At Verdugo, I can proudly say swim is a sport of dedication and vigor.
“We bus to a different school with a pool, since our pool is not accessible to us … and we basically swim laps and do drills,” says swimmer JoAnna Yortis.
They practice for about two hours with the usual warm-up, main set, and cool down. The swim team has a handful of swimmers who have swam for all four years at Verdugo, including some that do both water polo and swim, and some swimmers that have swam their whole lives! Swimmer Cade Oost, who swims for both the swim team and water polo team with his brother Cole Oost, has even worked in the water as a lifeguard for Ritchie Valens. Don’t let all these swimmers scare you away if you were looking to join, the swim team welcomes anyone from diehard lifelong swimmers to amateurs and students of the sea.
Verdugo has been in a transitional period as far as coaching goes for swim.
“Throughout my few years being here, we’ve had a different swim coach every year,” explained Yortiss. “It started out with a coach who had been here for about four years. He had to leave so we got a different coach for water polo and for swim, and now we have Mr. Warren… He’s taking over, and he swam in high school so he’s going to do the best he can. [Mr. Warren] has a good coaching spirit. He has made a big effort looking into everything and trying to help us as much as he can.”
All of Verdugo’s swim meets will take place at the East Valley Senior High Swimming Pool, except the swim meet against Valley Academy High School on April 30, which will be held at the San Fernando Park Swimming Pool. They will take on the Ulysses S. Grant High School Lancers on March 26, face off against East Valley High School on April 9, Cesar Chavez High School on April 16, and Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies on April 23.