It is never easy for any team to lose key members. Regardless of the sport, every high school coach has to contend with the inevitability that their star athlete(s) will one day move on.

“Our team lost one valuable swimmer, Haley Vaughn, who graduated,” Jean Dowd Perry’s swimming head coach said.

Over the past two seasons the loss of key swimmers has forced Dowd to reinvent her approach to the fall swim season. Non-panicked and poised she has devised a plan she feels will gush a great amount of success.

“She [Vaughn] will be hard to replace, however, we have several things that will help,” Dowd said. “We have more swimmers on our team than last year. We have all of the returning letter winners back, plus four swimmers that weren’t here last year.”

Skekynah Haworth, Amanda Holwenger and Abby Herman take their talents to the McCreary Center.

Both Haworth and Holwenger are in unchartered waters when they make their debut this season while Herman will find herself in a familiar setting.

It won’t take Herman long to adjust to the rigours of a Jayette practice as she’s a veteran PAWS participant and is acquainted with many of her current teammates.

Meanwhile Haworth and Holwenger join their Perry teammates all the way from their Panora homes where each attend Panorama High School.

These new additions coupled with all the returning veterans has Dowd excited about the possibility of competing with numerous combinations.

“Our team plans to have a different line up at almost every meet,” she said. “New relay combinations as well as different individual events will help keep this team motivated.”

With the season less than a week away the team is hard at work looking for the right combination of swimmers that will give Perry their best chance at competing.

“Our goals for the season include filling more spots on the roster. Having two of three relay events having multiple relay team,” Dowd emphasized. “We want to have every member of this team trying something new as an individual event at some point in the season.”

The Jayettes open up their season at home at the McCreary Center on Thursday, August 24 when they face off against Algona High School.