By Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
McPherson High school boys swim team begins the Cotton era at Wichita’s YMCA Northwest Branch on Saturday afternoon. Matt Cotton takes over as the Bullpup’s new head coach while Matt Morrow, who was the former head coach, becomes his assistant. Even in Cotton’s first season, expectations remain high.
“I’m excited about the upcoming year,” Cotton said. “On day one of practice, we talked about individual goals for the year and goals for the team, and we’re expecting big things.”
The Bullpups might be a little thinner compared to last year, only having 13 swimmers on the roster instead 16, but the experience level of last year’s state medalist, Justus Hampton and Will Powers make up for the lack for it.
“Though we’re a much smaller squad this year, we’ve got some phenomenal senior leadership looking to round out their careers swimming with Mac with our fourth straight division title, and in the case of Justus Hampton and Will Powers, we’re looking to make our mark there as well,” Cotton said.
Riley Shelton is the other senior on the Bullpup’s roster. The rest of the team are underclassmen. Those underclassmen include a large junior group such as Cody Achilles, Logan Ediger, Alex Houston, Matt Powers, Rhys Vanderhoof and Collin Whitaker. Ethan Burger, Kyle Ramey and Wesley Wurm are the sophomore returnees and Tytus Reed, from Smoky Valley, will be the lone freshman.
“Our underclassmen are really going to need to step up though during the season, especially if we want to maintain our dominance during the regular season,” Cotton said. ‘Every point matters’ has been our philosophy for years, but it is truer than ever this season. Saturday will be a real test for us to see where we stand in our ability to score points against some much larger Wichita programs, and our trip to Topeka the following Tuesday should see us matched up with many of the swimmers we will see again at State in February.”