This article was featured in the River Oaks Baptist School student publication, The Raider Review. Student journalist and 8th grade athlete Suraj V. covers the athletic achievements of the ROBS boys and girls swim season.
Swimming is a sport unlike any other, with each individual meet filled with memorable heats, emotions, and moments to last a lifetime. This year, the ROBS Swim Team came out to all of their meets, unified with common goals in mind: to break records, to leave behind a legacy, and, of course, to win the HJPC conference and gain another title. The team accomplished all of those dreams, turning them into reality. The boys swim team placed 1st in the HJPC conference for boys, and overall, ROBS swim placed 4th in the championship meet.
These stellar results, however, did not come out of nowhere. Every week, the ROBS swim team would practice during P.E. time and after school at the Houston Swim Club/Sharpstown, with the 7th and 8th grade team practicing on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the 6th grade team practicing on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the 7th and 8th grade team could choose to practice on those days as well. All teams took advantage of the added practice time this year, with several 7th and 8th graders regularly attending
the optional practices. Led by Coach Neighbors and Coach Merren, the team was set for success. Coach Neighbors gives her thoughts on being the swim coach.
“Before coaching this team, I had coached Cross Country, Basketball, and Track and Field, so I knew coaching Swimming would have been a much different experience. I wanted to be the Swim coach so I can learn more about the sport and challenge myself to new beginnings. Since then, I have never looked back!”Teresa Neighbors, Physical Education/ Swim Team Coach
Swimming is a unique sport in that swimmers across all grade levels (6th, 7th, and 8th) could find themselves in the same heat in the same race or find themselves in the same relay. Because of this, swimmers from 6th and 7th grade have stepped up to the 8th grade level relays. The A team 200 I.M. and 200 freestyle relay was made up of eighth grader Evan Williams, seventh grader Christian Sackett, and sixth graders Tripp Merren and Emory Williams, and they managed to break the ROBS record for the event. In addition, Evan Williams broke the 50 butterfly record with a time of 28.06 seconds. At the end of the season, Evan and Lily Black won the MVP awards, Wes Kozar and Mabrey Stokes won the Most Improved Awards, and Aris Hanna and Jackie Zhou won the Sportsmanship Awards. Evan shared his thoughts on his and the swim team’s accomplishments.
“I feel extremely accomplished. It has been a long-term goal of mine to break a record while at ROBS, and I could not have done this without my coaches, Coach Neighbors and Coach Merren, and the rest of the swim team. They encouraged me throughout the season and pushed me to being the best I could possibly be,”Evan W., Swim Team Athlete (8)
The swim coaches could not have been prouder of the team’s performance during the season. Coach Neighbors also gave her thoughts on the team’s achievements,
“I’m extremely proud of the team’s accomplishments. They are several events in which the team shines bright (200 Freestyle relay, 200IM relay, butterfly, breaststroke, Freestyle, and backstroke). I’m proud that everyone improved their time, skills, and we broke 3 school records. I believe the boys were able to be successful because they help each other, encouraged, motivated, and inspired each other to accomplish the same goal, a CHAMPIONSHIP.”Teresa Neighbors
All in all, the future looks bright for the swim team at ROBS. With a championship legacy behind them, next year’s 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will have to try to follow in their footsteps. Coach Neighbors gives her closing thoughts.
“I will be the swim coach for next year and I hope we can keep the championship legacy going.”