GALION — Galion High School swimmers are looking toward another successful campaign. The Tigers have experienced elongated seasons for many years under long-time head coach Ted Temple, who has been coaching 46 years total. This is his 26th year in Galion.
Last season, the boys squad swam their way to an 11-1 overall record, including a 4-0 mark in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference in which they won for the fourth consecutive season. As for the girls, the Lady Tigers finished with a 7-5 mark (2-2 in the MOAC) and finished as the runner-ups in the conference championships for the fourth straight year. The Ontario Lady Warriors won the title in 2017-2018 in their first year in the league, dethroning previous three-time champions, the Pleasant Lady Spartans.
“We have a deep team with nine real solid boys and six girls that could both win the conference and advance deep into the postseason,” states the longtime coach. “If we continue to improve all season long, district and state berths are a definite possibility.”
Galion will look to keep on winning despite some key pieces to previous seasons successes lost to graduation in the spring of 2018. Sam Rigdon, Luke Eisnaugle, Allison DeNero and Elise Barnhart are now Galion alumni and their presence and leadership in the pools around Ohio will be missed but the Tigers have multiple swimmers with varsity and postseason experience returning to make a splash in 2018-2019. Both Rigdon and Eisnaugle are continuing their aquatic careers at the college level.
For Temple’s boys squad, Clay Karnes and Weston Rose will be looked upon to provide the senior leadership a team needs while the Lady Tigers will call upon six seniors to lead the way in the likes of Sari Conner, Danielle Schneider, Ashleigh Wright, Destiny Yoder, Kennedy Gifford and Kennedy Speck.
Karnes wrapped his junior season as a district and state qualifier while also being named to the MOAC first team as well as receiving an All-County All-Star nod. Rose also earned first-team all-conference honors while making the trip all the way to the state meet a season ago. Conner was a first-team all-conference swimmer last year as well en route to also qualifying for districts. In the process, she also earned an All-County All-Star bid while being named Swimmer of the Year. Schneider and Wright were members of the MOAC’s second team while Speck was a state qualifier a season ago for the Colonel Crawford Lady Eagles. Gifford earned her varsity letter a season ago and Yoder is new to the swim team this season.
The seniors for Galion aren’t the only members of the team that swam to various honors a season ago as junior Caleb Strack was named Swimmer of the Year en route to a state berth. Strack was joined by teammates and fellow juniors Alec Dicus, Ben Alstadt and Braxton Tate at districts with all but Tate advancing to state meet chances. Strack, Dicus and Alstadt also earned all-conference first-team honors last year in Marion. Tate was named second-team all-MOAC. As for the girls, they will get state experience in the likes of sophomore Kaisey Speck as well after the move from Crawford. Troie Grubbs will also look to make an impact as Temple refers to her as an “accomplished freshman”.
Newcomers to the team this year include juniors Kyler Radcliff, Kate Wildenthaler and Kiera VanMeter as well as freshman Regan Kuehlman. They will be joining other letterwinners from a season ago in juniors Isaac Niedermeier and Drew Owens, as well as sophomores Chris Amick and Grayson Willacker.