Rain tends to put a damper on most outdoor sports, but 's swim team doesn't seem to mind. At a recent rainy practice, most of the team's 34 athletes were out and in good spirits.
Importantly, they also have a coach at their practices, after a long search. Now they're all uncertain whether there will be a swim team next year, and are trying to scrape together funds to survive.
"We posted like three times and no one applied the first two times," Rosemont High School Athletic Director Bill Kapp said, noting that the search for a coach started in October.
Newly hired coach J.D. Nairn, a Cordova Recreation and Park District lifeguard, said the team won its first meet against Hiram Johnson and Luther Burbank, but that isn't all he's been focused on.
"We need to have money in the bank for the aquatic department when the [budget] gets worse so we can actually have a team," Nairn said.
Julie Thompson, a whose son has been on the team four years, said it's been hard for the team to find support. A netted $783, but the team has still been going door-to-door at local businesses trying to find sponsors.
It's a new practice for the team; third-year swimmer Tim Huynh said he's never seen the team do any fundraising. But in light of , Thompson said it's important.
"It would be nice to know there's at least money for a stipend for the coach next year," Thompson said.
She said swimming has been great for her son, who has an ACL tear that keeps him out of most other sports.
"[I] know there are kids that aren't going to be in the larger sports and need support," she said. "They are kind of the outcast kids."
The team has more short-term needs, too. Nairn said although Rosemont has "the nicest [pool] in the league," its swimsuits don't match; the team is also saving to buy warmup suits.
Kapp said all of the Rosemont's sports take turns getting new uniforms, and the swim team is scheduled to get new suits next year. And the swim team isn't the only sport uncertain about its future.
"The district has said it's going to cut all sports," Kapp said. "That means everyone."
Thompson also took issue with how Rosemont's school-wide athletic booster program doles out money, but Rosemont Athletics Boosters President Nancy Goodie said the amount of money each team earns from a fundraiser depends on how many parents from that team help out.
"One of the smallest teams, wrestling, has been consistently one of the most successful fundraisers because of their involvement," Goodie said. "Where as the largest team, football, has not been very involved."
Thompson said she's hopeful that a May 5 tournament at can provide some support for the team; the team's goal is to get 30 businesses as sponsors.