Written by Newspaper Staff Reporter Izzy Penge
Dr. Jennifer Dorrough, who was a social studies teacher and Swim and Dive coach for many years here, recently moved schools, leaving big shoes to fill for her team and class. Luckily for Buc Nation, Mrs. Michaela Hicks came to Allatoona with just the skillset we were looking for. Mrs. Hicks, who now teaches AP Psychology here, took over the reins of the Swim and Dive Team and is looking forward to competing soon. Because it is her first year here, Mrs. Hicks says she is “all about building a strong culture throughout our team. We are starting our season with a team dinner next week and have fun new events planned going forward.” Mrs. Hicks is putting in time and effort outside of practice to form a deeper connection with her new athletes. She thinks that “it’s really important that coaches use every day as an opportunity to get to know their athletes better.” Looking ahead to this season, Mrs. Hicks is most excited “to integrate various forms of agility and strength programming into our current practice schedule” so the team can “become more efficient athletes in and out of the pool.” She also looks “forward to learning about swim and dive, as well as seeing how many Allatoona athletes we have (that will) qualify for State in February.”
When asking Senior Ava Rhodes how she feels about this change, she says, “the new coach change is a blessing. We help teach her how to organize the team so by the time the seniors leave, she will know how to do it and be more comfortable.” Ava says that her “favorite thing about swim and dive is the state team dinner. It’s a tradition for Allatoona, and we have such a fun time.” She is also looking forward to her senior year and setting new personal goals, including qualifying for state for her fourth straight year and “growing deeper relationships with [her] teammates.”
Overall, the Swim and Dive Team is excited to learn more about their new coach and anxious to see how far they will advance in this year’s season. We wish these athletes the best of luck as they learn to navigate through new waters and start to compete for the 2021-2022 season.