SHERIDAN — Many athletic teams name a leader or a group of captains tasked with giving the team instruction and encouragement to their teammates. The Sheridan High School swim team doesn’t have that set up, per say.
Sheridan head coach Brent Moore has recently elected not to name or specifically identity a captain or captains, and the seven-year head coach has a firm reason as to why de does that.
“We’ve done it, and it seems to always be a popularity contest,” Moore said. “We are trying to teach leadership tools to all of these kids and I just tell them, ‘No one needs permission to do something that’s going to benefit the team.’ There are leaders by titles and there are leaders by actually being a leader. Our captains truly are the kids who are there to serve the other kids.”
Five of the unnamed captains from last year’s team have since graduated. A large content — lead by Molly Green who will swim at the University of Wyoming this fall — helped the Lady Broncs finish second at the state meet and just a whisker behind Laramie.
Sheridan will look to its three seniors in Piper Carrol, Jadyn Mullikin and Taylor Baldacci to soften the departing blow from the aforementioned quintet of decorated Sheridan swimmers who elevated the swim program to new heights.
“We have to step up into their shoes, and everyone else has to step up too,” Baldacci said. Mullikin and Carrol enter the 2018 season equipped with quite an impressive resume as both have etched their name into the school’s record board. Mullikin swam the opening leg of the 200-yard medley relay that claimed the state title last year while also breaking the Sheridan school record in the process. Carrol comes in fresh off a trio of second-place finishes last season in Gillette. A pair of those runner-up finishes — the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-year freestyle relay — set new school records.
Moore’s roster also includes Zoie Robison — who anchored the victorious 200-yard medley relay at state — and a bundle of younger swimmers and divers that will look to make an impact sooner rather than later in 2018.
“We have great group of freshman that when they see success they want to be part of those things,” Moore said. “We’ve got really good kids and great leadership and that’s the biggest thing. These upperclassmen, juniors and seniors, that have been there and been part of that team (last year) kind of know how special that team was and can continue that.”
The rest of the state field looks tough again as the Lady Plainsmen lost only one key contributor from last year’s team, while Campbell County will look to rediscover their identity in Gillette after falling from their perch atop the state following the Thunder Basin split.
The Lady Broncs schedule features four home meets where Sheridan fans will have an opportunity to watch a youthful team headlined with a few veteran swimmers looking to end their careers in style in another push for state supremacy.