FraserJanuary 25, 2012
Fraser swim team gets off to strong start
By Mark Vest
C & G Staff Writer
Fraser’s Matt Gough takes to the pool during a recent practice. Gough has a chance to qualify for the state finals competition in March.
Fraser High boys swim coach Bob Ogilvy admits that at the beginning of the season, his team wasn’t exactly sure how good it could be.
That may have been the case then, but time may be helping to remove any doubts. As the end of the regular season draws closer, Ogilvy has had ample opportunity to get a look at his swimmers and divers in action, and so far, so good.
In fact, there isn’t a whole lot not to like about what the Ramblers have been able to accomplish thus far. At press time, Fraser sits at 5-1 overall, and 2-1 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division, with just one game separating the Ramblers from Utica Ford II and L’Anse Creuse, who are tied for first place.
With a clearer indication of what his team may be capable of, Ogilvy now believes this season has the potential to be a good one for Fraser.
“If we could keep our losses to one, that would be great,” he said. “That’s a great season. Those are kind of our team goals, keep our losses to one or two, and finish in the top five in the county meet. Outside of that, individually, we’ve got some kids that want to qualify for state meets, so we’re working at that.”
Hunter Greene, Matt Gough, and J.J. Politis are a few of the swimmers that Fraser hopes to qualify for the state finals competition later this year. According to Ogilvy, both Greene and Gough are close to having times that are good enough to make the state cut, and he believes both have a shot at making their way to the finals in Holland on March 9-10.
Fraser also has a pair of divers who are capable of making some noise in postseason competition: senior Jason Butler and freshman Mackenzie Nahtygal.
“(Butler’s) our No. 1 diver,” Ogilvy said. “He’s a returning Diver of the Year last year in Macomb County. He’s had a little back injury. He’s had to take time off while his back healed, but he’s back on the board, and he looks really good. He’s trying to nurse his back injury so that he can get to state meet, and hopefully, do some really good things.
“And the freshman that we have, Mack, comes with a gymnast background. He’s already broken the freshman/sophomore school record at Fraser, and we have another third of the season left. He’s going to do some great things as a freshman. He’s the best underclassman we’ve ever had.”
Fraser takes to the pool with a roster of 40 this season, eight of which are seniors. And while the Ramblers may have plenty of talent, Ogilvy does not believe his team has an outright superstar.
Instead, he contends that the Ramblers are a team made up of a bunch of smaller stars, and one that doesn’t have to rely solely on speed to make an impact.
“Our depth is very good,” Ogilvy said. “That’s one of our strengths. We have good depth in our events, and we have the ability to roll kids around. We have a lot of kids we can switch in and out of our lineup, so we have a lot of flexibility. We have a large team with a lot of interest in swimming, which is nice. The guys are working hard. Having that kind of enthusiasm out of the guys, they’re pretty fired up for the whole year.”
Ogilvy is pleased with the dedication his swimmers and divers have displayed. The Ramblers practice 11 times per week, both before and after school.
According to the coach, the only time the Ramblers don’t practice is the days in which they have a scheduled meet. He is pleased to see his team’s hard work paying off, and he hopes for even better days ahead for Fraser swimming.
“It’s been a good year,” Ogilvy said. “We have a big county meet coming up and division meet, so we have two thirds of the season done, and we’re really happy with where we are. We definitely have a shot at a dual meet championship, so we’re going after the dual meet championship first, and then after all the duel meets are done, we’ll take a look at it and see where we stack up for a league meet (title).”