MCPHERSON LOOKS TO 5 SENIORS AND 1 JUNIOR TO LEAD THE TEAM

By William

MCPHERSON – It is absolutely correct to say that the 2019-20 McPherson Bullpup boys swim team went over and beyond expectations when they won their fourth (4th) straight district title before going on to collect three (3) gold and two (2) silver medals at the Class 1A-5A State Swim Championships while finishing in second (2nd) place as a team, the highest finish ever for the Bullpup swim program.

Coach Matthew Cotton begins his second season as the leader of the Bullpup boys swim program and knows that he will have to replace two highly successful swimmers with the graduation of William Powers and Justus Hampton.

All Powers and Hampton did in their swim careers was be part of back-to-back state champion 200 Freestyle Relay teams, while Powers also took state championships in both the 100 Freestyle and the 100 Backstroke.

Coach Cotton does have five (5) seniors and one (1) junior returning to form a strong nucleus for the upcoming season. Also, in the mix will be the introduction to three (3) swimmers who will join the Bullpup team as part of a co-op agreement with Smoky Valley High School in Lindsborg.

Here is a season preview of the 2020-21 McPherson Bullpup Swim season:

OPENING 2 WEEKS OF THE SEASON:

  • Saturday, December 5, at the Wichita Northwest Invitational with 14 total schools including Andover, Andover Central, Buhler, Classical School of Wichita, Maize South, Newton, Rose Hill, Valley Center, Wichita Trinity Academy, Wichita Northwest, Wichita West, Winfield, and Maize.
  • Tuesday, December 8, at Topeka for the Topeka Invitational with Bishop Miege, Junction City, Osawatomie, Kansas City Piper and Topeka Hayden.  
  • Thursday, December 17, at the Wichita Heights Christmas Relays with Hutchinson, Kapaun-Mt. Carmel, Wichita Bishop Carroll, Wichita North and Wichita Heights.

WHAT DOES COACH MATTHEW COTTON BRING TO THE POOL?

  • Begins his second (2nd) year as Head Coach for the Bullpups Boys Swimming Team after being an assistant coach for one season.
  • No records per se, but the Coach Cotton did lead the Bullpup Swimmers to a second (2nd) place finish last season at the Class 1A-5A State Swimming Championships.
  • Assistant Coach is Matt Morrow.

KEY LOSSES FROM THE 2019-20 BULLPUP SWIM TEAM?

  • William Powers who won the 100 Freestyle and 100 Backstroke at State while also being one leg on the state champion 200 Freestyle Relay team.
  • Justus Hampton who was one leg on the state champion 200 Freestyle Relay team and finished just a few seconds from winning a medal in the 500 Freestyle.
  • Powers and Hampton won state gold in the 200 Freestyle Relay in back-to-back seasons.
  • Powers and Hampton appear along side nearly every slot of the school record board.

WHO DOES RETURN FOR THE 2020-21 BULLPUP SWIM TEAM?

The Bullpup Swim Team will return 6 swimmers with competition experience:

  • Matthew Powers, a senior and member of the state champion 200 Freestyle Relay team.
  • Rhys Vanderhoof, a senior and member of the state champion 200 Freestyle Relay team.
  • Cody Achilles, senior
  • Alex Houston, senior
  • Logan Ediger, senior
  • Wesley Wurm, junior

RETURNEES & NEWCOMER(S) THAT MAY SEE PLAYING TIME?

  • Coach Cotton says he will have three (3) swimmers joining the team as part of the co-op with Smoky Valley High School.

WHAT COACH COTTON IS SAYING ABOUT THE UPCOMING 2020-21 BULLPUP SWIM SEASON?

  • “Last season was record setting in many ways as we were lead by a strong senior class and the Bullpups won their fourth (4th) straight district title before going on to bring home a record three (3) gold and two (2) silver medals from the Class 1A-5A State Swim Championships.”
  • “The team finish of second (2nd) place at the state meet was the highest the Bullpups have ever placed in post-season meets.”
  • “We have got some big shoes to fill this year with the graduation of Will Powers and Justus Hampton, but we are just as ambitious as ever.”
  • “Our second-place finish at State last year was the highest we have ever placed in the post-season.”
  • “Yes, we lose our twin dynamos as they cemented their place in Bullpup Swim history as the first ever to win state gold medals in back-to-back years in the 200 Freestyle Relay.”
  • “Two of our returnees, Matt Powers and Rhys Vanderhoof, shared the podium as members of that state gold medal 200 Freestyle Relay team and both are hungry to find their own way back to the top of the podium in February.”
  • “While we have lost a total of five (5) swimmers from the 2019-20 team to either graduation or injury, we have recruited well and will be including three (3) new swimmers that will join the team as part of our co-op with Smoky Valley High School.”
  • “We are looking forward to seeing what these new guys can do, and hoping to continue our current streak as AVCTL Division III and District Championship titles, plus a chance to finish once again in the top five (5) at the state swim championships.”

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