The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 11, 2014

Shipley sings praises of swimmers at banquet

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Seniors Christie McMeans and Michael Johnson were awarded the Pacer and Plainsmen Spirit Awards at the Enid High swim banquet Tuesday at the Oakwood Christian Center Oak Room.

Senior Destiny Turner and junior Nate House received the most improved swimmer awards from coach Ginny Shipley.

Shipley used the evening to praise the character of her team, especially the seniors.

“I’ve always said the swimmers are the best kids in the school and I still believe that this year,’’ said Shipley with a chuckle.

Shipley said her teams had good seasons with the girls taking seventh and the boys 12th at the state meet. She noted the improvement the Plainsmen made from a next-to-last finish at state the year before.

She called seniors Johnson, McMeans, Turner, Hunter McEachern, Sara Nazari, Gabe Sanchez and Charley Laws “awesome’’ role models both in the swimming pool and the classroom.

She said both Laws and Johnson “came a long way’’ from the time they started and how Sanchez showed his character by going from a transfer who had to sit out a season to becoming an All-Stater.

She praised Turner’s determination in improving to become a state placer and the upbeat attitude of McMeans, who was positive.

Nazari, a four-time state champion who overcome injuries, “worked harder at swimming than any athlete I knew,’’ she said. She added that McEachern, another four-time champion, “was a natural-born leader,’’ whose teammates showed their respect for by electing her a captain.

Shipley thanked the swim boosters for “having everything ready where all we have to do is coach.’’

Receiving letters were McEachern,  McMeans, Nazari, Turner, Johnson, Laws, Sanchez, Hannah Esquibel, Erin Felber, Gerren Harding, House, Tanner Owings, Jeremy Swan, Jake Taylor and Garrett Wallace.