Low turnout washes depth away for SK

"Since the retirement of longtime swim coach Kimo Streeter in 1997, the South Kitsap High School boys' swim team is enduring its fourth coach in four years.Taking over the reigns this year is Dennis Anderson, who has been a mainstay with the girls' swim team.Anderson previously coached the Curtis boys' team, but the commute to Lakewood started to wear on him.Last year's coach, Coretta Hoffman, was hired in the eleventh hour as the boys' coach when nobody else was available.Now it's up to Anderson to try and right a program that has struggled the past two years.Anderson said he is excited about the state potential of some individual swimmers, but a low turnout will hurt the team competitions.We turned out 10 (swimmers) on the first day of practice, Anderson said. Now we have 26. We had only one diver on the first day.Anderson said he had to do some recruiting, which meant finding guys who have little or no competitive experience.But he said it is common to find a few diamonds in the rough in SK's sophomore swimming class.But the depth is still lacking.Our high-end group is very good, Anderson said. It's just if we had a little more depth. That's what kills us. I'm hoping some of the rookie guys step up.One of those rookies, Justin Pettegrew, is a swimmer Anderson plucked out of the sophomore swimming class.He made a district time (in the class) and that was (accomplished) off the wall, Anderson said.Another rookie sophomore Anderson hopes to mold is Ronnie Johnson.But the team is led by a mixture of seniors and sophomores.Senior Jon Exton is the lone state returner from last year.He will be looked upon to continue his success in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter intermediate, and relays.Sophomores Chris Smith and John Judge will be the distance swimmers in the 200- and 500-meter freestyle races.Senior Andy Knowlton was a rookie swimmer last year and Anderson said he may be the sleeper of the bunch.Though he didn't train in the offseason, Anderson said Knowlton will hold his own in the sprints.He's looking tough, Anderson said. He's a sprinter-type guy and could really take himself a long way.Sophomore Ted Boles and seniors John Minor and Zach Dargel should also taste some success this year, Anderson said.Anderson said the outlook for SK should be a 6-4 or 7-3 record and he expects 12 to 15 swimmers to advance to districts.We might see 15 or 16. We've got quality, it's that quantity that hurts us. It'd be nice to see if we can get some rookies to come through. "

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