Update: January 28, 2022

Northside Aquatics Families,

I would like to take some time here at the beginning of this week’s message to talk about the Bond Issue that the District announced this week.  Some of you were involved in the Bond Committee process and can attest to the fact that the renovation/reconstruction of GBAC was an item discussed favorably throughout the process.  I am finishing my fifth year as Aquatics Director and I have shared with many of you that this has been a fervent wish of mine since I came on board - to see GBAC expanded and improved.  When I started coaching in the District, that was our only facility, and so I really do appreciate all that the place has done for our families over the years.  It really does have its own feel about it, too.  The reality is that we have outgrown it, and we need more water space to serve not only our HS teams and AAAA-NS teams based there, but the entire District and all of our programming.  I can assure you that those in the highest level of the District recognize this as well.  So while the project will not be included in the bond, the District is still focused on trying to get the project done.  I can say this after Dr. Woods met with me and our three coordinators yesterday in Mr. Laing’s office.  Furthermore, Dr. Woods is willing to visit with our Aquatics Community one evening over at the Northside Activity Center (NAC), adjacent to GBAC.  I am trying to get this set up right now with the folks over there at NAC.  As soon as it is locked down, I will share the date and time with everyone.  For now, please know that this will continue to be a priority for me and my team.  By adding more water to our District, we hope to not only provide equitable access to all of our teams but to also expand our programming even further, i.e. a USAWP club...


UIL

Last weekend we hosted both of our District Championship meets.  Thank you to all of the athletes, coaches, officials, and staff that made them run so smoothly and allowed for some fast swimming to happen.  Congratulations to all of the athletes and coaches moving on to the Regional meet coming up this next weekend, Feb 3-5, at the NEISD Facilities (Bill Walker Pool/Josh Davis Natatorium).

Congratulations to the Brandeis teams for winning the boys and girls team titles in District 27-6A!

Congratulations to the O’Connor girls for winning their title in District 28-6A!  On the boys side in District 28-6A, we actually had a tie for the title!  Congratulations to the O’Connor boys and the Warren boys for finishing as co-Champions this year!  I have never seen that happen in all of my years of coaching HS swimming.

Good luck to all of our athletes and coaches next week at Regionals and let’s get some swimmers and divers to State!

With the swimming season ending, I know many of you are now looking towards our final spring water polo season.  The coaches will be sharing the dates of our game days (if they have not already).  Coach Brothers and I have shared a lot of information with the coaches this week and we will be meeting with them Wednesday night to put the final stamp on things.  Once that is done, they will be sharing all of the glorious details with you all.  In the meantime, let’s finish our swimming & diving season off right!  Water polo can wait for a few more weeks, yet.  I am excited for it, too.  I think this will be our best spring yet and, hopefully, it will set us up well for the inaugural UIL Water Polo season this Fall. 

AAAA-NS

Championship season continues on the USAS side of things, too.  Next up is the STX Meet in Austin and our “I Heart Swimming” meet here at 1604 in February.  Those swimmers who have not qualified for the STX meet will have the opportunity to still get some swims in that weekend.

As always, if you have questions, especially about which meets your athletes may have qualified for, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike Witt or Coach Leigh Ann. 

NSDA

Our diving team is preparing for their meet as well in February. The “I Heart Diving” meet will be the same weekend as the two swim meets.  What a fun time of year!

As always, if you have questions, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike Freese. 


Thank you all for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 

Update: January 14, 2022

Northside Aquatics Families,

Well, the second week back has brought its challenge regarding COVID.  On campuses, the trainers have been brought in to help the school nurses with tracing and quarantining.  The trainers are taking the athletes while the nurses continue to monitor and advise the rest of the student body.  If your athlete is exposed to, or contracts, COVID, please make contact with the athletic trainer on your campus as soon as possible to get the proper guidance in handling quarantine or isolation and return to school and play.  Please err on the side of caution with regards to illness for the benefit of your child’s teammates and coach.  Thank you.

UIL

Next week we will have our District Championships.  Action kicks off on Wednesday night (1/19) and continues through Saturday (1/22).  Here is what the schedule will look like:

  • Wednesday, 1/19:  District 28-6A Diving, 6 PM @ GBAC

  • Thursday, 1/20:  District 27-6A Diving, 6 PM @ GBAC

  • Friday, 1/21:  District 28-6A Swimming, 10 AM @ 1604

  • Saturday, 1/22:  District 27-6A Swimming, 10 AM @ 1604

Think of the District Meet as the first of three rounds of the playoffs for our athletes.  The top six (6) finishers in each event move on to the Regional Meet (2nd round).  The top two (2) finishers in each event at Regionals automatically qualify to the State Meet (Final round).  In addition to the sixteen automatic qualifiers (2 from each of the 8 Regions), the next eight (8) fastest Regional finalists statewide get “called up” to the State meet to complete the field of 24 in each event.  The exception is in diving where the top three (3) divers advance to State from the Regional meet to comprise the field of 24 (3 from each of the 8 Regions).

Good luck to all of our athletes and coaches next week!

AAAA-NS

We had a good showing at the “B” Champs Meet last weekend over at Alamo Heights.  A lot of our athletes dropped time in their events and ended up qualifying for additional Championship Meets still to come, i.e. STAGS, TAGS, Sectionals.  Congratulations to those athletes and their coaches!  Unlike the UIL side of things, swimmers can qualify for these meets based on their times in individual events measured against the USAS time standards.  We are looking forward to additional fast swimming from all of our AAAA-NS swimmers and advancing as many as we can to the higher level meets.  Let’s finish the short course season with as many personal bests as possible!

As always, if you have questions, especially about which meets your athletes may have qualified for, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike Witt, or Coach Leigh Ann. 

MASTERS

This group has a big meet coming up at the end of April - the USMS Spring Nationals!  We will once again play host to this event as we did in 2015.  We were scheduled to host the 50th anniversary meet in 2020, but due to COVID, we were unable to.  This meet is always fun and exciting for Masters swimmers from all over the country.  We will all be cheering on our group of Northside Masters swimmers!

Thank you all for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 

Update: January 7, 2022

Northside Aquatics Families,

Welcome to 2022!  I certainly hope everyone enjoyed the Holidays.  We do not ever seem to take a real Break around here, though, and we still had training going on.

I read somewhere that this will be the year we learn to live with COVID.  I have no idea what that means.  I know, if you are like me, the increase in the infection numbers is cause for concern.  I have received no information from the District regarding any restrictions on our operations, so we will continue to operate as we have been this year.  That being said, I strongly encourage all of us to be vigilant with regards to our part in keeping everybody as safe as possible when in our facilities.  Individual behaviors include:

  • Staying home when not feeling well; please communicate with your coaches,

  • Getting tested when you feel like you have been exposed; I know this might be easier said than done…,

  • Maintaining adequate social distancing whenever possible, 

  • Masking up indoors when social distancing is not possible, or restricted, 

  • Limiting time in our locker rooms (our number one congregate setting and highest transmission-risk area).

Before I move on from COVID, I do want to inform all of our GBAC patrons that I received word yesterday that there will be another COVID testing company beginning operation in the Gus Stadium parking lot (410 side of the complex).  The testing site will be set up along the fence area nearest the hotel of the Gus Stadium parking lot.  A drive through tent able to handle two cars at a time and then possibly two pods will also be added to the site to handle their supplies and area to work.  The testing company is preparing to open this Saturday, Jan 8 from 9 am till 2 pm.  This Sunday, 1/9, they will be closed due to a shipment of more test kits scheduled to arrive over the weekend or early Monday morning, they do not want to run out of the kits, and turn patrons away.  They plan to open this Monday-Friday, from 9 am till 6 pm each day.  They will close on Mega Food Bank Fridays.  They will be here as long as the demand continues.  This will bring the total to three testing sites operating at 7001 Culebra Road:

  • Curative at Inselman Field--appt required

  • Employee Testing in NAC--appt required

  • Drive Through testing at Gus Stadium--no appt required

NSPD is planning to close the drive between Paul Taylor Fieldhouse and GBAC on some days,  depending on demand and traffic.

UIL

We have our last UIL meets this weekend before heading into our Championship season.  For some this may be their last meet of the season, for others it may be their chance to help their coach decide what their District-Regional-State events will be, and for others it may be just a return to racing after holiday training.  Regardless of the swimmer’s/diver’s situation, they need to put forward their best efforts.  For those teams attending the meet(s), athletes should be mindful of the other people in the venue and exercise good safe behaviors.  One behavior I would like to discourage at all of our meets is the athletes just wandering around the facility during the time between their events.  Parents and Coaches, please encourage your athletes to remain in their team areas and watch the meet rather than just wandering around.  In light of COVID, this greatly reduces their chances of exposure.  In light of being successful athletes, this can increase their focus and understanding of their sport.

AAAA-NS

Just as on the UIL side, things are winding down on the USAS side of things for the short course season.  We will have a few competing at the first end-of-season meet, B Champs, at the new Alamo Heights Pool this weekend.  Good luck to all of our AAAA-NS kids that are racing!!  From here on, all of the qualifying times for the Champs meets get faster, so the faster you swim the more meets you will have an opportunity to attend before the season ends.  We will have our MLK meet next weekend which is not a Champs meet, but will give our athletes a chance to drop time as well.  Parents, make sure you are communicating with your child’s coach(es) regarding your availability for the various meets so entries can be done timely and accurately.

As always, if you have questions, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike Witt, or Coach Leigh Ann. 

NSDA

Our diving team continues to train and compete (even as the temperatures drop!).  As on the swimming side, our HS-age NSDA divers are zeroed in on Districts-Regionals-State, but at the same time are gearing up for the competitive Spring and Summer meets.  And our age-groupers continue to perfect old dives and add new ones!

As always, if you have questions, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike Freese. 

Thank you for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

 

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 

 

Update: December 16, 2021

Northside Aquatics Families,

 

Well it has certainly been awhile since I put out one of my messages!  I guess I had not realized how fast things were moving!  Since my last message in October, we have been busy, busy, busy around here.  We have had swimming meets, diving meets, and our Angel Tree project.  So, this message may be a little longer than the standard ones have been…

 

Looking back at my last message, I see I owe everybody an update on the Hour of Power fundraiser we did.  From Mary at the Ted Mullins Fund:

 

The NISD donations from its Oct. 15th Hour of Power total $1,955!  This is the team’s highest fundraising to date.  What an incredible effort.  In our experience, it is quite difficult for teams to raise larger amounts of money each year, so hats off to the athletes, their families and friends, and to the coaches and others who organized the event. 

 

From the four Hours of Power in which NISD has participated, it has raised a grand total of $5,960 for the Ted Mullin Fund.  We are deeply grateful.

 

Thank you to all of our teams - athletes, coaches, and parents - that helped make this year’s event such a success.  The breakfast from the Boosters was a huge success as well and contributed to our grand total.

 

And while we are on the subject of charitable giving, I want to acknowledge the job everybody did with our Angel Tree Christmas project again this year.  The program through the Salvation Army gets gifts in the hands of some of our neediest families for the holidays.  Thank you so much for all of you that helped take care of our Angels this year!  I am not sure you left any bicycles in the stores based on what I saw in our classroom here!

 

Now to the action…

 

UIL

We have had numerous meets since my last message and I just want to say that the improvement I have seen across our HS teams throughout these months has been significant.  Kudos to our coaches and athletes for putting in the quality time that is required for those gains.  Let’s keep the momentum going through the Winter Break!

 

I would like to give a shout out to the Brandeis boys for winning the TISCA meet this month.  Coach Perez shared that the boys had made that a goal this year and it was good to see them working together to accomplish it.  All of our Northside swimmers represented us well at that meet and we were proud of all of their efforts.  I always felt like I had a better picture of the Regional competition after this meet back when I was coaching, and for our top athletes, it comes down to that Regional meet in February to punch their ticket to the State meet in Austin.

 

AAAA-NS

We are fresh off of our big mid-season meets on the USAS side as well - our Winter Wonderland meet, and the Jr National Meet in Austin.  Watching the Winter Wonderland meet over the three days, I was once again struck by the improvement I saw across all of our age groups.  It was great to see the swimmers attacking each of their races over the course of the three day prelim/final format.  It is always impressive that the athletes can swim fast in the morning and come back and swim faster at night.  That is what it takes to be truly successful in this sport, so watching our young ones begin to learn that early on is greatly encouraging for our program’s long term success.

 

At the Jr National meet in Austin, we had four (4) of our Northside young men go and swim very well!  Congratulations to Joseph and AJ (both from AAAA-NS and Brandeis HS) as well as Evan (Streamline and Clark HS) and Brayden (AAAA-NE and Clark HS)!  These swimmers showed they can compete at the national level and we are so proud of them all for the way that they conducted themselves.  They responded to the strong competition with outstanding performances.  Speaking with a couple of them afterwards, they shared that it was “another level of competition”, to which I replied, “And that’s the level your coaches have been pushing you towards.”  My hope is that all of our other swimmers get a chance to speak to one or more of these young men so they can share what it was like to swim at that level.  Hopefully, they can inspire more of our swimmers to strive to get there.  Having gotten to know these four young men, I think they would be more than willing to share their stories.

 

Coach Witt has sent out a few emails recently laying out our team’s schedules, so keep those emails handy.  After we return from Break, the short course season winds down quite quickly!  We want to make sure all of our athletes are primed and ready to go for their championship season run!

 

As always, if you have questions, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike, or Coach Leigh Ann. 

 

NSDA

Our diving team has been competing, too, this season!  We have had some meets here and they have competed at North East and even out to Midland with success.  While Coach Megan has stepped away from the deck to pursue a career, do not be surprised to see her make her way back to us.  Megan is a product of Northside diving (Brandeis HS) and our athletes have a way of finding their way home again, I have noticed.  Welcome to coaches JP and Marina who have joined us!  Marina, too, is a Northside product (O’Connor HS diver) and JP comes to us with a great deal of gymnastics and diving background.  We are glad to have them join our team!

 

Let me close with a sincere wish that all of our Northside families have a truly wonderful holiday season this year.  May you all find time to be grateful for the blessings in your lives.  I always had the kids do the “Twelve Days of Christmas” workout I wrote one year as our last practice before the holidays.  At the bottom, I put a message that summed up the holidays for me:

 

“Remember, the holidays are not about the presents from our loved ones, but about the presence of our loved ones.” 

 

May you all enjoy quality family time this break, and thank you for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

 

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 

 

Update: October 22, 2021

 

Northside Aquatics Families,

Before I get into the latest with what our programs have been up to, I wanted to share with you all where I will be tonight.  I, along with Coaches Mike and Leigh Ann will be attending the Texas Swimming & Diving Hall of Fame Induction up in Austin.  This ceremony, like so many others, was postponed due to COVID.  This one is special for two reasons.

George Block (I have dubbed him the “Father of Northside Aquatics” since he was the first Aquatics Director for the District and served in the role until 2009) will be formally inducted into the Hall for his numerous significant contributions to the sport of swimming, not only in Texas, but throughout the world.  I still remember the day I received the email from Coach Block asking if I would be interested in the Clark coaching position.  It literally changed my life.  Coming to work for Northside, under Coach Block, changed not only my views on coaching, but literally my views on life and the role that aquatics can play in the lives of young people.  If you have had the pleasure of meeting Coach Block, you realize he is one of the smartest people you will ever meet.  Somedays I swear it was as if my IQ increased just by being around him!  I will admit to being a little frustrated with him at times, though.  I would go to him with advice on a particular situation I might be having with my athletes or team or a parent.  I would pose the dilemma and ask what he thought I should do.  He invariably would turn it back on me and ask me the same question.  I would share my possible solution, and then he would say something like, “Go ahead with that”, or even “Let me know how that turns out.”  He always stopped short of telling me what I should do, instead he let me find my way and develop as a coach.  For that, I will always be grateful.  It should be noted that any really bad ideas I had, he did emphatically shoot down, however, and I am equally grateful for that.  And, to hear his former athletes talk about swimming for him, I believe he coached them in much the same way as he coached me.  I think that is why so many of them will be turning out tonight to help recognize him.

The second reason for us attending tonight is that AAAA will be receiving the team recognition for its long tenure as one of the top USAS teams in the state.  This recognition goes to the whole organization of which we are a part.  Our AAAA-NS team is one of six site teams that make up the organization.  George Block was one of the original group of coaches and Aquatics Directors to form this organization decades ago, so it seems only appropriate that AAAA receives recognition at the same ceremony.

UIL

The season is well underway now.  The athletes should be getting more tired and probably a little sore.  This is an important time for the athletes to be setting good habits to ensure they are in the best possible position come January/February.  We are talking about good eating habits to properly fuel the body, good sleeping habits to ensure the best recovery, and good hygiene to prevent illnesses.  All of these things happen away from the pools, so parents, please help your athletes.  I do not think it’s hyperbole to say that swimming, diving, and water polo are in many respects a “way of life”.  Many of our athletes have lofty goals, but to achieve those goals, they need to focus on the “whole package” not just the individual workouts that they do on a daily basis.

Our HS divers have their first away meet this evening at North East.  The action begins at 6 pm at the Josh Davis Natatorium.  Good luck to all of them!

AAAA-NS

Our Spooky Splash on the swimming side went very well last weekend.  It was great to have our friends from Nitro come down and give our athletes a chance to swim against some strong competition.  Let’s continue to work hard in practices to improve on those things your coaches saw in your races.  Remember, our goal is to get you to achieve better performances every time you race.  This only happens if you are willing to put in the work and concentrate on the little things.  Swimming is all about the little things.

As always, if you have questions, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike, or Coach Leigh Ann. 

NSDA

Tomorrow is our Spooky Splash meet on the diving side.  I know the coaches and instructors around here are very excited to see the athletes compete!  Divers, do your absolute best tomorrow and show everybody what you can do! 

Let me close with a final thank you to everybody that is a part of Northside Aquatics for their participation in our annual Hour of Power cancer research fundraiser earlier this month.  Some of the athletes have asked how much we raised, and as soon as we get a total from the Fund, we will let everyone know!

Thank you for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 

Update: October 8, 2021

Northside Aquatics Families,

Tomorrow is our Hour of Power fundraiser for Cancer research!  Hopefully, you will be able to join us.  Each time we have done this, it has been bigger and better.  Here’s to this one being the best ever!  What I love most about it is the opportunity it brings to all of our competitive programs, swimming and diving, to come together and share a common event.  I was watching the dedications this morning as we had them up on the jumbotron.  I was struck by just how widely cancer has affected our Northside Aquatics family.  Thank you to all of you that took the time to share just this brief snapshot of your loved ones.  Those that are shared become a permanent part of our slideshow for as long as the tradition continues here. 

UIL

Our teams will be competing in our Northside triangular and invitational meets next week.  We refer to this week loosely around here as “rivalry” week to help get the energy up a little.  Several of our teams also take this opportunity to tie in some community projects.  We have a food drive (Brennan, Harlan, and Taft) and the “Battle at Block” (Holmes, Jay, Marshall, Stevens, Warren) raises money for our Kids Saving Kids program.  Good luck to all next weekend!

AAAA-NS

Our annual South Texas House of Delegates meeting is also tomorrow.  The competition schedule for the remainder of short course season as well as long course season should be finalized after the LSC calendar is set.  So, look for emails from Coach Witt or Coach BJ in the next week or so regarding our AAAA-NS schedule.  The biggest part of the scheduling is deciding where champs meets (STAGS and STX Champs) will be and on what dates.

We have our meet coming up next weekend, as well, after the HS meets on Thursday and Friday.  We will be swimming outside in the Swim Center and have a number of other teams joining us on Saturday and Sunday.  Historically, this has been the weekend that our district also hosts a band competition next door at Farris stadium.  I have requested that we have access to Lot A this year as well as the overflow lot across the street from the Swim Center.  Both Coach Laing and I are waiting to hear back on our request.  We have been forced to park on the West side in years past, so here's hoping we get what we asked for this year...

 

As always, if you have questions, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike, or Coach Leigh Ann. 

NSDA

Our Spooky Splash event is jumping off on October 23rd!  I am excited to see our group in action!  Alas, I will have to stream it, since I will be in McAllen celebrating my in-laws 60th wedding anniversary!  But I will find some time to watch to see how the divers do!

Let me close with an update on masks.  You may have seen on the news Wednesday night that Northside will be lifting its temporary mask mandate beginning on this Monday, Oct 11.  So, beginning Monday, masks will no longer be required inside our facilities, but they remain strongly encouraged.  However, let’s all continue to do our best to keep each other safe, please.

Thank you for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

 

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 

 


Update: October 1, 2021

 

Northside Aquatics Families,

I know it has been a few weeks since my last message.  Things have been hopping around here as we prepared to begin our competitive seasons.  To be honest, I was pulled in a lot of different directions the past three weeks - from the District level, to the campus level, to the department level.  As a result, I missed getting a message out.  For those of you that look forward to these, I apologize.  (I know there’s at least two of you out there ;) ).

I would like to take some time and talk about competitions at our facilities.  As you all know, the District is requiring masks inside our facilities.  I am again asking for your cooperation, particularly when it comes to meets.  This goes for athletes, coaches, and spectators.  I know we all feel like things are back to normal with the District allowing full capacity, and coaches being able to practice in a less restrictive way, but the truth is, we are all still at risk for COVID (and flu) when we gather in large numbers.  Honestly, I have not been impressed with the non-Northside groups so far that have come to our facilities, but seeing our groups do the right things makes me appreciate all of you all the more.  Thank you for that, and please keep it up! 

UIL

We have officially begun our 21-22 competitive season!  The Pentathlons went well last weekend.  I always enjoyed that meet as a coach!  It got my swimmers up and off the blocks to kick off the year in a way that was completely pressure-free.  The rest of the season will include a combination of dual or tri meets and invitationals which will all lead up to our District, Regional, and State meets in January/February.  Keep in mind, all of the meets before Districts are simply opportunities for the swimmers to swim different races, so the coaches have as much data as possible in order to make those District entries.  Encourage your swimmers to take advantage of each and every race all season long to show the coach what they can do!

AAAA-NS

We will be hosting our first USA meet later this month.  Coach BJ Allenstein sent out a great email this week outlining all of the upcoming events.  Please keep that one handy, so deadlines do not get missed.  The important thing for our new (and veteran) families is to make sure you are committing your athlete to the meets in Team Unify.  The coaches need to know who is planning on attending so they can make sure to have them in events correctly.  Thank you for your help with this.

As always, if you have questions, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike, or Coach Leigh Ann. 

NSDA

Skills and Drills were the majority of the training plan for September, as we jump into October Northside Diving Academy will start to add the skills and progression together to build their lists with bigger, more complex dives. Our new divers are settling into the team structure nicely and we are excited to see what they have learned when they perform in the upcoming Spooky Splash event scheduled for October 23rd.

Thank you for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

 

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 

Update: September 10, 2021

 

Northside Aquatics Families,

Before I get into all of the goings-on around here, I want to take a second to acknowledge tomorrow, 9/11, Patriots Day.  It has been twenty years since the attacks that shook our nation to its core.  I hope we all take a moment tomorrow to remember those who died in the attacks, the first responders that ran into the chaos to save others, and all of our service men and women that were part of our military response over the past two decades.  I am hopeful that we can all find the unity we felt after 9/11 once again.  I feel that is what our country could use right now.

The USAWP water polo tournament we hosted last weekend was another success.  Our partners with San Antonio Sports and USAWP were very complimentary of our efforts.  Thank you to all of you that came out to support it.  As I have said before, hosting large and small events is a part of what we do here.  This Spring/Summer, we will host a TYR Pro Series swimming meet (end of March), Masters Swimming Nationals (late April), a USAWP tournament (May), and AAU Diving Nationals (mid July).  Hopefully, everybody will have a chance to help out at one of these events.  We will provide more information on these and volunteer opportunities after our high school and short course seasons conclude.

This past Tuesday we had our first “First Tuesday”.  I will apologize personally for not communicating this out to everybody as well as we could have prior to the first one.  In short, we are suspending all programming in the evening, after 8th period UIL practice, on the first Tuesday of every month.  This way, all of our staff strands have a chance to come together for inservice and collaboration.  All of the lifeguards can get their required monthly hours in at once, our AAAA-NS and NSDA Coaches can collaborate, and our SwimAmerica instructors can get their inservice hours done.    

UIL

Our high school teams are continuing their stroke development work.  I have been able to see some fast swimming, though, too!  Our first competition will be here before you know it, so keep the focus, swimmers!

AAAA-NS

Coach BJ and I had a great time last night running our first thRace Night of the season.  I had the honor of being the starter again and enjoyed seeing our novice swimmers get up and race.  For some of them, it was their first opportunity, for others it was a chance to get back to it!  I was pleased with the strokes I saw in both the freestyle and the backstroke races.  One young man finished his race and asked me from the water, “What did I get?”  I responded, “39.44.”  He asked, “Is that good?”  I said, “I don’t know.  Is it?”  The point is, it should not be about the clock, yet, for this group or even for our top groups.  The coaches are watching strokes right now, and the kids should be focusing on their strokes right now.  The time to post fast times in any season is at the end - championship time!

If you have not already, make sure you bookmark this page:

https://www.teamunify.com/team/stnisd/page/competitive-team1/practice-schedules

so you can see when your child’s group is practicing.  We had some inquiries this week, due in large part to our First Tuesday (apologies again), so I thought this link might be helpful.

As always, if you have questions, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike, or Coach Leigh Ann. 

NSDA

I will admit to being pleasantly surprised at the level of our divers here at the start of the season.  Of all the disciplines, here, I know the least about diving, so perhaps I come at it with a different eye.  I see a real push to get better on each dive with this group when I am out there watching.  It is awesome.  Keep it up!

Thank you for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 

9/11 Memorial in NYC

(photo taken June 2016)

 

Update: September 3, 2021

Northside Aquatics Families,

Happy Friday!  Apologies for this one being a little later in the day than normal.  Things are hopping around here once again.  We are putting the finishing touches on the Swim Center/Natatorium for the Water Polo Tournament this weekend.  It will run Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  Thank you to all of you that have volunteered to come out and help work the tables or help work concessions with the Boosters!  It should be a fun weekend.

Two-and-a-half weeks ago, our Superintendent and School Board members decided to require masks in all indoor school district facilities beginning on Monday, 8/23.  For us here in the aquatics facilities, that means all individuals need to wear masks while at the GBAC facility and while they are inside the Natatorium at 1604.  Now that we are up and running, we need to be better with our mask wearing - particularly in the locker rooms.  This is the area of greatest risk in our facilities, in my opinion.  When the coaches are not there, this is a great opportunity for our junior/senior athletes to step up and be positive role models and leaders.  After all, the seniors have the most to lose - there is no “next year” for them.  When a staff member redirects you to put on your mask, please comply.  I am appealing once again to everyone’s desire to have our season(s).  Football games are being cancelled and schools are closing, temporarily, around us.  My sincere desire is for us to not get added to that list.  I cannot do it alone.  My staff and I cannot do it alone.  Please continue to mask up and be socially distant when inside our facilities.  Thank you.

UIL

The coaches and swimmers are already hard at work.  Our HS divers hit the water next week (and by that I mean slip into the water gracefully, without impact, after executing flawless flips and twists)!  This time of year is for stroke work and setting good habits.  Focus is critical right now.  Encourage your athletes to invest in the mental, technical side of the sport, now.  The physical focus will come soon enough, but the payoffs from technique are huge in our sports!

The first competition for most of our teams will be the Pentathlons near the end of the month.  I cannot wait to see them all in action!

AAAA-NS

Things are up-and-running on the USAS team side, as well, around here.  All of what I just wrote for the UIL athletes goes for this group, too!  As Coach Mike says, “Technique builds power; power builds speed!”

We have our first thRace night of the 21-22 season on Thursday next week.  Hopefully, everyone received and read Coach BJs email that explained a lot about what will be coming up with our team this season.  As always, if you have questions, reach out to your child’s coach, or, if needed, Coach Mike, or Coach Leigh Ann. 

NSDA

Here, too, we are well underway!  After a great Spring and Summer, I am looking forward to this group reaching new heights! (Pun intended)

Thank you for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]


Update: August 20, 2021

Northside Aquatics Families,

Welcome to all of our new families!  Since the onset of COVID and our shutdown in March of 2020, I have been trying to keep all of our extended Northside Aquatics family as informed as possible through these email messages.  Though they began as weekly messages, they have evolved into biweekly ones.  I will continue to send these out as long as I feel they are warranted.

Next week we officially begin our 2021-2022 school year!  With tryouts and parent meetings for our HS teams and USAS and AAUD going on, it certainly feels like it has already begun, though.  Unfortunately, we will be beginning this year similarly to last year with regards to having to deal with COVID concerns.

This week, our Superintendent and School Board members decided to require masks in all indoor school district facilities beginning on Monday, 8/23.  For us here in the aquatics facilities, that means all individuals will need to wear masks while at the GBAC facility and while they are inside the Natatorium at 1604.  Masks will be worn inside our offices.  Masks will be worn inside our locker rooms.  Athletes should plan on once again bringing a plastic container or zip-loc baggie to place their mask in while they are swimming, so they stay dry, if their team/group is training in either of our indoor pools.  Those athletes training outside need not mask up, but should be maintaining social distancing as much as possible.  It goes without saying that all individuals in our facilities are to follow the direction of our staff at all times.

I will paraphrase one of our HS coaches from their parent meeting this week.  The goal for all of us should be to provide the opportunity for all of our athletes to have full, competitive seasons this year.  To that end, all of us will be asked to do our part in making our facilities as safe as possible at all times.  To be successful, we all have to be willing to see it as a WE thing, not a ME thing.  Thank you, in advance, for doing your part.

UIL

Tryouts are done.  Rosters are being finalized.  Parent meetings are happening.  Here we go!

This year will look like last year in that we will start with the swimming and diving season which culminates in January and February with our District, Regional, and State Meets.  Following the swimming and diving season, we will have our last Spring water polo season.  Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, water polo will become a UIL sport and will shift to the Fall.  We are planning to have another synchro season for our divers again this spring as well.  Since I have been here in Northside (this will be my 18th year), we have had polo in the Spring and the Fall at various times.  Rest assured we have been able to have successful years for all of our athletes under both scenarios.  The Coordinators and I, along with our HS coaches are already discussing how things will look next year with regards to our summer and fall.  As always, as things are decided, we will let everybody know.

AAAA-NS

Tryouts have been done (and more are coming).  Registration is ongoing.  Group placements are being finalized.  Parent meetings will be scheduled.  Here we go!

Registration in a multi-step process on our end, so please be patient as we move through each of the steps.  Many of you have been reaching out to us regarding different things, like access to accounts and Deck Pass, etc.  Understand that all of that will be forthcoming as BJ and his team process the registrations.  Please be patient.  We will be sending out emails directly to each of the groups soon so you have a sense of where we are, and most importantly where your athlete needs to be.

NSDA

Assessments are done.  Parent meeting was held.  Registration is ongoing.  Here we go!

Just like on the swimming side of things, registration is a step process and we will be processing these as quickly as possible as well.

MASTERS

Apologies for leaving this group out of the last message!  Registration is ongoing for this group as well.

We have had one of our coaches move on, and we are working to get all of our practices covered.  If you know of any individuals that might be interested in joining our staff as a Masters coach, have them contact Coach Kim and BJ Allenstein.

WELCOME TO TEXAS SHOOTOUT 

As part of our ongoing efforts to bring high level competitions to our first-class facilities in partnership with San Antonio Sports, we will be hosting the USA Water Polo “Welcome to Texas Shootout” over Labor Day weekend.  The two-day tournament (Saturday and Sunday) will bring teams from all over Texas as well as other states.  If you would like to help out by working the games tables - keeping the clock, keeping the books - we would love to have you.  It is the best way to grow your understanding of the sport.  You can sign up to help at the following link: 

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D4CA4AA2AA3FFCE9-welcome

We will have other opportunities in the Spring, as well, as we are looking at hosting some high profile swimming, diving, and water polo competitions.  While I have the absolute best staff in the world, sometimes we are in need of help from you all, our Aquatics Families.  Please chip in and help whenever you can.  We appreciate it!

The beginning of every school year has always been a source of hope and optimism for me.  True, with COVID, that optimism is tempered by some trepidation.  But what gets us all to our facilities each day is the belief that we will have more successes than failures, more triumphs than setbacks.  All of these things will happen, in some form or another.  That is sports.  It is how we react and respond to each that teaches us life’s lessons and shapes who we become.

Here is to a great year!  Thank you for being a part of what we do here.

Coach Plummer

 

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 

 


Update: August 6, 2021

Northside Aquatics Families,

 

With Summer coming to a close and the new school year ramping up now, I thought I would make this week’s message a kind of “Year in Review” and “Looking Forward” edition.  To help me do this, I have enlisted the help of some friends I work with, so, in this edition, you will hear from our head coaches and coordinators in the various sections below.  This is why this week’s message is a little longer than normal.

If you are like me, COVID remains of primary concern going into this school year.  Locally, the numbers are not looking good.  As of now, we are strongly encouraging mask wearing indoors and the continued practice of social distancing.  We know these things mitigate the chances of everyone getting and transmitting the virus, so let us all begin the season trying our best to keep these two things in mind.  We will be meeting with the HS coaches next week to determine what, if any, additional steps we might take here at the pools.  With tryouts happening next week for the bulk of our teams, understand that roster size is a serious consideration for the coaches again this year due to the added factor of COVID safety.  Simply put, smaller numbers equate to increased safety.  But, ultimately, our HS coaches will decide on the number of athletes that best serves their individual program, in the safest manner possible, in the space they have available. 

UIL

The Summer Prep Clinics went better than expected as far as I am concerned.  We saw a number of middle school athletes giving swimming a try, as well as, a number of current AAAA-NS and HS swimmers taking advantage of the time to improve on key technical pieces of their strokes.  We will be doing a full debrief with the coaches and instructors that worked these week-long clinics, but anticipate the clinics to return next summer in some form.

From Coach Brothers, our Coordinator for UIL Swim/Water Polo:

High School Swimming

A unique season, to say the least, that required patience, vigilance and discipline on behalf of our athletes, spectators, and coaches.  We had dual meet opportunities to race ourselves primarily, making the trip out of our bubble to Regionals and State equally exciting. Despite mask protocols, capacity challenges, ticketing and so many other obstacles, the important reason why we were there was to continue to swim!  Our teams performed above and beyond where we anticipated we would be when planning took place in August, and we were able to celebrate a Regional Champion Boys' Team in the Brandeis Broncos, take the Clark Cougars to State in multiple events, and watched our athletes excel against all odds! 

Challenges dealt with: teams spread out super thin in lanes for practices (limited roster sizes), wearing masks around facilities, at meets, dual meet schedule, limited exposure to outside competition, decreased amount of practice time (three days a week), crowds limited to watch their children swim live, ticketing demands, following protocols during practices, keeping athletes socially distanced

 

High School Water Polo

The Spring brought a renewed breath of fresh air as the vaccine circulated through our crowds, allowing us to open our gates a little wider, and play water polo safely.  Our teams brought back the spirit and excitement to the pool each weekend in highly competitive play, our biggest challenges coming from mother nature several weekends throughout our season.  Alamo Cup tournament play brought the anticipated level of competition and team camaraderie we all missed in the fall.  Our teams responded to a high level of intense play, our coaches coached their hearts out and we all came out with a new appreciation for why we play around here.  

Challenges dealt with: limited capacities to games, although it was able to open up as the season progressed, keeping teams safe was a top priority, limiting roster sizes, following protocols 

From Coach Libardoni, our Coordinator and Head HS Diving Coach:

High School Diving

The UIL Diving season was my silver lining for the 2020-2021 season. We had to learn how to train very differently with a different type of organization which, in turn, opened up doors for our athletes to get more out of their UIL training than ever before. Meets were redesigned with results that equaled more individual focus offering a calmer place to prepare. We plan to keep those small victories and continue forward using those methods. We had more divers at a competitive varsity level than ever before, needless to say when the UIL limited the regional qualifiers from the top six to the top four divers from each district, the heat was on in-house! With our eight girls, we took seven of the top ten spots at the Regional Championships, including first place, which qualified Brandeis Senior Avery Francis to the UIL State Championship. Our boys took five of the top-ten spots and just missed a spot at the state championships. 

 

Our off-season was the first of its kind. We opted to try a Synchro Season which coincided with the Water Polo season the swimmers took part in. Divers teamed up and created diverse lists of competition dives and pushed themselves and their partners to the limit. It was exciting to see them work together, encourage each other, and challenge each other. It was very exciting to see the parents get involved in this new endeavor as well. They were very supportive and it was great to have them add in on the fun!

AAAA-NS

I feel really good about where our USAS team is right now.  We have reached a point where our swimmer numbers exceed our pre-pandemic numbers.  With the WItts at the helm for just shy of two years now, we are well on our way to developing one of the top USAS programs around. 

From Coach Witt, our Head Coach for AAAA-NS:

We started this long course season with the hopes that the opportunities to swim and attend championship meets would be very similar to past seasons.  Even though this is our second summer in San Antonio, this was our first Long Course Season in the water.  After finishing the Short Course Season with a lot of good swims, the kids came back in April with excitement and a drive to improve.  

The George Block Invite in June was the first real opportunity for the swimmers to compete in a large meet with kids from different teams from around the nation.  We had a large number of best times achieved by the swimmers and showed that all the hard work for the last year was paying off.

The swimmers attending the local championship meets (STX, STAGS, and our End of the Season Meet). It was amazing to see all the smiles from fast swims at those meets.  Our amazing coaching staff was just as excited as the swimmers at these meets.

The swimmers and coaches are taking a much needed break from the water in August, but I know after the time away, everyone is excited to see how this next Short Course Season goes.

We had eight (8) swimmers qualify for Sectionals this summer.  Six (6) of those swimmers attended their very first Sectionals Meet.  We also had three (3) swimmers qualify for the next higher national level meet, Futures.

NSDA

I believe I have shared here a number of times how proud I am of this group and the strides they have made since the launch of our own in-house Diving team.  As I dive deeper (pun intended) into the Diving world, I am coming to realize that here, too, we are well on our way to having one of the best programs around.

From Coach Freese, our Head Coach for NSDA:

We came into the year as a new program, with a new coach, and finished the season taking 15th at nationals on the boys side, 31 over all out of the 91 teams represented. 

Even with the few meets we had this year we posted personal bests across the board 

We took on many divers who have never dived before, but show promise for the future. 

We were able to take 3 of our “new to the sport athletes” to the National Championship.

Highlights include:

Hosting AAU Central Nationals where we bested all the San Antonio teams

Sending two (2) of our graduated athletes to dive at D-1 schools this fall

6 UIL district champions

Growing pains:

There continues to be some settling into the new system, but summer camp really brought the team, coaches, and kids much closer to where we want to be. 

Developing confidence and hunger in the kids with limited meet action and general covid-related issues

Looking forward to:

We have no seniors this year and look forward to seeing another year of growth for all of our kids in the upcoming year. 

After the phenomenal SDL run by KTM and Mackenzie Bush, we have invited 62 kids out for our club, the Northside Diving Academy

Further developing our relationships in the diving community in San Antonio, in Texas, and on the national level

Hosting AAU Nationals next year, and maybe even getting a few kids on the USA Diving circuit 

Overall, I believe we are in a good place with regards to Aquatics in Northside.  We still have work to do, no doubt, but let us all use the opportunities that the new school year brings to continue to grow and improve our skills - that goes for the athletes, the coaches, and the staff around here.

My family and I were finally able to vacation a couple of weeks ago, and the time away allowed me to realize what a truly wonderful place we have here in Northside Aquatics, and in Northside ISD in general.  Let us all recommit over the next few weeks to doing our part to make it continue to be so.  Know that I have.

Coach Plummer

Anthony Plummer

Asst Athletic Director for Aquatics

Northside ISD

San Antonio, TX

210-397-8988

[email protected]

 


COVID-19 Update fom begining to July 2, 2021