CAT, ’Dogs ready to swim into summer competition

SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Posted 6/4/16

The 2016 summer swimming season brings about changes for the Cleveland Aqua Tigers (CAT) and the Waterdogs.

Both teams, which participate in the Chattanooga Area Swim League, will be headed …

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CAT, ’Dogs ready to swim into summer competition

THE CLEVELAND AQUA TIGERS and Waterdogs will begin their 2016 summer swim season on Monday.
THE CLEVELAND AQUA TIGERS and Waterdogs will begin their 2016 summer swim season on Monday.
Banner file photo, SARALYN NORKUS
Posted

The 2016 summer swimming season brings about changes for the Cleveland Aqua Tigers (CAT) and the Waterdogs.

Both teams, which participate in the Chattanooga Area Swim League, will be headed up by new coaches.

The reins for the Aqua Tigers have been handed over to Cleveland native Matt Huff, while Tony Womac is now the head coach of the Waterdogs.

Huff, who swam at Cleveland Middle School and Cleveland High School, swam for the Aqua Tigers from 2004-10. In 2007, the new coach was a City Meet champion as well.

CAT, which finished with a perfect 8-0 record last summer, will once again swim in CASL’s Blue Division, which features the Dalton (Ga.) Dolphins, Signal Mountain Green Giants, Stuart Heights Swim Team and the Ooltewah Tidal Waves.

“We’re in the Blue Division, so I’m expecting the best times and hopefully a win or two. I’m confident that we can probably get one or two, but the competition is very stiff this year,” Huff commented. “We’ve got a lot of good kids coming back and a lot of good kids who are in the developmental program, so I’m sure there will be a lot of surprises this year.”

Huff has laid out various goals for the Aqua Tigers to strive to meet.

“Our goals would be (getting) best times, have fun while swimming, which is the main one. Learn how to be competitive and for the younger swimmers, become legal in all the competitive strokes,” he explained.

According to Huff, the Aqua Tigers 13-14 girls division and 11-12 boys division will be the deepest. The 13-14 girls feature an especially talented group.

“We’re extremely deep in the 13-14 girls division. We have some really high-level athletes in that age group who should do some pretty big things,” the new CAT coach commented.

Huff feels that the Aqua Tigers’ strongest events will be in the backstroke and butterfly.

“Overall I’d say we’re a good backstroke team and a good fly team. I think those will be our bread and butter,” Huff stated.

The Waterdogs are competing in the White Division, which includes the Cumberland Currents, Fort Oglethorpe (Ga.) Marlins, Red Bank Gators and the Ridgeside Dolphins Swim Team. Last summer proved to be a difficult one for a young Waterdogs team, which finished with an 0-8 record.

On Monday, both the Aqua Tigers and Waterdogs will dive headfirst into the summer swim season. The Aqua Tigers swim at Stuart Heights at 5:30 p.m., while the Waterdogs host Ridgeside at 6 p.m.

On Thursday, CAT will host Ooltewah at 6 p.m., while the Waterdogs will start out at the home of the Cumberland Currents at 6 as well.

Attempts to reach the new Waterdogs coach were unsuccessful as of press time.

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