DHS girls swim back and better than ever

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Bella Wiltfong, Staff Reporter

The De Soto High School girls’ swim team is back and ready to compete and make up for the absence of last season. 

The cancellation of last season was due to the emergence of global pandemic, COVID-19. The virus has still left a small impact on the 2021 season as well. 

“We are required to wear our masks at all times and social distance except when in the pool,” junior swimmer Shelby Marquis said. 

Being that most training is conducted in the water, swimming is unlike many other DHS sports that have been required to fully participate in masks, with the exception of water breaks and other similar situations. 

Melissa Knapp, the head swim coach of the team, has had to adapt to the many changes within the season.

“There is a lot more planning. We have to be flexible and creative, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Knapp said. 

The first swim meet was originally planned for March 17, but was canceled last minute. The team now plans to have their first competition on Saturday, March 27. 

Without an in-district pool for the girls to practice in, the swim team is required to make daily commutes to and from Frontier Trail Middle School in Olathe for practices. 

The swim team though doesn’t mind the off-campus drive as they get to spend more time with their teammates.

“The swim team is just such a great group of girls to be around. We all love to hype each other up and we like to create a competition of who can yell the loudest for the current swimmer,” Fernandez said. 

Although many of the girls love the swim season, some of their favorite activities have been disbanded due to COVID-19.

“We used to go out and get Freddy’s after practices and just hang out and have fun. Now that COVID-19 has hit we can’t go out. But we all love to see each other at practices and have been super excited for this year,” Fernandez said. 

Despite current conditions, the girls and coaches are determined to have a fun and successful season.

“We have a really great group of swimmers this season. They really get along well and are all hard workers. It will be fun to see where they are at the end of the season,” Knapp said.