Head coach Sal Marino is entering his 4th year at Loveland, but his 1st season as head coach for the Loveland Diving Team. In the four previous seasons at LHS, Marino helped coach two teams to the State competition.
“Last season our team made it to state with the help of senior Riley Bullock – now graduated,” said Marino. “Riley Bullock earned 5th place at the OHSAA tournament. Riley now dives for Ball State University.”
Coach Marino and the Loveland divers face some challenges most LHS athletic programs don’t encounter. Normally they practice at Sycamore High School, not on the LHS campus. If that is not enough under normal conditions, due to COVID this year, the team had to move to Northern Kentucky University for their “home pool”.
Coach Marino is aided in his efforts to coach Loveland divers by a volunteer assistant coach. Adrienne Nguyen-Storer is in her first year at Loveland. The two of them will be working with a group of just four returning divers.
“We have a small team this year of four divers,” Marino said.
The group includes three seniors and one junior. Kali Egan, Morgan Eversole and Sara Mueller are the seniors. Marino says all three seniors will be “very competitive”. Sydney Keil is the lone junior and will also be very competitive according to coach Marino.
“Overall we have a very strong returning team,” said Marino. “They are all optimistic and excited for the season.”
They’ll dive into the season with their first meet at the Mariemont High School pool Saturday, December 5. The current schedule shows a total of 15 diving events including the Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) league meet January 21, and two dates set aside for “Coaches Classic” January 16-17.
“With a returning team, the divers have the experience and the competitive attitude to succeed,” Marino said. “We just need to take one meet at a time to progress through this season. I am very confident we have a successful team on our hands this year.”
In terms of competitive success, that will be determined with each meet during the season leading into the sectional meet set for February 10. Depending on the results there, the Tiger diving team will move on to the District Dive meet February 17, and then the OHSAA State Dive meet to close out the season on February 24. Coach Marino also expressed his excitement for the “Senior Night” dive event to be held at the Milford High School pool on January 28.
Like every other high school athletic team coach this year, COVID is the number one concern going into the season. Coach Marino is no different, but noted the safety precautions are in place and they are always diligent during practice and meets to keep things safe for the divers. His other main concern points to the future of the LHS dive program.
“Unfortunately we have no new divers this year,” Marino said. “Due to graduating three seniors this year, we are looking toward recruiting ne divers for next year. A big concern of mine is filling the team for next season. If you would like to join next year’s dive team, please contact the Loveland Athletic Office.”
Click here for the full Loveland Tigers Dive Team Schedule
Follow all the twist and turns of the diving team with Coach Marino on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/tigersdiving
Check http://www.lovelandtigers.org for more about Loveland High School Athletics
Check http://www.eccsports.com for results and more.