SHERIDAN — It will take some getting used to, but in time, Brent Moore will move past his loss. The Sheridan High School swimming and diving head coach doesn’t have Oscar Patten this winter. The standout Bronc graduated last spring — currently competing at Henderson State in Arkansas — and took with him a share of the state meet points and leadership.
“We will have to have some guys step up for sure,” Moore said.
That starts with Thomas Yates. The junior competed as a butterflyer and a backstroker last season, while also competing in the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relays.
Yates boasts the versatility necessary to throw his hat in most events, and his experience alongside a number of senior standouts last season should help with Yates’ leadership skills this season.
“I want him to feel a little bit of pressure but not be overwhelmed by the pressure,” Moore said. “I don’t think there’s a ton on him. He did some great things last year. … I think he’s just got more experience and more expectations for himself too.”
Yates advanced to the consolation finals at the state meet last season. He tasted the A finals in the two aforementioned relays. He has the experience, and now Moore wants him to take the next step.
Thirteen other swimmers join Yates for this year’s edition of the Broncs. Emmett Potter returns as the only other athlete who competed at the state meet, as he placed 16th in 1-meter diving. After those two, there’s a lot of youth — seven freshmen — that Moore will push to make significant strides sooner rather than later.
“There’s lot of potential,” Moore said. “… I’ve seen them swim at club meets, and they’ve always done well. So it will be cool once we see where they will settle in the rankings and see what they can do.”
Moore has seen glimpses so far this season and will learn more about his club in the next couple of months.
Head coach: Brent Moore
Last season’s finish: sixth at state
Key contributors: Emmett Potter, Thomas Yates
Jan. 4 at Sheridan Pre-Invite
Jan. 5 at Sheridan Invite
Jan. 11 at Laramie
Jan. 12 at Cheyenne Invite
Jan. 15 at Kelly Walsh
Jan. 25 vs. Kelly Walsh
Jan. 26 at Gillette Invite
Feb. 1 at Conference (Cheyenne South)
Feb. 14 at State (Gillette)