GRAFTON—While it still may be a little early for most to hit the pool, the Grafton Gators swim team members are braving the cool waters as they prepare for their summer season under new leadership.
After leading the program for several years, Todd England handed the reigns over to Grafton High School (GHS) swimming sensation Will Angus.
“If you would’ve told me that I would be the head coach of the Gators three years ago when I, myself, swam for that team and honestly felt like I wasn’t the greatest at swim, I probably would’ve laughed it out the room because I simply would’ve thought you were joking,” Angus shared.
However, over the years, his love for swimming has only continued to grow, and not only that, but his talents in the pool have nearly been perfected, as he brings with him an impressive resume, making him more than qualified to teach the sport and lead a successful program.
In April of 2021, Angus became the first male GHS swimmer to compete at the state competition. That same year, he was named to the Boys Second Team All-State.
In February 2022, his performance in the 100-backstroke event, in which he recorded a PR time of 1:01.42 earned him title of the first Bearcat Big Ten Conference Champion.
Angus would again earn his sport at States during the 2022 season, helping his relay team break a school record and finish at No. 13 in the states.
In addition, while competing at the 2022 State meet, Angus added another first, being Grafton High School’s first swim team member to qualify for day two finals.
Angus currently holds the school record in the 200 free, 100 free, 200 IM and the 100 backstroke.
Now that his time as a Bearcat has come to an end, as he will be graduating later this month, Angus will be moving on to swim at the next level, making a verbal commitment of the Washington and Jefferson College swim team.
But before heading off to college, he is excited to spend the summer sharing his passion for the water with young kids in a program that started it all for him and has plenty of goals in mind for his first season as head coach.
With 35 Gators on the roster, both new and returning, it is Angus’s objective to keep the environment as fun as he can for kids, while still bringing home wins for Grafton, with hopes of growing the area’s swim program in mind.
And he will be fulfilling those ambitions with the assistance of some very capable swim team friends.
“I have some great people to help me with coaching, as well,” he noted. “Holly Coole, Payton England and Bella Lemon will be assisting me. It’s also nice to have some of the parents helping me with meets and getting things organized, because I simply couldn’t do it all without them considering right now, I’m balancing school, my swimming career, as well as head coaching! So, it’s really nice to have all the help I can get, and I couldn’t thank everyone enough.”
The Gators are already hard at work, facing the icy waters with practices that began last week. The team will continue to practice through the week, Monday-Friday at Grafton City Pool from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
“So, it’s really an awesome opportunity getting to share my experience in swimming with these kids, and I truly am very excited about it. I’m also seeing some great potential from these kids; I watch them at practice, and a lot of them have that ‘want’ for swimming, and I love it! The team feel is awesome so far, which makes me even more excited for this season,” voiced Angus.