Parkwood High School Swim Team Defies Normal Standards


Loyd PenningtonUnion County, NC – The Parkwood High School Swim Team is very small compared to many. With only 15 members, they go to every meet knowing that they have little chance to come out on top. They simply do not have enough swimmers to enter into each event to score enough points to be a contender and yet they are there heart and soul.

They pay close attention as their team mates compete and are always all smiles and enthusiasm. It is a team that any school would be proud to call their own and yet very few are even aware of these hard working athletes. They have improved dramatically and even have a girl’s relay team headed to the Regionals.

Even that is not the best part of the story. You see these teenagers are doing something that simply defies standard norms. They get up 3 and even 4 times a week at a little after 5:00 a.m. to go and practice before school. They do so of their own free will and due to the fact that it is the only available time they could secure with the limited number of pools in our area. You see, in the world today, 5:00 a.m. and teenagers are very seldom synonomous.

So they are getting much needed excercise, learning what it’s like to be part of a team and most importantly of all, they are learning what it means to have a strong work ethic.
parkwood high school swim team

Over the past few generations we have seen the concept of working hard to achieve worthwhile goals diminish in ways that I believe is far more detrimental than most of us recognize. We seem to glorify the ability to avoid work and are constantly looking for rewards without effort.

In this the age we live in where communication is instantaneous and opportunities are changing on a daily basis, there is simply no denying the tremendous value that a person who has the work ethic to jump in and get things done will bring to all that they endeavor to accomplish.

If each of these young people went on to win a state championship, I still would not be any more proud than I am today because what they are requiring of themselves are the very same traits and values that built this great country and has allowed us to lead the world for more than 200 years.

It really is that important and this crew becomes more valuable each and every day. I really look forward to the great things they will accomplish in the water and down the road of life.

The 2010 -2011 Parkwood High School Swim Team
Lindsey Walker
Taylor Brewer
Shayna Wullcshleger
Jenny Walker
Alisha Newton
Emily Martin
Kayla Johnson
Haleigh Lowery
Lindsay Martin
Connor Rushing
Taylor Pennington
DJ Reyes
Clint Caskey
Carson Gribble
Jake Brantley
Coach – Andrew Starnes

- Loyd Pennington
Send an email to Loyd

2011 Union County, NC


3 comments to Parkwood High School Swim Team Defies Normal Standards

  • Ellen Roethling

    Thank you for acknowledging the beautiful spirit all these kids display. The discipline and determination they practice gives great hope for the future to this proud grandmother. Kudos to their parents too. My treasures are Jenny and Lindsey Walker.

  • Sue Newton

    Thnak you, Mr. Pennington! I am Alisha Newton’s grandmother and I have been amazed that she’s been able to maintain the early AM schedule. We are so proud of this team for the same reasons that you are. Thanks for noticing.

  • Thank you so much, Mr. Pennington! This is awesome. I enjoyed myself immensely this season and I am looking forward to next year!

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