Wayne Hills Patriots Girl’s Swim Team’s Success for this Season


By Trisha Vyas, Junior Editor

The Wayne Hills’ Patriots Girls Swim Team is having one of their best seasons in the past few years. From winning 9 out of their 10 total duel (regular) swim meets, to getting second place in both counties and leagues, and being the 3 seed for states, the girls would definitely call this season a success compared the past few years.

The Girls Swim Coach, Mr. Shale, who is also a History teacher at Wayne Hills, is very proud of the way the season has gone thus far as well:
“Counties went great this year. Many people assumed we were slotted in for a 3rd place finish and we managed to finish second by a single point. Yes, we finished 2nd ahead of Wayne Valley, but it is not about them per se (WV is a great team with a great coach, and I do not harbor any animosity at all toward them). What made me very happy and proud was that we exceeded expectations and swam just about as well as we could on the day. We were missing some swimmers due to illness but the girls that were there stepped up and swam great. Regardless of our placing I would have been pleased, but it certainly was great to finish second, the first time we had done so in about 4 years. The key to victory was the same thing that has been the key all season, and really any good season and that is a team first attitude. Every girl swam what the team needed us to have them swim to be successful and everyone gave their best effort. For the girls this was not about the opponent but really about the girls to their left and right on the WHHS swim team. That team first mentality is key and it was on full display at counties. We are now 9-1 on the season and things are going very well. The key to our season has been our versatility and depth; we have a lot of girls who can swim a lot of events. I think this all bodes well for the remainder of the season but there is a lot of work to be done. Covid looms large over all we do and the result of just about every meet this month is going to largely depend on who has a full roster. If we can stay safe and healthy, I like our chances to make a nice run in states. This is my 23rd season coaching the team, and thus far it has been really enjoyable and not – as some might assume – because we are undefeated. This has been a fun season because the girls have bought into what we are doing, and are giving their best effort every meet and doing what is best for the team. That is what it is all about for me.”
The girls are set to swim against Morris Hills on the Friday, February 11th, who is the sixth seed in their section and if they win, they are set to swim against Northern Highlands on Monday, the 14th. Northern Highlands is the second seed and they have been winning the state tournament for the North 1, Group B section for many years.
Just like Coach Shale said, it is up to the girls’ mentality and focus at this point to see how far they get in state’s. However, they have worked and trained hard to make it as far as they’ve gone this far. If the girls win on Friday against Morris Hills, it will be Coach Shale’s 6th time that his team has won 10 meets in a season in his 23 years of coaching.