By JARED JERNAGAN
The strongest programs in any sport don't rebuild; they reload.
Greencastle boys' swimming looks to do so this season, as they replace not only a good senior class, but also a legendary coach.
With the retirement of Paul Bretscher, his son Daniel Bretscher takes over the reigns of GHS boys' swimming. The elder Bretscher left on top, with GHS winning its first sectional in more than two decades.
While several seniors also departed, the younger Bretscher has a new class coming in with him.
"We won sectionals last year for the first time in 22 years. We lost a very good senior class, but we also have one of our best freshmen classes ever coming in," Bretscher said. "Everyone seems to be stepping it up, so we hope to go further than last year."
The Tiger Sharks will look for contributions from the three lower grades. The team features large freshmen, sophomore and junior classes but there are only two seniors. Of these two, one comes with lots of experience, while the other is new to the sport.
"Miles Salman swam for over 10 years of his life, and this is probably it for him, so he really wants to go out with a bang. For Phil Cass, this is his first year every swimming. It's good to have him."
Bretscher said his swimmers know GHS swimming has something good going, and they are not doing anything to jeopardize it, no matter how much experience their coach might have.
"I'm really happy with the way they've responded," Bretscher said. "They really know what's at stake this year and they're really serious about accomplishing our goals this year.
"So far, I'm really happy with the work ethic," he continued. "We came in a little more out of shape than I would have liked, but if the work ethic stays where it's at we'll make up for it."
One of the Tiger Sharks' strongest returnees is junior Luke Crimmins, who has set some lofty goals for himself.
"Luke Crimmins wants to place well at state in the 50 and either the 100 free or back stroke," Bretscher said.
The coach looks for his team to be strong across the board, but there are a lot of unanswered questions at this time. The development of the freshmen will go a long way in answering these.
"I think our distance will probably be real strong. We were real strong last year, and we have everyone back," Bretscher said. "In everything else, we're going to need people to step up this year, but I think our freshman class is going to help that. I'm not sure where our freshmen are going to fall in yet, but when they do, I think they'll all help our team out."
With such a young team and coach, the development of both will tell the story of the Tiger Sharks' success this season. GHS opens the season at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at Terre Haute South.