Third-year coach Jason Shiplet believes the Hilliard Bradley High School swimming and diving programs should thrive in terms of numbers in the coming years.
This season, however, the boys team has 10 athletes and the girls have seven.
"We have one senior total, and we only have three juniors this year," Shiplet said "We have good numbers in middle school, so we should have 25 or 30 swimmers in two years or so, which I think would be good overall numbers."
Emery Alspaugh is the lone senior in the program. He proudly gravitates to his leadership role as the Jaguars compete in the early portion of their schedule.
"I have to make sure that everyone is focusing because we have a bunch of crazy kids who are here for fun," Alspaugh said. "Sometimes I have to be the one to remind them that we're here to get the job done."
Having only seven competitors, the girls team is low on depth. One of the Jaguars' expected returnees, sophomore Madison Myers, did not return because of shoulder tendonitis.
"On the girls side, we'll be competitive at dual-meet level," Shiplet said. "Our girls relays should make districts and do well.
"Those girls relays will be good, but I'm not sure we'll be great overall. At the (OCC-Cardinal Division) meet, you have to have depth to compete. When you only have seven girls, it makes it tough to do that."
Sophomore Kaitlyn Sims is a club swimmer who joined the program for the first time. Paige Williams also may have an impact as a freshman.
"Kaitlyn should do really well for us in the (100-yard) backstroke and (100) butterfly, and she has a chance to qualify to state for us," Shiplet said. "Paige Williams is very talented, but we have to get her to come out of her shell. Once she realizes just how good she can be, I really think she will perform well. She works hard every day and I think she will be pleasantly surprised at how well she does."
Sophomores Maddy Taylor and Madison Wester both competed in the Division I district last season. Taylor placed 30th in the 100 breaststroke (1 minute, 14.28 seconds) and was a member of two relays with Wester and 2018 graduates Nebraska White and Macy Williams.
The 200 freestyle relay finished 18th in 1:46.69 and the 400 free relay was 22nd in 3:54.54.
On the boys team, junior Carson Cross returns after missing last season because of concussion protocol.
"It will be good having Carson back," Shiplet said. "He suffered a concussion in October of last year while swimming club and it forced him to miss all of the season. We would have had a much better showing with him in the lineup."
Shiplet likes the makeup of the boys team and said chemistry will allow it to be successful.
"On the guys side, Emery has really stepped up with a leadership role very seriously," Shiplet said. "We have had a very productive offseason. (Junior) Ben Wirantana has been to a leadership retreat. It's been great.
"The boys team is closer than ever. They hang out and they talk. The boys team is very cohesive and should do well."
The Jaguars opened by competing in the Ned Reeb Memorial Invitational held Dec. 7 and 8 at Ohio State. Sims led the way, placing fifth in the 200 individual medley (2:11.55) and 10th in the 100 back (1:02.23).
Boys team continues league winning streak
The boys basketball team won its 30th consecutive league game by defeating visiting Thomas Worthington 57-32 on Dec. 7 in its OCC-Cardinal opener.
It also was the 26th consecutive home win for the Jaguars, who are 2-0 overall.
Matt Allocco led a balanced attack against the Cardinals with 12 points. Chris Mayfield and Keaton Norris both added 10 points and Jack Pugh scored nine.
Allocco had 27 points as the Jaguars opened Dec. 4 with a 53-43 win at Teays Valley.
Girls basketball team loses first four games
The girls basketball team was 0-4 overall before playing Marysville on Dec. 11.
The Jaguars fell to 0-3 in the OCC-Cardinal with a 45-34 loss to Thomas on Dec. 7. Emily Marschhausen had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and Chloe Callahan had eight points with two 3s.
Through four games, Callahan was averaging a team-high 12.0 points, followed by Marschhausen (5.8) and Tori McClelland (4.8).
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 7-8 -- Ned Reeb Memorial Invitational at Ohio State
Dec. 15 -- Dublin Coffman at Dublin Recreation Center
Dec. 28 -- Grove City at Grove City YMCA
Jan. 4 -- Westerville Central at Westerville Community Center
Jan. 9 -- Worthington Sprints at Thomas Worthington
Jan. 12 -- Central Ohio Splash Invitational at Thomas Worthington
Jan. 19 -- Davidson at Hilliard YMCA
Jan. 26 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at Thomas Worthington
Feb. 2 -- Upper Arlington Invitational
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 14 -- At Olentangy Berlin
*Dec. 17 -- At Worthington Kilbourne
*Dec. 14 -- Home vs. Olentangy Berlin
Dec. 15 -- Home vs. Davidson
*Dec. 15 -- Lancaster at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Dec. 13 -- At Thomas Worthington
Dec. 15 -- Kettering Fairmont Firebird Classic at Wright State