Freehold Township girls off to strong start in the pool

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Eric Sucar
The Freehold Township team huddles together for a group cheer prior to the meet against Howell held at the Western Monmouth County YMCA in Freehold Township on December 22.

By Jeff Appelblatt

Coach Brittany Bott was sure her swim teams at Freehold Township High School would be competitive this year, and she was certain she had at least a few girls that would have seasons to brag about.

However, the performances the girls put up to start the season has left the coach stunned.

“Colts Neck [High School], Jackson Memorial [High School] — I thought we’d be challenged early,” the coach said, naming two of her team’s first few opponents.

Freehold Township’s female swimmers, led by Molly Griswold, defeated Jackson Memorial in the season opener, 93-77. After sinking Manalapan High School, 103-67, the Patriots handled Colts Neck, 117-53. Then to cap off 2016, Freehold Township beat Howell High School, 106-64.

None of the local rivals were able to keep with the Patriots in the water.

“The girls are off to a good start,” Bott said.

The boys in the pool for Freehold Township, on the other hand, are still working to improve.

“The boys haven’t been as successful,” the coach said.

They were unable to get in the win column prior to their final meet of 2016, falling to each of the four schools the girls defeated. But the boys will try to get some wins in the new year, using the losses as motivation.

The first chance for the team to win in 2017 will be Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at home in Freehold Township. They’ll take on Freehold High School (0-2).

Meanwhile, Bott anticipates her girls doing big things in the new year, starting with their first meet Jan. 4 at Ocean Township High School. Ocean Township (1-6) will host the Patriots that day at 2:30 p.m.

“Hopefully, we’re going to win the division,” Bott said. “These kids have been working hard, and we’ere seeing how that hard work has paid off.”

Down the line, there are other key opponents Freehold Township’s coach expects to see, including an opponent that defeated her girls in the playoffs a few years back.

“East Brunswick [High School] — we lost by eight points,” Bott said about that meet. “We’d like to go up against them. And it’s fun playing teams that are like us.’”

Before a meaningful matchup with East Brunswick (5-0) could take place, Freehold Township’s coach knows there are more immediate goals.

“Our ultimate goal is to win the [Shore Conference] A North [Division],” Bott said. “My kids are great. They work hard everyday.”