Blake Shawn and Charles Nemecek, two of the three coaches for the Raiders Swim team exude pride as they tell of their swimmer’s accomplishments this year. As a team, the Raiders placed fourth in the state at the winter competition. Both coaches agree this is a great accomplishment but look to continually improve personal times and to grow the swim program. Currently, the Raiders Swim Team practices at Rose State College where they also hold swim meets to compete against other teams from around the state.
The thirty-person team always has room for more. With three coaches to teach technique and strokes, the team welcomes new additions. Swimmers from 6-18 years of age are invited to be a part of the team once they are able to swim the length of the pool. Rose State also offers a “Learn to Swim” program to prepare children for the swim team or to learn to swim recreationally. While the team is competitive, Coach Shawn says, “We just want to give them an opportunity to participate in swim and enjoy it.” A few members have gone on to swim at the collegiate level at colleges such as Ouachita Baptist in Arkadelphia, AR and St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, OK.
The atmosphere is competitive but supportive. Coach Charles said, “all of the kids have fun doing relays and cheering for each other. We are hoping to increase the number of swimmers so we can build more relay teams.” Those interested in joining the Raiders Swim Team can call (405) 733-7396.