In November, the fall weather usually means that pool season has ended for the year. Tarps are brought out and water is drained. For some local swimmers, a different type of pool season is just beginning.
The Coffee County swimming team is back in the water and gearing up for its 2018 schedule. This year’s squad is coached by Becky Behrendorff who took over for Lana Ray earlier this year. The long-time head coach of the local Manchester Makos swim program, Behrendorff is no stranger to competitive swimming but new to coaching at the high school level.
“I’m super excited, it’s my first year coaching a high school team and pretty much this age level,” Behrendorff said. “Little bit of a learning curve for myself but I’m enjoying it.”
The Raiders got off to a good start under Behrendorff’s watch Friday, Nov. 2. Hosting Enrichment Fellowship Homeschool teams from Tullahoma and Warren County, Coffee County won 452-110 and 461-127, respectively. On the middle school level, Westwood fell in its three matches and Coffee County Middle went 1-2 on the night.
This was the first meet hosted in Manchester in several years, one of two Coffee County will have this season. Another change coming to the Raiders this year is with their district competition. Traditionally a member of District 9, Coffee County will be a part of District 1 in 2018 which will allow for more local competition such as Tullahoma, Grundy County and Fayetteville.
“Travelling to La Vergne all the time, coming on board that was the biggest complaint from parents,” Behrendorff said. “That was a positive coming into the year and that was one of the big things I wanted to change.”
Some of the team’s swimmers, such as team captain Jack Beachboard, have already made their state cuts for their events. A senior, Beachboard is interested to see how the changes made to the team will impact it as the season continues.
“I look forward to it. It’s my last year so it’s gonna be really fun and hopefully the team does really good,” Beachboard said. “We didn’t have a home meet here last year so it’s gonna be really fun getting to swim in front of a home crowd.”
With the first meet in the books, Coffee County is a little more than a week away from its trip to Franklin County for a meet on November 15. Starting off with a win has the team excited for what’s to come.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Behrendorff said. Someone obviously had a lot of faith in me that gave me the opportunity to do that so I’m super excited.”