The Co-op swim team has already hit the pool, anticipating a competitive and exciting season. The head coach Steve Kolis, a former swimmer at Wahconah High School, was the previous Taconic High School swim coach, and assistant coach is Dorianna Reardon. Both have extensive swimming and coaching experience. The swim team consists of about twenty students from Mount Greylock, McCann, Wahconah, Drury, and Hoosac High Schools. Since these schools are composed of mostly high school students, the swim team is for students who are freshmen or older. For the upcoming season, five captains will be selected to represent the team.
Typically, there are ten meets in the season. At the end of the winter, there is one large meet in which each school swims against one other in order to try to qualify for the upcoming Western Mass and possibly State meets. Practices are held at the Dalton CRA on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and at the Pittsfield YMCA on Wednesday.
Having a co-op team can have its hardships. For example, Mount Greylock swimmers must commute to the Dalton CRA or the Pittsfield YMCA from school each day. Considering the school day ends at 2:27 p.m. for Mount Greylock students and swim practices begin promptly at 3 p.m., this can sometimes be difficult. However, Mt. Greylock students can still be members of the team, thanks to an understanding coach. Other co-op complications include having to adjust for skill levels across many different schools.
Despite the complications, however, being a co-op team can certainly be a rewarding opportunity. For one, swimming on the same team as students from other schools allows students to meet and work with a wide variety of people: “I get to meet people with similar interests,” explained team member and longtime swimmer Katherine Wilson. “I’m thankful that I’ve met people from all different areas of Berkshire County. Everyone is so nice and welcoming and whenever you need help or are trying to improve, everyone’s so helpful.”
Working with such a wide variety of students can bring different skill sets to the team, improving the team as a whole, and it also gives students the opportunity to get to know others outside of the Mount Greylock school community in a friendly environment. “It doesn’t matter your level or how good you are at swimming. We all help each other,” said Wilson.