On Thursday, January 9th, while most Cobb County students were still in school, Kennesaw Mountain High School’s Swim Team was busy loading the bus for their annual trip to the Chatham County Aquatic Center, looking for their 4th straight win in Savannah. Before departing, school athletic director, Phillip Matthews, shared a few words with the team, wishing them luck for their upcoming meet. By 12:30, the team was pulling out of Kennesaw Mountain with their eyes set on victory for Friday night’s meet.
The team arrived at the hotel on Tybee Island on Thursday evening, and some used the time before dinner to visit the beach with head coach David Reason. The team then got back on the bus, ready to carb-load at dinner in downtown Savannah. Dinner was accompanied by many laughs and good food, followed by shopping and a team picture on Savannah’s historic River Street. Coaches were sure to send the team to bed at a good hour, preaching the need for rest as the upcoming meet grew closer.
Following a team breakfast at the hotel, everybody changed into swimsuits and shorts, ready for a morning at the beach. Beach activities included a two-hand-touch football game, where Coach Reason and assistant coach, Daniel Lubbers, quarterbacked their respective teams. The game also featured assistant coach, Doug Michalke, as a reliable check-down receiving option for Coach Reason’s team. In a team-bonding experience that exhibited many smiles and laughs, Coach Reason’s team would end up defeating Coach Lubber’s team handedly. Meanwhile, other team activities included spike ball, throwing the frisbee, enjoying the ocean, and shopping on Tybee.
The team then headed back to the hotel to eat and change, ready to go compete against Savannah’s best swimmers. After arriving to the aquatic center at 3:00, the team stretched and warmed up. They cleared their minds of the day’s earlier beach fun, and prepared to swim their hardest. Directly leading up to the first event of the day, Coach Reason gathered the team around him. He said “Every one of you has something to prove today. One person or one relay cannot win us this meet, it takes every one of you. If you want to leave with a win today, it takes depth. The team with the best depth will win today. Let that be you.” The team then broke it down with a cheer, ending with “Team on 3!”. And just like that, goggles and caps were on, and it was time to race.
Every Mustang gave their all in the water, regardless of race number or heat. Throughout the meet, an array of teammates could always be found behind the blocks, cheering the loudest for their fellow Mustangs. The day’s message, “It takes every one of you” resonated with the team. When the final event was taking place, Mustangs crowded the blocks, screaming and cheering for each of Kennesaw’s 400-free relays.
After a long day, the team packed up and headed back to the hotel, but not before a message from senior co-captain, Adam Ware. He explained “It is such an honor to be one of your leaders and I could not be more proud of this year’s team”. The team was all smiles upon returning to the hotel, as pizza was laid out for the tired swimmers. While the team was enjoying their food, Coach Reason got up to announce the score. He began by explaining how proud he was of each member of the team, and how happy he was to see everyone give their all. A smile came across his face as he announced that the Mustangs, who were the only team from Cobb County, had won with a whopping total of 1,209 points, more than 500 points ahead of 2nd place. The team celebrated, relieved that their preparations had paid off.
The Mustangs left Tybee Island early Saturday morning in high spirits, still celebrating the previous night’s victory. They arrived safely back to Kennesaw Mountain, and now look ahead to Senior Night, followed by County Championships the week after. The Mustangs will surely be back to Savannah next year, ready to extend their winning streak to 5 straight. However, for now, the team will be focused on the last stretch of the 2019-2020 season, looking to carry the momentum of the weekend’s victory with them.