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Troy Tiger Sharks return to the pool

The Troy Tigers Sharks are back in the pool  this summer and although the summer schedule will be different, they are eager and determined to improve.

COVID-19 wiped out athletic activities for nearly two months. Recently it was announced that summer sports could resume and on June 4 the Tigers Sharks returned to the pool.

“We waited until Governor Ivey loosened some of the restrictions,” head coach Shane Tatum said. “We still have to maintain some of the restrictions, but we were able to start training.”

Tatum and the Tiger Sharks have broken the team into different groups in order to keep everybody as separated as possible. Swimmers are not able to use the locker rooms and every time the equipment is touched it must be sanitized. These are just a couple of examples of what the Tiger Sharks are doing to keep everybody healthy.

“We are mainly trying to social distance ourselves and pay attention to where everybody is and what they are doing,” Tatum said. “We kind of stagger the kids. We have a certain age group come in and once they leave another age group comes in. So far it’s going pretty well.”

The Tiger Sharks began the summer with approximately 25 swimmers, a little below average compared to summer’s past.

“Normally there are around 30 to 40 (swimmers),” Tatum said. “We had to wait so long to see what Gov. Ivey was going to do. People were quarantined for 30 days and once they got out they wanted to vacation this summer. That kind of affected our numbers. 20 to 25 swimmers, I’m still pleased with that  and I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a good group.”

This year’s roster includes both veterans and newcomers.

“We have quite a few first timers,” Tatum said. “We do have some returning swimmers that were on the team for many years. We have a good mix of so-called veteran swimmers and rookies. Trying to find a way to blend things together.”

It is not yet known whether the Tiger Sharks will participate in any official swim meets this summer, but the Tiger Sharks are preparing for both district and state.

“We are not clear on if they are going to allow us to have competitions because of social distancing,” Tatum said. “At a swim meet It’s kind of hard to have that with timers, coaches and swimmers. We are training like we are still going to have district and state.”

Tatum hopes that Troy can get together with other teams in the district and have an invitational championship to give the kids something to work for.

The Tigers Sharks are practicing three times a week this summer hoping for a chance to participate in meets.

Until Then they will continue to adapt to the times and do the best they can to have fun, while staying healthy.

“This is a new norm,” Tatum said. “Nothing is going to be like it used to be so you have to adjust and adapt what you’re doing. I think the changes we have made are the best we can do and hopefully there will be results in the future.”