Ferndale High’s Toby Weber competes in a 200-yard medley relay Jan. 25 at Auburn Hills Avondale. Ferndale coach Daniel Brandenberg would like to at least double the size of the team’s roster.

Ferndale High’s Toby Weber competes in a 200-yard medley relay Jan. 25 at Auburn Hills Avondale. Ferndale coach Daniel Brandenberg would like to at least double the size of the team’s roster.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Ferndale High boys swim coach looking to add numbers

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published January 31, 2018

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Ferndale High swim coach Daniel Brandenberg is on a mission. 

The Eagles currently have 12 boys on the roster, and Brandenberg would like to at least double that number.

“My biggest goal going forward is to keep adding depth to the team,” he said. “So, if we lose three or four (swimmers) this year, I want five or six to join the team next year. … I’d like to get the program to around 24 or 25 student-athletes.”

While that may seem like a daunting task, the challenge of trying to grow the program doesn’t seem like one that Brandenberg is interested in running away from.

“I’ve welcomed that wherever I’ve coached,” he said. “Whenever the time comes that I leave coaching at Ferndale, I want the team to be a better and stronger team than when I first got involved, and that takes work from everybody, not just the seniors, but even the freshmen.”

Brandenberg has found support from within the school and the program.

“And one of the reasons is my assistant coach (Patrick McNally),” Brandenberg said. “We also have an incredible athletic director (Shaun Butler) at Ferndale.”

What is perhaps even more important than that is finding swimmers on the team who are willing and able to take on leadership roles.

“I think it’s important to have strong leaders on the team, from the standpoint that myself and my assistant coach, we’re not constantly telling the kids the same thing over and over because one or two kids aren’t necessarily doing what (they) should be doing,” Brandenberg said. “The captains are the ones responsible for policing the team. … Getting them to let their teammates know, ‘Hey, this is what you have to do if you (want to) be part of the team; you have to put in the work.’”

A good way for Ferndale to end this season would be to qualify one swimmer or more for the Michigan High School Athletic Association state finals.

Max Weber — who along with Jacob Keener is a senior captain — has a chance to represent the Eagles when the finals take place in March.

“A lot of it comes down to coaching, but it also comes down to the work that Max needs to keep putting in,” Brandenberg said. “I’d be ecstatic for him if he can make it. I think he’d be pretty happy, too. And that’s what he’s shooting for — shooting to make the state meet.”

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