of right now, it’s finding a replacement for Josiah(Kortje),” said Johnson. “I think because he was really good and he quit, because his heart wasn’t in it, which is totally fine.”
Trinity has the sometimes unbearable task of playing 6A teams, but that doesn’t stop them.
“It’s really difficult with so many swimmers,” said Johnson. “We’re a 4A team and we have to swim against 6A teams and it’s almost impossible to go out and get first all the time, every meet I want to go out there just to get better.”
The Knights will have spots open up on varsity this year, giving younger guys a chance to prove themselves.
“We have a spot or two that we’re going to need to fill in relays, and we’ll be looking to some of the guys from last year to rise up and take that opportunity,” said Coach Bruce VanBebber. “I have a few swimmers that haven’t had the opportunity to fill that role on the A relay so they will have that opportunity this year.”
VanBebber will be looking to his upperclassmen to mentor.
“I’m really as much looking for success in the water, as for my older guys to build good relationships with the younger guys,” said VanBebber I encourage my older guys to mentor the younger guys in some sets spiritually as well as in the sport of swimming.”
The senior leaders themselves have high expectations.
“We have to lead by example and be enthusiastic about swimming because practice sometimes just isn’t fun, and when you aren’t enthusiastic, than the younger guys won’t be either.” said senior co-captain Buettgenbach.
Trinity will be comfortable going into each meet and will strive to be the best they can be.