Janesville Parker’s Rhodes counts on experience
The trouble is, there are only 20 on the Vikings’ roster. It’s not the best situation, but interim coach Eric Rhodes plans on making the most of what’s available.
Parker hosts cross-town rival Janesville Craig at 5 p.m. Friday in a Big Eight Conference dual meet opener.
Rhodes, the Parker boys swim coach for the last 11 years, is taking over for Andrea Nickel, but only for this season. He said the transition from coaching boys to girls is not difficult.
“I have five sisters and three daughters,” Rhodes said. “I know what I’m getting with girls. Girls like structure. I’m finding that out.’’
Seven seniors lead the Vikings.
Melissa Holmes and Sara Gosline are the captains. Holmes swims breaststroke and the individual medley, and Gosline handles butterfly and the 500 freestyle.
Twin sisters Lizzy and Lexi Roehl are tabbed for the 100 and 200 freestyles. Lexi also competes in the breaststroke. Brianna Bradley, Amanda Lea and Tess Husen round out the Parker seniors.
Three juniors show promise.
Leslie Jones is a versatile swimmer and is expected to compete in more than one event.
“She does about everything well,” Rhodes said. “She is a really good backstroker and can do the butterfly and distance freestyles.’’
Ruth Sodemann gives a boost to the breaststroke, and Alex Kjell handles the breaststroke and the backstroke.
Hailey Leisten, Cassidy Masterson and Rachel Perkins represent the sophomore class.
“Leisten is tough as nails,” Rhodes said. “She works hard.’’
Freshmen Emma Fischer, Elizabeth Armstrong and Maddy Wargowsky are expected to play key roles.
Fischer is strong in the butterfly. Armstrong is proficient in all four strokes, and Wargowsky has the ability to swim in all events.
“We are stressing hard work,” Rhodes said. “We are packing on the yardage.’’
AUGUST: 26—Janesville Craig, 5 p.m. 27—Parker Invitational, 11:00 a.m.
SEPTEMBER: 2—At Beloit Memorial. 10—At Elkhorn. 16—Madison West. 23—At Verona. 30—Sun Prairie.
OCTOBER: 7 Middleton. 8—At Rockford Auburn. 14—Madison La Follette. 15—Craig Invitational. 18—At Madison Memorial. 29—Big Eight meet, at Middleton.
NOVEMBER: 5—WIAA sectional, at Middleton.