The Huntington High School girls’ swimming and diving team is looking ahead to the fall season. Practice will begin on Monday, August 26.
Like many teams in Suffolk and across the state, Huntington has elected to combine its squad with Walt Whitman. The Blue Devils are coached by Christopher Helmke and Meg McConnell. Whitman’s Rufus Shepard is also on the staff.
Seven Blue Devils are returning as veterans of last fall’s team, including incoming freshman Kathryn Montefusco, who swam to All-State honors as an eighth grader in 2018. Huntington graduated Hannah Bailin, Emma Farrell and Evelyn Hernandez, but will be returning Alice Bradford, Caelan Clayton, Claire Conner, Sydney Cordeiro, Leigh Hepworth and Abigail Lewis.
All six swimmers from Walt Whitman were underclassmen last year and are eligible to return this fall.
Helmke has been striving to get more athletes interested in the program, especially swimmers and divers at J. Taylor Finley Middle School, which doesn’t have a team of its own. Finley students who qualify can go straight to the varsity squad.
Early season practices will be held in the outdoor pool at the Head of the Bay Club at 191 Bay Road in Huntington. The fall campaign will begin on Monday, August 26 at 8 a.m. Practices will run from 8-10 a.m. daily. It is anticipated that the team will move indoors to the Huntington YMCA pool beginning on Monday, September 9. Indoor practice will be held daily from 3-4 p.m.
Team members must get to daily practices at the Bay Club on their own. The coaching staff will be waiting for them there. Once school begins, bus transportation from school to the practice site will be available.
Anyone interested in joining the team can contact Helmke during the summer at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Helmke’s goals include attracting “motivated swimmers and divers to the team and maintaining a high level of dedication, sportsmanship and teamwork.”
Getting more people involved in the program and getting more girls interested in diving are two ongoing goals for Huntington’s coaches.
Helmke wants all of his swimmers and divers to be ready for the first day of practice. An opportunity for high school athletes (grades 9-12) to obtain a physical exam by the school doctor in the nurse’s office will be provided on Thursday, August 15 at 8 a.m. Students must bring a completed and signed interval health history screening form to the physical exam. (This physical exam is for students who are not getting an exam from their private physician.)
No one will be allowed to participate without presenting an up-to-date physical exam report, signed parent/guardian permission/code of conduct slip and a current health screening form. These documents are available in the athletic office at Huntington High School during daytime hours or via downloading on the school district’s website at www.hufsd.edu – click on the Main Navigation on the top left of the homepage and then on Fall Season under Athletics. Scroll down to Documents and click. A dropdown menu of items will appear.
High school athletes must re-qualify for participation with the school nurse. Fall athletes can re-qualify on Monday, August 19 (9-11 a.m.), Monday, August 26 (7-11 a.m.) and Tuesday, August 27 (7-11 a.m.) Physical exam forms completed by private physicians and signed interval health history screening forms should both be presented to the nurse when requalifying.