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Madison Heights

September 19, 2012

Lamphere’s swim program aims for the top

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Lamphere’s Brianne Nash swims the 200-yard individual medley at a recent meet at Center Line High School. Lamphere coach Todd Losey is hoping to create a strong tradition for the Rams’ swim program.

First year Lamphere swim coach Todd Losey is not exactly entering his new position with mediocre plans for the program.

Losey wants to instill a belief in his swimmers that Lamphere’s program can be an elite one. He doesn’t want his squad to look at any opponent on the Rams’ schedule and chalk it up as an automatic loss.

Losey previously coached the boys team at Troy High School, and in his last year at the helm during the 2006-2007 season, the Colts finished 10th in the state. He also took freshmen with no previous swimming experience and helped them make the state cut by their senior year.

As both boys and girls coach at Lamphere, Losey believes that with the proper level of commitment, he can achieve similar results with the Rams. Losey has a pretty good idea about the kind of achievements he hopes the program can deliver.

“Our first goal will always be to win the MAC (Macomb Area Conference) league championship, first and foremost,” he said. “But the important thing right now is establishing a team tradition and racing each other in practice. We can grow that further out to racing people in the league and winning, looking at the county, and then on to states.”

In order to help create high expectations, Losey is upping the ante at practice. Because he also teaches at the school, he had the opportunity to implement a morning practice, which means the Rams are often practicing twice a day.

Losey believes how a team practices will likely determine how it competes. In order to help ensure that his team is prepared to swim at a high level, he wants them to practice hard against each other.

“Rather than just having practice be something you participate in or complete, it’s something where you’re being competitive with the swimmers in your own pool, and you’re constantly trying to move up,” he said. “If you can get that kind of camaraderie going, then it makes practice a lot more beneficial because you have that bar you’re always kind of comparing yourself to.”

New coaches can sometimes encounter resistance from squad members who are already used to doing things a certain way. But according to Losey, his transition has been a smooth one.

Jaime Badhorn is an assistant coach for Lamphere, and he credits her, as well as seniors Jordan Beaman, Kirsten Eriksson, Marina McNeil and Amra Alijagic, for helping to make his job easier.

“(Badhorn) was there last year, so she’s helping me bridge the gap with the girls. We share the same philosophy. The thing I appreciate about the senior leadership is they’ve really embraced my coaching philosophy; I haven’t had any pushback. The nice thing about the girls at Lamphere is they want to be better, they want to be top in the league, and be in the conversation at the county and state level.”

Losey believes he has a dedicated group of girls in place who can help him get started with his ambition of building Lamphere’s swim program into a strong one.

“We’re playing catch-up to get to that level of mastery that a lot of the other programs that have been putting in the hours are at right now,” Losey said. “If we work hard and put in the time, we’re going to have the same results they do. I know it won’t come in the first year, but we’re planning to start making that first step this year.”

At press time, Lamphere was 1-2 overall, 0-1 MAC Silver Division.

The Rams are next scheduled to be in action at 6 p.m. Sept. 20 against St. Clair Shores Lake Shore at Lake Shore. Lamphere’s next home meet is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 27 against Bishop Foley.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.