Youth-filled swim team dives into 2017 competition

MILFORD – Both the boys’ and girls’ swim team graduated more than a handful of swimmers last year, leaving second-year head coach Jenna Dodd and assistant coach Amanda Terray with plenty of youth for the 2016-17 season.

After graduating five boys and seven girls, the Milford swim team was left with a plethora of young, yet strong, swimmers.

On this year’s roster, Coach Dodd currently has just three seniors on each the boys’ and girls’ roster.

In addition, the boys’ team has 10 freshmen and sophomores while the girls’ roster adds another 10 freshmen and sophomores.

But coach Dodd isn’t worried about inexperience.

“I see such strong potential with the group of swimmers we have,” Dodd said. “We are getting a lot of second and third places. We have a great group of seniors but we also have strong group of underclassmen.”

Milford’s 2016-17 swim team (special to The Chronicle).

Through the first three meets, the boys’ team has gone 0-3 in dual-meets with losses to Sussex Central (84-83), Sussex Tech (114-55) and Caesar Rodney (114-53). The girls team managed to pick up a victory over Sussex Central (118-51) in the season’s first meet, but has since dropped two straight to Tech and CR, 117-53 and 102-60, respectively.

Milford still has six dual-meets to go until they reach the Henlopen Conference championship, so this will give the Buccaneers’ young swimmers plenty of time to get more experience in.

“We are planning to work a lot more on each swimmer’s time, just like every swimmer your true race is against the clock,” Dodd said of her team’s focus. “So many of our swimmers are close to qualifying times and we want them to get there. We also need to do more stroke work as we have several strong free-stylers and not as much experience in strokes.”

Coach Dodd’s plan is to instill the importance of team work in her swimmers. In just her second season at the helm, she has already started to make an impact with the swim program.

“We are focusing on teamwork,” she said. “Teamwork will not only help in our relays but also in our sportsmanship. I swam for Milford and one thing I always loved about our swim team was how we were very much like a family. I want nothing more than this group of kids to have fun and get that same experience.”

The team’s first meet of 2017 is set for Thursday, Jan. 5 at Cape Henlopen High School.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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