A Triumph of Heart and Friendship: Sherwood Repeats as 2023 CSA Greensboro City Swim Meet Champions

A Triumph of Heart and Friendship: Sherwood Repeats as 2023 CSA Greensboro City Swim Meet Champions
Courtesy of Michael Fanning, covering the local Greensboro sports scene, for GreensboroSports.com

“This team is more than a bunch of fast swimmers,” Coach Eva began. “They are champions because of their heart and drive to do better than they have before. I am so proud of the personal growth out of the pool that I have seen from them, and that is why they won this meet.”

When the final totals from the three-day 2023 CSA Championship Meet were tabulated late Saturday night, Sherwood Swim and Racquet became back-to-back champions, scoring an amazing 3,484.5 points.

After the pool deck dried, I had the opportunity to speak with Sherwood Head Swim Coach Eva Grace Hecht, the driving force behind the Raiders’ exceptional performance. Last year, Sherwood won the city meet and Coach Eva admitted to feeling the pressure at the beginning of this season. “There was lots of pressure to repeat the win, and it weighed on me. However, I knew that our goal was to be back-to-back champions. More importantly, it mattered to me that everyone felt seen and loved this season. Fortunately, everyone worked hard, and we achieved the results we wanted.”

Reflecting on standout performances, Coach Eva highlighted the incredible feats of her swimmers. “Everyone rocked it, but some standouts were our 15-year-old prodigy, Albert Smelzer. He set meet records and won all of his events! Another remarkable achievement came from our underdog 13-14 boys 200 Medley Relay team, including Baxter Lackey, JW Poole, Charlie Vannoy, and Bo Cooke. Against all odds, they placed 1st!”

Even thou Sherwood faced pressure all season, Coach Hecht stressed the importance of camaraderie, and her personal connection to the sport. “This win means a lot to me because I have been a Raider since I was 5 years old and have seen all sides of Sherwood. As a first-year head coach, it was amazing to experience this with my swimmers, who have also become all of my best friends.”

Lastly, Coach Eva emphasized the importance of the Community Swim Association (CSA) and its role in introducing the sport to her and many others. “CSA is so important to me because it introduced the sport of swimming to me, which I grew to love in the summers. I never swam year-round, and it provided such a fun outlet for me. The same goes for most of our swimmers, who LOVE summer swim and pursue other activities during the rest of the year. It’s amazing that everyone can participate and have the best time, regardless of their skill level.”

Other results from the 2023 CSA Meet include the Friendly Frogs winning the Open Championship with 687.5 points. Friendly Pool also set a new record for the amount of donations to the “Swim For Cancer” fundraiser. The Frogs raised $47,000 dollars this year, winning the fundraising drive for the third straight year.

All the scores and results can be found on the www.greensborocsa.org website.