That will change this winter as Trigg County High School prepares to field a swimming team for the first time.
The Wildcats, or maybe more appropriately – SwimCats – have already held tryouts and received the blessing of the local school board.
TCHS Athletic Director Taylor Sparks said a Title IX survey of students found a large core of interest in swimming in the high school.
“You can’t ignore the interest,” Sparks said. “We looked into the sport and put out a sign up sheet for those interested in wanting to be on the swim team.
Nearly 80 names were on the interest list from both the high school and middle school, Sparks said.
Once the amount of interest was determined, Sparks discussed it with TCHS principal Sharon Knight and Superintendent of Schools Tim McGinnis, both of whom backed the program.
“This is something that can service a different cross-section of students, several of whom aren’t playing any other sports,” Sparks said.
Initial plans are for the team to utilize the swimming pool at the Lake Barkley State Resort Park Fitness Center. The school will pay the rental fee for the pool, which will cost less than what they pay to rent three fields at the recreation complex for baseball, softball, and soccer.
Because the pool is not an Olympic size pool, it is unlikely that Trigg County would host any swim meets in the near future.
Heather Lichtenwalter has been hired as the head coach, while Jan Woodall will serve as the assistant coach. Both are employed in the high school.
Plans are for the team, which will consist of around 18 to 20 females and 12 to 15 males, to compete at the varsity level this year.
At the region and state level, the swim events offered include the 200-yard medley relay, the 200-yard freestyle, the 50-yard freestyle, the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard butterfly, the 100-yard freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke, the 500-yard freestyle, the 100-yard breaststroke, the 400-yard freestyle relay, and the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Swimmers that finish in the first sixteen places at the regional and state level shall be awarded points.
Like Soccer and Volleyball, swimming is not classified by school size so Trigg County will compete in the Region 1, which includes teams from Hopkinsville, Bowling Green, Paducah, and Owensboro.
“Our expectations are to put a team in the water and train them. We’ll evaluate the program after the year is up and see where we stand,” Sparks said, adding that the swimmers will have to pay for their swimsuit, which runs between $20-$30.
“It’s really not that expensive of a sport to finance. We had to buy some lane ropes and buoys for the pool, and we’ll look into some fundraisers to get them some travel bags,” Sparks said.
The swim season runs from November to February, with a schedule to be released at a later date.