For the final time this season, the Dickinson boys swim team will compete in their home pool in its dual against Bismarck. Since there are no seniors on the team, the night won’t be dedicated to the athletes, but to the people who raised them.
Dickinson will be honoring the final competition by competing on what they call “parents night.” The Midgets will be swimming and competing as they usually do, but for the people who have been there for them throughout their lives and have helped them pursue their love for the sport of swimming.
“We really want to go out for our parents tomorrow,” head coach McKenzie Steckler said. “Our season wouldn’t run as smoothly without our parents being there, making breakfast for the kids in the morning and making sure that (the athletes) are on the bus for those early mornings that we go to swim meets on the weekend, carpooling from after school to swim practice.”
The Midgets will be competing against Bismarck for the second time this season, previously competing against them on Feb. 7. As the head coach, Steckler mainly helps the athletes pick which race they compete in, but tomorrow Steckler is letting the boys push themselves by allowing them to pick which races they would like to participate in.
“The boys are excited, so it makes me excited,” Steckler said. “This meet, I let them kind of choose and make their own decisions on where they want to go in the meet. Some of them chose something completely different because they wanted to swim something different that they haven’t done and some of them chose some things that they really want to qualify in. ... Everyone will be competing in this meet differently because they have different goals in mind.”
While being able to compete is always fun, ask any athlete: There is nothing like competing at home, especially for one more time.
“I think that they always compete better at home,” Steckler said. “While away meets are fun, I think that it is kind of an advantage being at home and feeling like the excitement is here, and they know what the pool feels like, they know what the walls feel like, they know what these locks and diving boards feel like, so it’s not new to them. It’s not something that they have to get used to and warm up, it’s something that they do every day.”
The athletes may have different individual goals than others but share the same team goal: attempt to get the win, be the best swimmers they can be and no matter what, give it all for their parents, who always give their all to be the best parents they can be.
“I think that’s the biggest part of the meet,” Steckler said. “It’s always the best part of the season when we can honor the parents for everything that they do, doing the little things ... just give them something to say that we do recognize everything that they do and we do appreciate it.”
The meet is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. for diving and 4:30 p.m. for regular races.