The Suffolk Gators are coming out of the swamp and in to the pool

Published 10:38 pm Saturday, July 11, 2009

The screams are deafening and the pace is swift! The Gators are coming back strong and the spirit is even stronger.

The Suffolk YMCA Gators have swimmers from 3 and 1/2 to 18 years of age and parents who have been participating for 21 seasons. The Gator swim team is having a swim season that is surpassing expectations and the highlights are too many to list.

As a newcomer to the team with four swimmers 11 years old to four years old I am catching the spirit. And I believe if you could witness the youngest of the Gators, Michael Dalton age 3 1/2, swim his 25 yards in a little over two minutes, you would catch it too. Kids of every age are competing twice a week at various swim clubs around Western Tidewater.

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Our team is under the leadership of coach Ryan Smith, of Suffolk. They practice 3 days a week, perfecting their starts, stops, turns, and strokes along with the occasional game of sharks and minnows to keep the fun alive. Swim team takes commitment and our team has a swamp full.

We won the first meet of the season on Wednesday, June 17 at home and had the added pleasure of pushing Coach Ryan into the pool. Every meet since has been just as exciting. Our team is small in number but great in spirit.