Things are certainly looking different for the Waterdogs this summer.
With the Mosby Park Pool still under construction, the Waterdogs will start their swimming season out at the Cleveland Community Center Pool, and have dropped the “Mosby Park” portion of their name.
Another change for the Waterdogs came in coaching.
Formerly an assistant coach, Jocelyn Fennell has dived right into the role of head coach this year.
Currently, the Waterdogs have a roster containing some 130 swimmers, many of whom are new to the program.
“We have a lot of new swimmers this year and will be a developmental team. My biggest thing is to get the kids in the water, teaching them the strokes and technique so that they can be safe in the water,” Fennell explained. “Win or lose, I want the kids to have fun and cheer on everybody. I just really want them to have fun and learn to swim, and swim properly.”
The new coach’s focus for her returning, older swimmers is endurance.
“With our older swimmers, we will need to build up some endurance and get them in the water more since we are just a summer team,” Fennell stated. “They know the technique, they know the strokes, its just building up their lungs and endurance.”
Since the Cleveland Aqua Tigers moved up a division, two new teams have joined the Red Division of the Chattanooga Area Swim League.
“We are still swimming against Ringgold (Ga.) and Red Bank. The Fairyland Club and Chattanooga Country Club are both new to our division,” Fennell said.
One area the Waterdogs are looking to work on is the number of older boys on the team.
“We have a low number of older boys on our team this year. We are still trying to recruit some older swimmers,” Fennell explained. “There are a lot of boys in the 8-and-under group, which is nice for down the road.”
According to Coach Fennell, the Waterdogs should be competitive in a number of age groups.
“We have a lot of good swimmers in each age group. We have a pretty strong 11-12 girls group. I expect Anna Garner and Julie Bryant to do very well. In our 13-14 girls, Katie Estes is pretty good,” Fennell commented.
No matter how the season goes, the new coach wants the team to have fun.
“I want the kids to be competitive and want to win, but have fun doing so. Our goal is to increase our winning record from last year,” Fennell commented. “Also, I want each child to reach their personal goals and improve their times.”
The Waterdogs’ season begins this evening, as they travel to Georgia to take on the Ringgold TigerSharks at 6 p.m.
The first home meet of the season will be on Monday at 5:30 p.m., against the Stuart Heights Swim Team.