Local high school swim teams open their season Thursday at the Scottsboro Invitational.

Here is a preview for the Scottsboro girls and boys teams and the Section girls team:

GIRLS

SCOTTTSBORO 

› Classification: Class 6A-7A

› Head coach: Shalyn Benson

› Roster: Juniors Paige Giles, Shelton Linville; sophomores Kimberly Caldron-Diaz, Noelle Lee; freshmen Amelia Armour, Audrey Frye, Alice Merck, Lily Turlington; seventh-graders Addison Hughes, Mackenzie Hughes

› Returning state swimmers: Paige Giles (100 Backstroke)

› Team strengths: “When you see this team of girls, you automatically think of the word ‘family’ and they will tell you the same. All the coaches are excited about the girls team this year because there is so much potential with this group. Even though we do not have any seniors on the team, all of the girls are taking it upon themselves to become leaders. Which has been incredible to witness. We have a larger number of girls this year, so it will be exciting to see what they can accomplish together moving forward.”

› Team expectations: “Paige was the only girl to compete for us at the state meet last year. However, the girls are focused on changing that this season. The biggest goal they have is qualifying for the (200 medley, 200 free and 400 freestyle) relays. We have a few swimmers who are also focused on qualifying individually as well. The girls are doing a great job of holding each other accountable. If they continue to push each other in the right ways, there is no doubt that we will have a stronger showing at the state meet come December. Most of the girls we have, even though they are still young, realize that they have a lot of potential as a team. After swimming in 6A-7A for one season, they are motivated to get better as a team. They are starting to mature as a group and are willing to put in the work.  They know what it is going to take to be successful this season.” 

 SECTION

› Classification: Class 1A-5A

› Head coach: Kindra Robbins

› Roster: Senior Maggie Ella Robbins

› Returning state swimmers: Maggie Ella Robbins (state champion in 50-yard Freestyle and 100-yard Butterfly)

› Team expectations: “Maggie Ella’s expectation is to always do the best she can do in the moment. Winning state, going to nationals and placing are definitely goals for this season but just doing her best is what she expects every time from herself. The keys for Maggie Ella are being at practice every day and giving maximum effort on every task she is given.” 

BOYS

SCOTTTSBORO 

› Classification: Class 6A-7A

› Head coach: Matt Brewer

› Roster: Junior Kaje Jordan; sophomores Luke Armour, Jake Benson, Preston Worley; freshmen Cade Haggard, Arlen Parr, Will Porch; eighth-graders Ben Bradford, Craft Sanders

› Returning state swimmers: Luke Armour (200 Medley Relay, 200 Freestyle Relay, 400 Freestyle Relay); Jake Benson (200 Freestyle Relay); Ben Bradford  (200 Freestyle Relay); Arlen Parr (200 Freestyle Relay, 400 Freestyle Relay); Kaje Jordan (Men 1m Diving) 

› Team strengths: “When I think about this specific group of boys I think about the word motivated. Even though we do not have any seniors this year, these boys are growing and challenging each other to be leaders. Which in turn is carrying over to other aspects of their daily lives. They are holding each other accountable; and it is going to pay off this season. Another strength of this team is the chemistry that these individuals have. They spend a lot of time swimming together. These boys not only swim during the high school season but are a part of our summer swim team as well. So these guys are very aware of what to expect from each other.” 

› Team expectations: “The guys have set some pretty high expectations for the season. Our main goal for this year is to qualify more swimmers individually as well as all three relay races. (200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay). The guys will also be challenged and asked to step out of their comfort zones, and try events they didn't swim last year. They expect to get better each and every day and with that mentality, I truly believe this will be a fantastic year for Scottsboro Swimming. Going into this season, we have a better understanding of how to practice and stay as safe as we can in terms of COVID. In terms of 6A-7A competition, we have learned and know what kind of competition we will be up against. Getting used to the 6A-7A time standards set forth for State qualification was something we had to come to terms with last year. Knowing that, in itself, has helped shape how we have been viewing our practices. The time standards will be extremely challenging this year, but we are excited for the opportunity to go out there and achieve those times. If our guys continue to stay focused and believe in themselves this will be an awesome year.”

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