By JASON BROWN
Since the spring high school sports season was canceled in Kansas a month ago, coaches who lost their seasons have faced a new challenge of keeping their teams together when they can’t physically gather.
David Bresser, coach of Basehor-Linwood’s girls’ swimming team, Lansing’s girls’ swimming team and the University of Saint Mary’s men and women’s swimming teams, has been busy adjusting to this different way of coaching.
Bresser had wrapped up seasons with the Spires as well as Lansing and Basehor-Linwood’s boys’ teams and was two weeks into the girls’ season when the Kansas State High School Activities Association canceled the spring seasons in accordance with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order to close schools for the remainder of the school year.
“When the season was canceled, there was that disappointment,” Bresser said. “But as we have gone through it, I’ve really admired the team’s positive attitude about it, especially our seniors.”
Lansing has 11 seniors with nine of them swimming with the Lady Lions all four years of their high school career. Bresser said it is especially hard for them because they have lost their last season but also added they have continued to be leaders when the team convenes for their virtual workouts.
Bresser said his team gathers virtually three times a week via Zoom to participate in a quick core workout.
“It gives them all a chance to talk,” Bresser said. “It only takes 10 minutes or so and I still get good participation from our seniors even though their season is done, and for the most part, their swimming careers are over.”
Bresser said he is looking for a way to recognize those who missed out on their last season of swimming.
On the Saint Mary side, Bresser said he has plenty of time to maintain contact with recruits but is missing out on the opportunity to bring high school juniors onto campus to show them around and meet the team. The Spires are also unable to gather and participate in team-building activities.
“This is usually a great time to get outside, enjoy the weather and play some different games like ultimate frisbee,” he said.
Bresser said getting to engage in those activities is important for the USM program going into its third year.
“We had a large group of freshmen this year,” he said. “So I kind of needed that springtime to continue to build that aspect with the team so they understand our fundamentals and continue to build that camaraderie.”
Bresser said the underclassmen are already looking forward to next season and he is looking forward to returning strong groups at both Basehor-Linwood and Lansing.
“They’re already excited about next season and talking about what they want to achieve and what they want to do,” he said.