LEBANON – The Lebanon Tigersharks are hard at work as they get ready for their season to get underway.
The girls team has been at it for nearly a month, with the boys starting two week later.
For the girls, one of the big things that stands out to head coach Craig Howe is the size of the squad he will have this year.
“I have been really impressed with our numbers,” Howe said. “We have more new girls come out than we have in the past. There is a learning curve with that, but if you can fill all the events, that is a plus. They have a solid work ethic too.”
While the numbers are obviously a great starting point, one thing the Tigersharks don’t have a lot of on the girls side is experience.
There are some key returners, but a lot of the early going of this season will be gaining a base.
“A lot of this year is going to be learning what high school swimming is about and learning how to compete at this level,” Howe said. “We want to do the best we can in the conference, and we know there is some pretty stout competition there.”
The Tigersharks do have some key returners on the girls side, and they have done a good job of leading so far, Howe said.
“Cora Dial, Anna Hale and Paige Howard give us a good returning nucleus,” Howe said. “They have done a good job of leading and things are going to kind of revolve around how we put them in relays and what individual events they swim.”
On the boys side, the expectations are high for what the Tigersharks can accomplish.
Howe said the boys have a big squad, and they are pushing each other every day.
“This may be the deepest boys team we have had,” Howe said. “We return four guys as sophomores who broke our freshmen relay record, so we have that in the pipe. The guys have been out recruiting guys so we have good numbers. We have a deeper core of depth, especially in those sophomore and junior classes.”
Howe said there is a good number of returning seniors and juniors as well that will provide good leadership to the team.
“Corbin Daisley and John Gascho have been good senior leaders for us,” Howe said. “In the junior class, Rylan Rule, Grayson Goff and Tate DeLaRosa have helped them set the tone and the work ethic.”
Both teams start their seasons on Nov. 29 up at West Lafayette.
Howe said he likes the way the schedule is set up for the season and it gives them a chance to build a strong base.
“It’s really one of my favorite things,” Howe said. “High school swimming is 16 weeks, so we want to break it up into four four-week cycles. The this first one is mechanics, technique and building an aerobic base. That will put us right at this first meet, and then we can start working on racing mode as we head into Christmas break.”