Winter sports athletes strive for success in upcoming seasons

As fall sports come to a close, winter athletes who have been training hard in the off-season are finally getting their shot to shine on both the court and in the water.

Swim coach Sandy Sliwowski said although many swimmers are multi-sport athletes, off-season training began in the weight room this summer and focused primarily on strength training.

Sophomore Jacob Winer runs with seniors Josiah Old, Grant Davis and Braxton Johnson to prepare for upcoming basketball season. (Photo by Siddarth Sivaraman)

“We do have some swimmers that are participating in field hockey, soccer and cross country, but we are very excited to have them start up,” Silwowski said.

She explained that last year the swim team performed excellently, breaking many school records and having multiple swimmers qualify for advanced meets.

“We are hoping we continue to improve this year with more athletes advancing to the state meet in more events,” Silwowski said.

Sliwowski said that she is looking forward to another great swim season this year and is excited to see all of the swimmers again.

“We always have so much fun as a team, and I’m excited to have my Saturdays filled with swim meets,” Sliwowski said.

Head girls basketball coach Brycen Baugh said while last season for the team was great, he thinks that this year they can be just as successful, if not more.

“We won 19 games, and not many teams in the state can say that,” Baugh said. “We lost to good teams; in fact all of them made it to at least the district finals.”

The team lost two seniors last year, but Baugh explained that this season they will have five very experienced and talented seniors.

Baugh said he is especially looking forward to playing Worthington Christian this season because for the past two years, they have been the only league team to beat Bexley. Baugh also said that Bexley has come second to them in the league for the past two years.

“We would love to beat them twice to bring the league championship back to Bexley,” Baugh added.

Baugh explained that regardless of the fact that more than two-thirds of the team plays a fall sport, they had scrimmages, overnight team camp and shooting three days a week during the summer.

Baugh said he is glad he gets to spend at least one more year with the seniors and he is looking forward to this season because of it.

“They are some of the best and hardest working players I have ever been around,” Baugh said. “It will be a sad day when all of them graduate.”

Baugh explained additionally that he is looking forward to seeing what impact the seniors can have on the team as a whole.

“They are so positive and hard working,” he said. “Hopefully they can pass that on to our underclassmen to leave their mark on our younger players.”

The girls basketball team is not the only team preparing for this winter’s basketball season. Cheerleader and junior Whitney Fahs explained she didn’t have any off-season training because she was practicing for competitive cheerleading, but those who don’t competitively cheer had weight room sessions along with two-hour practice sessions twice a week.

Fahs said that she is very excited for this upcoming cheerleading season because the cheer team anticipates that both the girls and boys basketball teams will do very well again this year.

“The previous cheer season went very well considering how successful both the girls and boys [basketball] teams were,” Fahs explained. “It was very fun to cheer them on.”

Head boys basketball coach Todd Phillips said although past years have been a challenge due to COVID-19, he is very optimistic for this upcoming season.

Phillips said a large number of athletes will not be joining the team’s conditioning until late October due to fall sports, but the rest of the team is busy preparing for the season.

“With our current numbers, we have been lifting, having open gyms and holding workouts throughout September,” Phillips explained. “This past week, we started our conditioning program; it consists of timed miles, conditioning runs, sprints, plyometrics, lifting and skill work.”

Phillips said his players have been putting in the work and that he is looking forward to seeing how the team will compete, grow and come together as a whole.

“They have worked hard, they had a good summer and we plan on having good leadership to lean on,” Phillips said.

Additionally, he said he is looking forward to having one final season with the seniors.

“It’s always special for us to have one last go round with seniors, so I know that will be special.”

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Bromley Phay
Bromley Phay is a senior at Bexley High School and is a Co-editor for The Torch. Outside of The Torch, he plays tennis for the high school and is involved in Key Club and Environmental Club.