With 15 swimmers and a strong coaching staff, the Cedar Shoals Aqua Jags is currently in the peak of their competitive season, which runs mid-October to the end of January.
Says head coach Irene Stephens, “I try to get the kids to promote team spirit and cooperation, and I encourage the kids to do their best, which may not always be first place. We frequently find swimmers helping their teammates improving their strokes, or working on dives or turns. It is always great to see the kids cheering each other on when they compete, or comforting a teammate when they don’t do well.
The Aqua Jags team is open to all students at Cedar Shoals High School and to 8th graders at Hilsman Middle School. Swimmers at every level of ability are welcome. Says Stephens, “We have had year-round swimmers, and others who could not even make it to the other end of the pool at the beginning of the season. About 2/3 of the Aqua Jags also swim in the summer on the East Athens Sea Turtles team.”
The team may be small, but they place very well at meets, all of which take place at the Ramsey Center at UGA. Parent volunteers are actively involved, serving as timers and scorers at meets, bringing snacks to keep the swimmers fed and hydrated, and cheering for the Aqua Jags.
If you would like more information about joining the Cedar Shoals Aqua Jags, contact Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org, or talk with one of the assistant coaches, John Masserello and Claire Wasserman, or the parent rep, Marie Vencill. You may also want to visit the team’s practice at the YWCO on Research Drive any weekday.
Front (sitting) – Marlena Cappi, Patty Ricome
Middle (standing) – Coach Irene Stephens, Micaela Johnson, Theresa Vencill, Savanna Crane, Erin Jarboe, Lizzy Ratajczak
Back – Amy Marcelo, Coach John Masserello, Rileigh Gamboa, Elizabeth Vencill, Jeremy Mote, Coach Claire Wasserman, Bo Lane
Not pictured – Maurice Stephens, Maggie Bergmann, Jordan Coleman