New Era Begins For LHS Swim Team
The Ranger swimming program opened a new era Tuesday night in its home meet at Lakewood High School. The meet was the first for the Rangers under new head varsity swim coach Sophia Loferski, hired this offseason by Athletic Director Sean Jackson. Loferski hopes to continue the program’s strong tradition while still bringing her own unique brand of leadership to LHS. She describes herself as “committed, competitive, and wanting what’s best for the kids.”
This is Loferski’s first head coaching position in high school. She has served as assistant varsity swim coach at both Aurora High School and Western Reserve Academy. Swimming has been a lifelong passion for her…she began giving swim lessons when she was only 12 years old. After a successful swimming career at Aurora High School, she served there as an assistant coach while she attended Kent State University.
She describes her coaching style as “technical” as opposed to yardage based. Rather than placing the emphasis on amassing yardage in training, she wants to work with each swimmer to refine their technique. This means revisiting technique on a regular basis to instill consistency. She also advocates cross training and yoga as tools for improvement. She has been impressed with her reception at LHS. “I’ve got really fantastic resources to work with,” she says, “everyone has been really welcoming.”
Her transition has been helped by the addition of assistant swim coach Adrianne Grand. Grand joined the LRST staff last spring, and then became an assistant at LHS this fall. Her previous background working with many of the LHS swimmers has been valuable to Loferski, who is new to the west side swimming scene. Like Loferski, Grand has previous coaching experience as a high school assistant. Grand and Loferski both have backgrounds in education, which they feel helps them in coaching.
The team debuted on November 28 against Westlake High School. “I was nervous,” Loferski said about being a new coach after the meet,“you’re putting a lot of faith in people you don’t have a background with.” She was pleased with her team’s performance, and especially with their strong camaraderie. “I feel we have a very close knit team,” she said.
Grand was also pleased with the first meet. “This is so exciting,” she said when asked about the large crowd and atmosphere at the meet, “We saw some really great results.” Ranger winners in individual swimming events included: Luke Healy, (Boys 200 Yard IM, Boys 500 Yard Freestyle); Maggie McHugh, (Girls 100 Yard Butterfly, Girls 500 Yard Freestyle); and Colman McGuan (Boys 100 Yard Backstroke, Boys 100 Yard Breaststroke). Also among the leading point scorers were Parker Polen, Ethel Woodford, Sophia Miranda, Marissa Campbell, Nina Zanghi, and Burke Fortner. Loferski also liked many of the results. “What we’re doing is working,” she said.
Mike Deneen has extensive experience covering sports and community stories for the Lakewood Observer. Mike has been a Senior Industry Analyst for the Freedonia Group in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1998. He has appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell, NPR’s MarketPlace and has been quoted multiple times in The Wall Street Journal. He has made multiple guest appearances on ESPN Cleveland radio. Mike also writes for Inside Northwestern, a website that covers Northwestern Wildcat Athletics. You can reach him on Twitter at @MikeDeneen1