The Lenoir City and Loudon swimming communities combined to create a new youth summer league team that will compete right away.
The team will be under the direction of former Tellico Village Tarpons head coach Kim Wiebe and assistant coaches Nathan Holliman, Dennis Stanczuk and Sue Evans.
“We are no longer with the Tellico Village Tarpons, we have moved on from them because we had some scheduling conflicts with them,” Cheri Dubes, Bettas vice president, said. “So we felt like it was time to move onto Lenoir City where there’s a lot more families anyway and just a good opportunity to start a team. We do have swimmers coming from Tellico Village. Tellico Village just had a hard time putting us into the schedule with all their growth there. It was a natural time to move on and start a new team in Lenoir City.”
The LC Bettas will field a team from ages 6-18 and will accept swimmers from the immediate area.
The team will compete in League 4 in the Greater Knoxville Area Interclub Swimming Association.
“Age 6 to 18 is right around where we’d like to stay, and all you have to be able to do is be able to swim down one lap in a pool,” Holliman said. “We are competing in a bit of a summer league, but it’s going to be a little bit different with all the social distancing guidelines.”
“There are a lot of kids coming from Lenoir City High School and Loudon High School and (Fort Loudoun Middle School) that will be swimming with us,” Dubes added. “We are welcoming any kid from any county — Sweetwater, Knox County.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, teams will have to compete in virtual meets.
“We’re going to be swimming in our own pool, on our own time, submitting those times online and putting those up against the team we were supposed to go against, and that’s how we’ll have our meets scheduled,” Holliman said. “It’ll give our swimmers the same amount of chances to drop time, work on their strokes and have fun all the while.”
The team will hold a parent meeting May 26 and the season is set to run June 1-July 24. All practices and meets will be at Lenoir City Aquatic Center.
Practices will adhere to social distancing guidelines and cater to different ages and skillsets.
“We’re going to fill in all those parents on all the things they need to know, but currently we have a rough practice schedule made up for what we think will fit social distancing guidelines and also help our swimmers out the most,” Holliman said.
Coaches plan to emphasize fundamentals before moving to the more advanced strokes.
“As far as workouts and swimming will go, we’ll still work on getting all of our swimmers getting familiar with strokes, especially new ones,” Holliman said. “Typically, the first few weeks of practice has been, in the past at least, more stroke focused the first couple of weeks, and I really enjoy getting our swimmers in the water. Before we start sending them off to do 100s and 50s, really getting themselves comfortable in the water and getting them able to swim 100s and 50s without really struggling.
“Once all of our swimmers get used to the strokes, then we ease them into the world of swimming,” he added. “We’ll start implementing more time-based swims with 50s and 100s. Kim and I have worked together the past three years, and we both really enjoy the technical aspect of swimming.”
Dubes believes the team should be able to compete for the League 4 title and hopes the program will continue to grow after this season.
“We’re just really hopeful that this is a good starting year for our team and it will continue to grow,” she said. “It’s going to be a strange year, but we’re hopeful still that kids will want to signup, it’ll be a good starting year and we’ll continue to grow.”