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Coaching Staff

Welcome to our 2019 Summer Swim Season! We are here to support your needs. For all questions related to team operations and administration, such as registration, pool safety, policy issues, swim league guidelines, practice and meet schedule, volunteering, etc., please contact our Team Co-Chairs (Tanya Ward and Julie Simms at dearboughtswimteam@gmail.com).

If you have questions regarding your child's swimming level, skill development, workouts, practice group/time, goal setting, assigned swim meet events, or any other swimming related concerns, please contact one of our Head Coaches (Amy Mason ymaswim@hotmail.com and Grace Armogida gracie.armodida@gmail.com)

Coaching Staff

Amy Mason

Head Coach

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This is coach Amy’s 3rd year coaching at Dearbought. Coach Amy has been coaching for over 20 years; summer swimming, high school swimming, and club coaching. Her swimming career, and love of swimming, began on her summer swim team. Coach Amy was a competitive swimmer in high school and she continued her swimming career at division 1 Duquesne University. She loves sharing her love of swimming with swimmers of all ages and abilities. Her coaching focus revolves around proper technique and having fun. Her favorite strokes as a swimmer were freestyle and butterfly. During the school year coach Amy is a high school teacher in Montgomery County at Northwest High School. Coach Amy’s daughter is a 6 and under Devilray, and she loves helping coach the “big kids” in the morning. 

Grace Armogida

Head Coach

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Grace is excited to be Co-Head Coach for our team this summer. Grace began her swimming career with the Devil Rays and swam competitively for 11 years swimming for the FCY Tidal Force and Fox Swim Club. Grace was a 4 year varsity swimmer for Walkersville High School and a team captain in her senior year. She began her coaching career as a volunteer for the Devil Rays. After serving as a high school helper and junior coach, she was named Assistant Coach last season. Grace has a deep love for swimming and the way that the sport brings people together as well as how it helps to develop a swimmer's self-confidence. She enjoys watching a swimmer from the beginning of the season to the end not only improve their swimming abilities but also how they develop and grow as an individual. Grace has recently completed her sophomore year at James Madison University, majoring in Communications Studies with a concentration in Health Communication. She is active on campus as a manager at the University Rec Center and is also involved with Relay for Life at JMU.

Michael Flegel

Assistant Coach

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Michael Flegel is a current senior at Walkersville High School. He is a 4-yr Varsity swimmer, Captain of the boys team, and holds 6 high school records. Michael also swam for the FCY Club Team for 10 years and was a member of the National Team as well a Junior Coach for the past 2 years.  Michael is looking forward to being the Assistant Coach for our team this season, returning to the Devil Rays team where he started his swim career.

Emily Plum

Coach

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Emily grew up swimming for the Devil Rays for many years. She has been coaching for the Devilrays since 2013 and swam for MAC and Fox Swim Clubs. She attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Hood College, and graduated in 2016 with a BA in Biology. Emily currently works in the mental health field and is completing coursework to be certified to teach biology at the middle and high school level. She is excited about being back on deck to support the Coaching Staff for the new season!

 
 
 
 

Dylan Briske

Coach

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Dylan has been swimming for 8 years. Four of those years he swam with Dearbought and on the Walkersville High School team and the other four years he swam with the Club Swim Team at the University of Maryland. What Dylan enjoys about coaching is being able to see the development and breakthroughs that come as the season progresses. He started competitively swimming later than most swimmers.  Since the learning process is much more fresh to him, he feels that he can use that to help new swimmers learn the strokes. A fun fact (or not so fun depending on how you see it) about Dylan's swimming experience is that he was not very good at swimming in his freshman year of high school. However that changed after he got a concussion doing backstroke. The summer of his freshman year he joined Dearbought and his swimming skill level had somehow tremendously increased. Dylan's favorite swim stroke is breaststroke. Dylan just recently graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering. During college he was a member of the Club Track team specializing in hurdles and field events. On weekends he enjoys running Dungeons and Dragons sessions at the local comic book shop. Dylan is looking forward to being back on deck to support the Coaching Staff this swim season!

Isabella Gray Kowalczyk

High School Helper

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I’ve been on the Devil Rays team for about 5 years, but swim team all together I’ve done 7 years. I absolutely LOVE assisting others. It is just my nature. Assuring others also means cheering them on. I’ve been told I’m a wonderful friend, support wise, and I’d like to believe I am! I would be no different if I was to help the coaches or support my teammates. When I first started swimming for swim teams, I had heavy anxiety. So, whilst on Braddock, I met a girl who supported me through my first backstroke race. This girl ended up being one of my close friends, Emily, later when I moved to Walkersville. I am very close with my mom and we both look forward to me going to an art college.

Lily Somerville Staley

High School Helper

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Hi, my name is Lily Staley and I have been swimming with Dearbought for 10 years. This winter, I swam on the Walkersville high school swim team. I would love to help younger swimmers better themselves as athletes and help them work on their stroke, dives, and turns. I have wanted to be a high school helper for several years now and I couldn’t wait to get into high school so I could have the opportunity. In my first year of high school swim, I received a varsity letter and an Unsung Swimmer award. My favorite stroke would have to be butterfly. My first time swimming, Mrs. Sherry was my coach and she taught me the basics of swimming. I plan on swimming all four years of high school and also four more years on the community swim team. I would love the opportunity to help young swimmers through their swimming experience and make them want to come back next year! 

Jacob Daniel Hojnacke

High School Helper

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My name is Jacob Hojnacke. I've been swimming for Dearbought for 7 years, on the High School team for 2 years and a High School Helper for 2 years! I can't wait to help and aid our new swimmers joining the team as well as leading in practices.  I also have been a lifeguard here at the Dearbought pool in the past so I know some safety tips and tricks if you need any help. I'm so happy to be a part of this team and I can't wait to swim with you!

 

Rylee Anne Hojnacke

High School Helper

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Hello, my name is Rylee Hojnacke. This swim season will be my 7th year swimming on the Dearbought Devil Rays. I enjoy helping younger kids with their strokes and cheering them on as they progress. I started on the team when I was in the 2nd grade, and I really enjoyed being coached by the high school helpers.  Now that I am a high school student, being able to support the little ones will mean a lot to me.  I've always found the butterfly stroke to be a stuggle for me, so I stick to freestyle. When Gracie Armogida was the high school helper for my lane, she always reminded me that I'm not swimming against everyone in the pool, and I'm only swimming for myself. In the future I would like to take my soccer career as far as I can go, and swim team is a huge part of keeping up my endurance.

 

Jenna Kristina Dawson

High School Helper

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My name is Jenna Dawson and I have been swimming on Dearbought swim team for 10 years. I have also swam at both Walkersville and TJ high school’s swim teams for two years. I love helping others reach their greatest potentials and would love to help make the Devil Ray’s an even better team! I plan to attend a military service academy or do Marine Corps ROTC in college after graduation. 

Evan Louis Pinetti

High School Helper

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I'm Evan Pinetti, and I can't wait to be a high school helper this season! I go to Walkersville High School, and I will be in 12th grade next year. I started swimming on the Dearbought team the summer after my first grade year, so this will be my eleventh year swimming. I also swim on the Walkersville High School swim team during the winter. My favorite strokes are breaststroke and butterfly.  I wanted to be a High School Helper because I have acquired a lot of swimming knowledge over the years, so I have a lot to teach young and new swimmers. I like working with kids, and I'm very excited to start helping at practices. 

Benjamin Byron Armogida

High School Helper

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My name is Ben Armogida. I have been swimming for Dearbought for 11 years and have also been a high school swimmer for Walkersville High School for 3 years. Through coaching this summer, I look forward to working with the children and seeing them progress as the season goes on! My favorite swim stroke is breaststroke and the best advice I have been given by a coach is to always work hard no matter the circumstance that you are in! I have one dog named Henry. As well as swim, I also enjoy playing soccer!

Daniella Elizabeth Manchester

High School Helper

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I am Daniella Manchester, a rising 12th grader at Walkersville High School.  This will be my 13th year swimming as a Devil Ray, I have also been a member of the High School swim team for the past three years. I chose to be a high school helper because I have always enjoyed my time spent on the team, and love helping the younger swimmers have just as much fun as I did.

Sean Brian Flegel

High School Helper

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Sean is a current sophomore at Walkersville High School and on the High School Soccer, Swim, and Unified Track Teams. He enjoys Science Olympiad, Boy Scouts and you may also see him working hard at Wegman’s. Sean has been swimming for the Devil Rays for almost 10 years and is looking forward to helping younger swimmers continue to enjoy the sport.

Austin Daniel Rowland

High School Helper

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I have been swimming for the Dearbought swim team for 9 years. I want to help the team out and be able to help coach others because there were people to help coach me and it really just is a great experience to be involved in. My fun fact is that I can hold my breath for more than 7 seconds underwater! 

Ethan Ryan Jolles

High School Helper

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I am a rising junior at Walkersville High School, and this will be my eighth season as a swimmer on the Dearbought Devil Rays swim team.  Previously, I also swam on FAST (Frederick Area Swim Team) during my 8th grade year, and I have been swimming for the Walkersville High School swim team for two years.  I am serving as a High School Helper this summer because I have been a part of this team for as long as I can remember, and I enjoy the company of my fellow swimmers on the team.  This position will allow me to spend more time with the younger swimmers, as well as my younger brothers, and help them to love swimming as I have grown to throughout the years.  I want to pass what I have learned onto the next group of swimmers who will reach high school age by the time I am gone, and I feel that the best way to share my knowledge and experience is through assisting younger swimmers with finding their love for the sport. Throughout the summer of 2018 I worked consistently as a High School Helper for the preteam, and I enjoyed it greatly. I am also a certified lifeguard, which will give the younger swimmers an extra layer of security in the event of an emergency in and around the pool.

Emily Marie Terpening

High School Helper

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I have been on the Dearbought swim team for 14 years and I have been a club swimmer for 13. I enjoy coaching because I love seeing a swimmers technique improve and watching them see the benefits that come on race day. I first learned to swim when I was young, and got my first experience on a swim team with Dearbought. At age 4, all I wanted to do was learn butterfly and by age 6 I was finally learned it. I have loved it ever since. I am planning on swimming in college, currently talking to a few coaches. The coaches on Dearbought inspired me to become a swimmer and I hope to do the same.

Aidan William Gaines

High School Helper

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Hello, my name is Aidan Gaines. I will be a 10th grader this coming school year. This will be my tenth year swimming for the Dearbought Devil Rays. I also swam for the Walkersville High School swim team this past winter. I am looking forward to being a high school helper because I want to help younger swimmers build their confidence in the water and improve their strokes. I also can't wait to cheer them on at the meets! When I first started swim team, I could barely get across the pool. But, with the encouragement and help from my coaches and high school helpers, I was able to build on my skills and learn how to do all of the strokes. My favorite stroke is breast stroke. I also enjoy playing basketball when I am not swimming!

Connor Aaron White

High School Helper

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I joined the Dearbought swim team in 2010, when I was 8 years old. I've been swimming on the highschool swim team for 3 years now and deerbought swim for 9 years. I was the only male diver for the WHS dive team. The breast stroke is my favorite stroke to swim. I enjoy assisting with the team because it allows me to take what I have learned in swimming and teach others. A fun fact is that I learned to swim by accident at a water park. I’m planning to go to college to major in both Chemical Engineering and Business. 

Kush Pareshkumar Patel

High School Helper

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I have swam with the YMCA for about 6 years and then I started high school swim for 1 year. I am motivated to help other people swim because I actually think it is a really important skill to learn and to know how to swim. My favorite swim stroke is breaststroke. I started swimming when I was about 7 years old. I still remember that a coach told me to keep my arms tucked to go faster. I was actually cured of my breathing problems as a baby after swimming for a while. I plan to become a mechanical engineer when I grow up and attend the University of Maryland.

Connor Matthew Cavanaugh

High School Helper

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I understand that my role as a high school leader will be to follow all coach instructions with respect and promptness. I will model good behavior knowing that I am representing the Devil Ray Team. 

This summer, 2019, is my 6th summer as a member of the Devil Ray Team. My interest in swimming grew during this time. I added year round swimming in 2018. I completed 2 winter seasons with FAST and am starting my 2nd Summer with FAST as well. During my time,  I received the FAST Dottie Rust Achievement Award 2017 -2018.  Today, I just completed the FAST Senior Overnight Training at Skycroft. It was challenging. It included 3 sessions of swimming within a 16 hour period, to total 5 hours of swimming. It also included a 2 mile run before the sun came up, drylands, and a rope course. 

This school year I entered high school. As freshman at Walkersville High school, I joined the Walkersville Swim Team. I earned the Rookie of the Year award 2019. I earned a letter and pin. During my time with WHS Swim Team, I befriended another freshman. He joined the high school swim team even though he had never swam on a team before. I supported and guided him through the season. I encouraged him to join the Dearbought swim team. I am proud to say that he is now a member of the Devil Ray Summer 2019 Team.

All of these experiences have continued to the development of my character, fitness, and commitment to team work. Everything I have learned about swimming is due to the coaches who have guided me over the past 6 years. They have inspired me to want to help swimmers learn proper form and techniques. Coaches play an important role in building a love of swimming. It is my turn to help share the passion for swimming through supporting the Devil Ray Swim Team!