You just never know what kind of meet you will run into when dealing with the teams in the Chattanooga Area Swim League.
Unfortunately, most of them are one-sided and not close at all while others go right down to the final relay and even then, nobody knows for sure which team won until the final score has been announced.
We had one of the latter on Thursday night where the Ridgeside Dolphins hosted the Big Ridge Raiders.
Ridgeside improved to 2-0 with the 389-374 victory. Other winners included Stuart Heights, Signal Mountain, the Waterdogs, Red Bank and Fairyland.
Both were coming off resounding wins in their respective season-openers on Monday and both totally represent what summer swim league is all about. The main goal for all is to teach the basic strokes in swimming while teaching sportsmanship and working hard in support of your teammates.
Learning how to win with class is a key as much as learning how to lose with the same while winning is almost always far down the list of priorities.
Just go to any summer swim meet and ask any of the youngsters who are participating who won. Many don’t have any idea while others don’t care, but as long as they have a ton of fun and get to hang out with new friends for a few hours, that’s really the main objective.
That was certainly the case on Thursday night. The host Dolphins ended up on the winning side by a score of 389-374, but this one was much closer than that final score might indicate.
The Raiders had the upper hand early with a 124-117 lead following the breaststroke event. The difference was 171-157 following the medley relays, but the tide turned after that as Ridgeside used a 51-35 advantage in the individual medleys to take a 208-206 lead and it stayed just that close until the final freestyle relays.
Rob Parks has been the Ridgeside coach for the past eight years and had never beaten Big Ridge. Even as the meet was winding down and darkness was fast approaching, the personable coach still wasn’t sure who won, but he had a huge grin on his face when the final score was announced and his team was the winner.
“I think so, but I don’t know as it will come down to the wire like it always does with these two teams,” he said during the middle of those frantic free relays when cheering from both sides was all but deafening and even parents and grandparents who had watched patiently from the sides were up offering their own kind of support.
“If my math is right, I think we might have pulled it out but this meet is without a doubt one of the most exciting swim meets I’ve ever been part of. I think the individual medleys were the key as we turned things around as several of our kids really stepped up.
“But we came over here to have some fun and to offer positive support for our teammates and even members of the other team. Those are the most important things. When we win a meet like this, that’s just a bonus,” he wiped the water from his face after his post-meet dip in celebration with his team.
Big Ridge coach Marcie Smith feels the same way as Parks as far as the main reason they’re involved in summer swimming to begin with. They have a mutual respect for each other and they always have a super-competitive meet where each brings out the best in the other.
“I really don’t know what’s going to happen, but all we can do is our very best and that has been the case all day so far,” she said several races from the end.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of these kids as they all swam their hearts out. I preached all week about keeping it legal, no matter the cost, and they did a really good job of that.
“But we love competing with these guys. It’s always close and exciting and the kids always have fun. If we’re going to lose to someone, I’m glad it’s him,” she concluded.
Charlie Schrader, Maggie Akins and Elizabeth Grace Schrader all maxed out with 19 points for Ridgeside while Noah Dzik finished with 18. Ryan Carpenter and Caroline Zimmerman were both next with 17 points apiece.
Abigail Keener and Libby Brown both score 19 points to lead the Raiders while Foster Stevens was next with 16. Savannah Smith and Haley Clark both added 15 points apiece.
Ridgeside will be at home again on Monday to host Cumberland while Big Ridge will be on the road again at Cleveland.
BIG RIDGE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Abigail Keener, Libby Brown
16 – Foster Stevens
15 – Savannah Smith, Haley Clark
14 – Kate White
13 – Noah Keener, Lander Smith, Ben Jungels
12 – Madison Skiba, Jade Skiba
11 – Quinn Young, Benson Wright, Blakely Martin
10 – Evan Scharff, Megan Gill, Eli Haupert.
RIDGESIDE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Charlie Schrader, Maggie Akins, Elizabeth Grace Schrader
18 – Noah Dzik
17 – Ryan Carpenter, Caroline Zimmerman
15 – Asa Hedrick
14 – Grace Hamilton, Brynne Burkhart
12 – Owen Swisher
11 – Annie Davis, Caroline Carpenter
10 – Cora Hamilton, Jeremiah McClenahan, Burke Murphy, Holly Beale, Andrew Zimmerman, Ava Goodlet.
COUNTRY CLUB HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Chamberlain Johnson
17 – Evie Ranalli, Monna Yu, Sloane Graham
16 – Nicholas Johnson, Jake Knowles, Cooper Brooks
15 – Caroline Schenck, Leia Yu
14 – Callie Dake, Zeki House
13 – Lucinda Ranalli
12 – Emma Kate Manning, Katie Grace Tudor
11 – Dru Grant
10 – Blaire Card, William Hatfield, Eliana Tabibiazar, Gracie Manning, Parks Raulston, Adalyn Turner.
WATERDOGS HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Timothy Collier, Levi Steve, Gracelyn Dauphinais, Lincoln Eberle
17 – Jae Dauphinais
14 – Davis Turner
13 – Laura Ward, Asher Williams
12 – Claire Wendorf, Martin Shapoval, Jack Cuiston, Matthew Fox
11 – Joel Lofton, Kenz Farner.
DALTON HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
18 – Layla Brackett, Jazlynn Watson
16 – Sebastian Rodriguez
13 – Luke Mederios, Sophie Martinez
12 – Aurora Caceres
11 – Matthew Martinez
10 – Eli Mickelson.
STUART HEIGHTS HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Shepherd Sewell, Drew Hitchcock, Sage Sillery, Ava Gipson, Scout Chapin, Max Shaw, Walker Sewell
17 – Sterling Sewell, Ridge Folmar
16 – Ellie Lydon
15 – Molly Mae Ransom, Will White, Malory Gonzales Easter
14 – Olivia Loveless, Sam Flack
13 – Stephen Myers, William Loveless
12 – Luci Hill
11 – Cori Hill, Deacon Sewell, Briley Kesler
10 – Jameson Halbert, Thatcher Bacalman.
CATOOSA HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
18 – Sully Foster
14 – Josh Adcox
13 – Gunnar Corvin, Wade Christopher
12 – Reese Rawls, R.J. Partain
11 – Natalie Talley, Avary Kadetz, Helen Webb
10 – Ellie Corvin, Amy Lynn Hoeng.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Hayden Vicknair, Nissa Ruth, Ben Hardin, Avery May, Lily Vicknair
15 – Gavin McKenzie, Sydney Gordon, Owen Isch, Eliza Hardin, Natalie Ennen
14 – Marley Degenhardt, Klein Boyd
12 – Mitchell Maedel, Morgan Slattery, Felix Vicknair, Noah Ennen
11 – Monroe Chittum, Sophie Santola, Jacob Greene
10 – Flanary Belva, Cate Laramore, Ella Obringer.
RED BANK HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Natalie Emerson, Benton Bilbrey, Addilyn Mayo, Turner Sharp, Rebekah Fuller
18 – Noah Blake
17 – Brianna Rabon
16 – Avalie Bilbrey
15 – Adli Bowlin, Maddie Grass
14 – Ben Meagher, Maggie Rust, Audrey Mayo
13 – Grace Martin, Maddy Wurtz
12 – Caleb Grass
11 – Alex Granberry, Madelaine Ellis
10 – Samuel Shaw, Charlotte Morehead, Cohen Lowe.
CLEVELAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Addie Taubert
15 – Ty Jones, Jaxon Moseley
13 – Sophie Hughes
12 – Carol Lynn Elliott, Elias Eldred, Reed Blackmon
11 – Ben Condo
10 – Jay Eldred, Santiago Eldred.
CALHOUN HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Dodd Cornelison
17 -- Jonah Ogas
15 -- Jocelyn Chance, Colin Wegand
14 -- Morgan Cox, Reese Bagwell
13 -- Khloe Chance
12 -- Landon Travis, Lindsey Cox, Nicklas Michels, Jacob Bateman, Nate Eickman
11 -- Annie Eickman, Atticus Stephens, Keegan Carter, Levi Swift, Zoe Zeiss
10 -- John Cox.
FAIRYLAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Lily Cole
17 -- Ben Bevill, Harrison Barnes
15 -- Emmy Cole, Barrett Reisman
14 -- Charlie Henderson, Kent Wingfield, Ari Bond, Aubrey Cole
13 -- Evelyn Dove, Maxwell Ball
12 -- Ella Malone, Frances Bohner, Millie Elkins
11 -- Avery Ball, Elaine Mae Ireland, Ethan Bond
10 -- Adelaide Bond, Madison Cole.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)