Coach Debra: 2019 Swim Season Information

posted Jan 27, 2019, 6:14 AM by Louisa Gators Swim Team

Happy New Year Gator Families,

I hope you all are having a safe and fantastic school year.  Although it is January, I wanted to let you have the important Gator Information for the summer of 2019.  Hopefully, this will help you plan and maybe use your tax refund to pay early and get the reduced prices offered throughout the spring.

I have a few important dates for you – regardless of whether you are returning or are a new family.  I am also including information about our group text option (*which may change or vary if you have Verizon, TBD) and team store for swim apparel.


Registration Fee Information:

Early Gator Price         $160 per swimmer through 2/15

2/16 – 3/30                 $170/$165 (sibling discount for additional family members)

3/31 – 5/27                 $180/$175 (sibling discount for additional family members)

5/28 – end of season  $200 per swimmer    


Registration Meeting Information:

I will hold a series of meetings during which you can come in, complete ALL the paperwork needed, get answers to questions and pay fees.  Note – you do NOT need to attend all meetings and may also choose to register by mail using the attached registration form.  Forms are also available on the Gator website.  (


March 14 – Betty Queen Center, 6:30-7:30 PM, registration meeting to handle all paperwork.  Registration fee is $170/$165 (sibling discount) thru 3/31.

April 11 – Betty Queen Center, 6:30-7:30 PM, registration meeting to handle all paperwork.

Registration fee is $180/$175 (sibling discount) thru 5/27.


May 13 – Betty Queen Center, 6:30 – 7:30 PM, registration meeting to handle all paperwork.  Registration fee is $180/$175 (sibling discount) thru 5/27.


All registrations received after 5/27 will require a $200 registration fee per swimmer.


Payment by debit/credit card

The Louisa Gators accept electronic payment through Square.  In the event you make payment in this manner, please be sure to send me an email with your contact information (email, phone & address) as well as your swimmer’s information (name, gender, date of birth).  This will

The link to pay by debit/credit is:


Each swimmer is required to provide $100 towards our fundraising efforts each summer.  Our team pays for guards, coaching staff, awards, swimmer registration fees and other expense.  Registration fees only cover a portion of costs each summer.  I have attached our 2019 Sponsor Letter which is the easiest way to meet this requirement.  Please distribute this to any business which you frequent (let me know so we do not inundate the same business).  Any sponsorships which you acquire will be credited towards your account. 

In the event you do not wish to solicit a sponsor, you can pay the $100 outright or participate in our fundraising efforts this summer.  Previous efforts have included selling raffle tickets.


Swim Team Practice

Morning & Evening practice will begin on 5/28.  Schedules will be available at registration meetings.  Prep Team will meet evenings from 5/28-6/7.


Swim Team Opening Picnic

June 2 at the Louisa County Aquatic Facility from 7-9 PM.  All families are invited, please bring a side dish & dessert!  Pool will be open so get ready to be wet! 


Group Text Information (Remind Text)

If you have not signed up for our group text, please do so in the following manner:

Text to:  81018, message:  @louisa gators  (be sure to leave space between louisa AND gators.

Note – I am aware of the ongoing issue with Verizon supporting this service.  Adjustments may be made in the future.   I will receive a notification that you have joined our group.



If you would like to join our Facebook Group, please submit request at Louisa Gators Swim Team.


Team Store

This year all suits & apparel will be available at our team store with the exception of our 2019 team t-shirt.  The team store can be accessed at


Our team suits are purple & black.  Any swimmer who purchased a new suit last summer will not need to get one with the logo…but are certainly able to do so if interested.  Females will have the choice of two different suits, one with thin straps & one with thick straps.  Males have the choice of either design in jammers.  Please check the sizing guide if you are unsure what size you need.   NOTE – the turnaround time for suits is 3 weeks or more…please order EARLY!


In addition to suits, you will see a variety of shirts, sweats, warm-ups and other items with our logo.  Any items you order from the website will be shipped directly to your home! 


I will continue to send updates and information via email as we get closer to practice beginning.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  If you received this email and your swimmers will not be returning this summer, let me know so that I can remove you from our email group.


Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!


Coach Debra

Louisa Gators Swim Team

540 760-1464

Weekly Update: July 16, 2018

posted Jul 17, 2018, 4:39 PM by Louisa Gators Swim Team

Hello Gators!


The season is winding down…we have one more regular meet against the Elks and then the JSL Championship Meet at UVA.  This is going to be a busy two weeks so get ready!


This week’s schedule:

Monday & Tuesday – normal practice morning & evening

Thursday – normal evening practice (no morning practice)

Friday – normal morning practice (no evening practice


Wednesday Morning Practice/Team Meeting:

8:30-9:00 Red/Green, 9-9:20 Blellow, 9:20-9:45 Yellow


Wednesday – HOME swim meet against the Elks

Arrive at 4:45 (not earlier, pool is still open), warm-ups at 5 and the meet begins at 6:00.  The theme for the meet is Christmas in July!


Friday – TEAM Picnic, 7-9:15.  Please bring a side dish and dessert, team will provide hotdogs & fixings.  You should also bring drinks for your family.  The pool will be open to all family members.  Yeti Raffle will also be drawn during the picnic.


Yeti Raffle – the raffle winning ticket will be drawn during our picnic on Friday, July 20.  If you plan on purchasing tickets to meet your $100 per swimming fundraising obligation, please let me know in advance…I want to make sure I have enough tickets printed.  All tickets sold & unsold must be turned in by Friday!


Next week’s schedule:

JSL Championship Meet – all swimmers who have participated in at least two meets during this summer will be placed in the meet UNLESS you tell me otherwise by Tuesday, July 17.  The meet will be held on July 27 & 28 at the UVA Aquatic Facility located next to Scott Stadium in Charlottesville.  Swimmers will only be entered into the meet during their appropriate age group and will not need to be there for the entire meet.  Here is the TENTATIVE schedule (I will have confirmed times and information available on July 24 at evening practice):


Friday, July 27     1st Session – all 8 & under swimmers (includes 6 & under)

Building & tents open at 9:30 AM, warmups 9:45 AM & meet begins at 11:00 AM


Friday July 27      2nd Session – all swimmers ages 13 & up

Time approximate based on times from 1st session.  Arrive at 2:00 PM, warmups begin at 2:45 & meet begins at 4:00 PM.


Saturday, July 28    3rd Session – all 9-10 swimmers

Building & tents open at 7:30 AM, warm-ups at 7:45 AM, meet begins at 9:00 AM


Saturday, July 28    4th Session – all 11-12 swimmers

Times approximate based on times from session 3.  Arrive at 12 noon, warm-ups at 12:45, meet begins at 2:00 PM


We are expected to provided workers at all four sessions.  You will be hearing from Tracy & I this week to get you signed up to work.


If you plan on purchasing a Championship Heat Sheet book and/or T-shirt you should pre-order from   All pre-orders will be available for pickup during the championships at UVA.  This is the best way to insure that you get the size shirt you want!


Champ Week Practice Schedule:

Monday – Thursday   Normal morning practice schedule

Monday – Wednesday   Normal evening practice schedule


Coach Debra

Weekly Update: July 2, 2018

posted Jul 2, 2018, 3:43 PM by Louisa Gators Swim Team

Hello Gators,


Excited to not have to complain about the rain…guess now it is the heat!  But, it is summer…finally!   Our team did a great job at the meet in Culpeper.  Despite no dive starts, we still achieved 52 time improvements!  Please make sure to follow our team’s progress in the Central Virginian, Joseph Haney is doing a fantastic job of covering our meets!  I am attaching the meet results.  Ribbons for the first three meets will be available at practice this week beginning Monday night!


Schedule for this week (July 2-6):


Monday & Thursday Morning – normal practice  Red/Green 7:30-8:30, Blellow 8:30-9, Yellow 9-9:45 AM


Tuesday & Friday Morning – team meet practice (all) 8:30-9:45 AM


Monday Evening – normal practice  Yellow 7-7:45, Blellow 7:45-8:15, Red/Green 8:15-9:45 PM

TEAM Picture – Monday evening, be there by 8 PM, wear team shirts


Tuesday evening – HOME meet against GHG.  Arrive at 4:45, warm-ups at 5, meet begins at 6 PM.  Concessions will be provided by LCPR.  Please park in lower lots after dropping off swimmers and belongings.  THEME – Red/White/Blue


Friday evening – meet against FAST at home, arrive at 4:45, warm-ups at 5, meet begins at 6 PM.  Concessions will be provided by LCPR.  Please park in lower lots after dropping off swimmers and belongings.  Wear team shirts!


Thursday evening – NO PRACTICE, go to Louisa Fireman’s Fair & Carnival.


Wednesday – NO PRACTICE…enjoy the 4th of July!


Team Shirts – we are willing to place a second order for the green team t-shirt if we get enough interest.  (Need a minimum of 10).  Please let me know by Monday night if you would like to order and what sizes you will need.


Found Team Shirts – I have an AS & AM green team shirts which were left at the CCC meet.  Let me know if they are yours.


Schedule for Next Week:

Monday – Friday morning – normal practice  7:30-8:30 Red/Green, 8:30-9 Blellow, 9-9:45 Yellow


MondayTuesdayThursday evening – normal practice   7-7:45 Yellow, 7:45-8:15 Blellow, 8:15-9:45 Red/Green


WEDNESDAY EVENING – no practice or swim meet.  The meet scheduled for this night is being held on 7/6.


YETI Raffle Tickets – are available at the pool during Gator Practice.  Be sure to pick up a few books to sell, 100% of the money goes towards your $100 fundraising obligation.  Tickets are $5 each or $20/5 tickets.  The cooler is a Charcoal Grey YETI Tundra 65!


See you at the pool,

Coach Debra

Weekly Update: June 25, 2018

posted Jun 25, 2018, 2:28 PM by Louisa Gators Swim Team

Hello Gators,

I hope everyone has survived the monsoon without too much damage and drama.  It certainly has been a wet and exciting first couple of weeks of our season.  I am excited that we have been able to complete both of our meets despite the bad weather.  Fingers crossed for the rest of the meets.


AWAY Swim Meet at Culpeper Country Club – Wednesday, June 27

Swimmers should arrive between 4:45-5:00, warm-ups are at 5:15 and the meet begins at 6 PM.  There is no theme for an away meet…but hopefully our team shirts will arrive in time to be distributed so we can wear them to the meet.  We are swimming Medley Relays & Long Free this week. The CCC pool is not particularly handicapped friendly…you need to go down a flight of steps to reach the pool deck.  As with all pools, deck space is limited so please pack lightly and keep your belongings together in case we are required to clear the deck in a hurry.  In the event a meet is stopped due to weather, we will go back to CCC on Thursday, June 28 – same times.


The CCC pool is a meter pool so when you see the seed/entry times they will our yard times converted into meters.  Luckily this is the only meter pool we have this season so comparing times will be much easier.  There is NO diving allowed at CCC…all swimmers must start in the water.  This combined with a meter pool will make Time Improvements much harder but still obtainable.  We will practice in water starts this week.


The following information was provided by the CCC Meet Director:


The Culpeper Country Club pool address is 2100 Country Club Drive, Culpeper VA 22701

Parking is an issue at CCC because the lot is shared on Wednesday night at our club with Weight Watchers and of course golfers.  You will see parking located to the left as you come up to the Club, then in front of the Club house and if you follow behind the Club you will find parking there. Please encourage your team to carpool if possible.   We are asking our team to park behind the building and in the farther lots and to carpool if possible.   I hope this will help accommodate your team.  I am also hoping to have a Meet Marshall to help with parking as you arrive.  Please forgive any inconvenience parking may cause.  We are doing our best in this area.  Please note there are handicap parking spots close to the pool area should any of your team need them. 

Bathrooms are located on the pool deck area and have showers that you are welcome to use.  There are also a couple dressing rooms for changing.

 We are encouraging our team to bring chairs.  However, our team has grown so much this year I would ask that your team also bring their own chairs.  We will have some tent areas for you and some tables with chairs available for you.  Your seating area will be to the far end of the pool along the fence. 

As you enter the pool area you will see our concession stand that offers hamburgers, hotdogs, a wonderful pasta salad that is always a hit, a variety of drinks including Barracuda Lemonade, candy and watermelon.   Our prices our very reasonable.  Hotdog meals go for $3 and Hamburger meals are $4.  You can also buy items ala carte.   Small coolers are allowed as well. 

Raffle Tickets

We will be selling raffle tickets for a Charcoal Grey YETI Tundra 65 cooler as a part of our fundraising efforts.  All tickets sold by your family are credited towards your $100 per swimmer fundraising obligation.  Tickets are $5 each or 5/$20 and will be available for pick-up beginning tonight.  The drawing will be held at our picnic July 20.  Tickets may also be purchased at our online SQUARE account:

If you have friends or family who will be purchasing tickets via SQUARE, please make sure they list your swimmer’s name in the notes section so that we can properly credit each sale.


Next Week

We have two swim meets next week – both at our pool!  We will be swimming the ELKS on Tuesday, July 3 and FAST on Friday, July 6.  The Friday meet with FAST will take the place of the meet scheduled on July 11 (we will have no meet that night!)  The theme for these meets will be Red, White & Blue!  Practices will be a bit strange since we have two meets & the 4th of July holiday, so here is the schedule:


Monday & Thursday Morning 7:30-8:30 Red/Green, 8:30-9:00 Blellow & 9:00 – 9:45 Yellow

Tuesday & Friday Morning – team meeting & warm up practice for all, 8:30-9:45

Monday & Thursday Night – 7:00-7:45 Yellow, 7:45-8:15 Blellow & 8:15-9:45 Red/Green

 (NOTE – Thursday Night is the Louisa Fireman’s Parade so it is possible we will cancel practice as getting to the pool will be extremely difficult!  Will keep you updated!)

Tuesday & Friday Night – swim meets at our pool, arrive at 4:45, warm-ups at 5 and meet begins at 6:00 (Please be sure to let me know if you are going to miss either of these meets by Friday night – June 29)

Wednesday – no practice, enjoy the 4th of July holiday!


I am attaching the meet results from the last two weeks.  There was some confusion as to the seed times used at the Intrasquad Meet…it was a computer issue and has been corrected.  All meets at our pool are YARD times and this is now reflected in the meet results as well as all ribbons will be correct. 


See you at the pool!

Coach Debra

Weekly Update: June 18

posted Jun 18, 2018, 11:22 AM by Louisa Gators Swim Team

Hello Gators, 

Here is our weekly update:

Practice – normal schedule, no changes!

Wednesday Meet (6/20), arrive at 5:00.  Our warm-ups will be 5:15.   We are swimming with ourselves this week since Gordonsville (GOST) doesn’t have a coach this year.  Please note….this counts as a REAL meet, times are official and we want time improvements!!!  Also, since GOST will not be there, we will need to provide all timers (3 per lane) for the entire meet.  However…it will go VERY fast!  We should be done by 8-8:30…I will let you know the time frame after I put the meet together!

Theme for this week – it’s a LUAU!  Break out your coconut shells & grass skirts!  Everyone should dress to enjoy a relaxed night at the pool. 

First Meet Details

posted Jun 10, 2018, 8:41 PM by Louisa Gators Swim Team

Hello Gators!
I hope everyone has enjoyed a fun, safe weekend!  We are back at practice tomorrow morning and have our first swim meet on Wednesday!  Our theme for this week’s meet is SUPERHEROES…so parents/swimmers should come dressed as your favorite superhero!  Please do NOT use body paint!  Superhero’s with weapons may be asked to turn in their weapon at the front desk to avoid sword /light sabor fights!
Practice schedule for the week:
MondayTuesdayFriday Morning
7:30-8:30 AM          Red/Green
8:30-9:00 AM          Blellow
9:00-9:45 AM          Yellow
Wednesday Morning
8:30-9:45 AM          ALL swimmers practice & have team meeting
Thursday Morning
MondayTuesdayThursday Evening
7:00-7:45 PM          Yellow
7:45-8:15 PM          Blellow
8:15-9:45 PM          Red/Green
Wednesday – HOME SWIM MEET vs Key West Club
Swimmers should arrive beginning at 4:45 PM, our warm-ups start at 5:00 PM.  The actual meet begins at 6:00 PM. Please do not bring outside food or drink into the pool until 5:00 PM.  LCPRT will be providing concessions during our meet.  I hope to send out a menu in the next day or so.  You need to allow time to park, walk in and let your swimmer get events written on their hand prior to our warm-ups.
It is very probable that some of our new and/or younger swimmers may not be entered into this meet.  If they are not swimming the length of the pool without minimal assistance, we will not enter them this week.
Our swimmers & families should sit on the grass end of the pool…please do NOT go to the other end!  The shallow end is reserved for the Key West Team.
This first meet is a non-scored meet against a Tier 2 team.  The purpose of this meet is to give swimmers and parents a chance to participate in a meet without the stress of scoring points for the team.
Sharpee / Permanent Markers
The coaches will be writing on each swimmer’s left hand the events for that swimmer at the meet.  PLEASE DO NOT write on any other body part…we have found that the ink comes off onto the lawn chairs and cannot be easily removed.  It is important to control the markers!  Please help us by keeping an eye out for them at all times.
There will be a LOT of people & cars at this meet.  We ask that our team come up to the pool, drop off passengers & stuff and then move your car to the Betty Queen Center.  There are two parking lots at the BQC…you can access them by going around either side of the building.  One is the lot you drive through on the way to the pool.
Family Items & Stuff
Please keep all of your belongings together…in the event of thunder/lightning we need to clear the deck within 2 minutes.  Form the habit of keeping items in a bag which can be easily grabbed.  Plan on bringing folding chairs…there will NOT be enough at the pool for everyone.
Team Suits
I know many of you have ordered suits from our online store and may not have received them at this time.  It takes longer for logo items to be processed.  Do not stress over this, have your swimmer wear what they wear for practice. Boys will not be allowed to swim in a shirt unless there is a medical reason (bring a note).
Meet Workers
Our Meet Director Tracy Eppard has sent out an email earlier today with a link to Sign-up Genius.  We are going to try this for one meet to see how it goes.  Please click on the link and sign up to be a worker.  Remember, every family must work at least ½ of each meet.  If you have questions or problems, please text Tracy at 434 466-2608. 
Next Week’s Meet
Our theme for next week’s meet on Wednesday, June 20 will be a LUAU!  Get your costume ready!!
Below I have copied a general overview of the way our meets work.  This should give you a slight idea as to how it will be!  As always, if you have questions or concerns feel free to contact me!
Coach Debra
540 760-1464
General Overview of a Swim Meet!
 It is a HAPPENING!  
            Please be prepared for large crowds, confusion and lots of noise.  Swimmers and families are expected to remain in our team area (the grass at our pool) and/or poolside cheering for our swimmers.  We have practiced cheering during our practice time…but it does get loud and sometimes intimidating for younger swimmers.  Please get to the pool fifteen minutes prior to our warm up time in order to allow swimmers time to go to the bathroom, get writing on hands, and relax.  Swimmers may arrive at our pool beginning at 4:45…however, no outside food, drinks or coolers will be allowed until 5 PM.
Meet Workers
            All families are expected to work at least ½ of each meet.  We try to let those with younger swimmers work the first half so they can leave early if possible.  Please dress in comfortable clothing and shoes that can get wet.  Ladies avoid wearing white shirts as these can become see thru in the event of rain or splashing (which happens frequently)!
            Unfortunately, storms happen frequently during swim meets.  Please attempt to keep all belongings together so that you can grab them quickly.  We need to clear the deck within two minutes if possible, the deck will remain cleared for thirty minutes each time we have lightning/thunder.  Usually, meets are not cancelled but simply delayed.  Please go to your cars and wait until we tell you it is ok to leave.
Leaving a meet
            ALL swimmers MUST check in with Coach Debra prior to leaving each meet.  This will help us avoid jeopardizing relays and swimmers missing events.
            Our league has 80 possible events, only 60 of which are used on any given meet night.  Attached are event orders for each format which we will swim (excluding our practice meet).  Swimmers will only swim against their age group unless placed into a different age relay.  Boy events end in odd numbers, girl events end in even numbers.  Then each type of event is broken down into stroke type and age groups.  For example: 
            6 & Under                same event numbers plus a P   ** no points awarded
            8 & Under                Boys end in 1’s        Girls end in 2’s
            9-10 Year Olds         Boys end in 3’s        Girls end in 4’s
            11-12 Year Olds      Boys end in 5’s        Girls end in 6’s
            13-14 Year Olds      Boys end in 7’s        Girls end in 8’s
            15-18 Year Olds      Boys end in 9’s        Girls end in 0’s
The order of events is:
            Individual Medley (no 8 & Under events)
            Medley Relays
            Long Free
            Freestyle Relays
·                    Note - when Individual Medleys are swum, we will do Freestyle Relays, when Medley Relays are swum we will swim Long Free
Events will be posted throughout our area so that swimmers and families may see what they are scheduled to swim. In general, meets are set up on Fridays by the coaches…swimmers rarely get to pick events.  Sometimes swimmers are entered into events which they are “almost” ready for as progress can be made each day.  It is possible that the swimmer & coaches may decide to not swim a particular event.  HOWEVER, swimmers DO NOT get to make this decision…they must come talk to Coach Debra.
Relays - are a team of four swimmers.  It is extremely important that swimmers not leave early because this may jeopardize a relay team.  Freestyle relays are the relays that most swimmers are able to swim in…and they occur at the end of the meet.  Please be respectful of other relay team members…if your child leaves that will also affect three other swimmers.
Number of Events
During all meets (except the first one) swimmers may swim three individual events and one relay.  At the first meet and the JSL Championship meet, swimmers may do a total of 3 events (including relays).  All swimmers who compete in at least two regular meets are eligible to swim in the Championship meet!
Event Sheets
We will have event sheets for each meet.  This will list (by age group and sex) what each swimmer is entered into for the meet.  In addition, we will mark on the LEFT hand of each swimmer their events using a Black Permanent Marker. Please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the way we mark hands in the event you end up taking care of this for us.  The first line of the chart is the event number (specific to age and sex).  The second line tells you what stroke and the third line tells the distance.  When it is a relay, each swimmer only swims ¼ of the total distance.  Relay teams are established using letters and numbers.  The swimmers will swim in the order listed…A1, A2, A3 and A4.  When it is the Medley Relay, it will list A-Free, A-Back, A-Breast and A-Fly.  Occasionally, swimmers will be moved up an age group in order to form relay teams and give each swimmer an opportunity to be on a relay team.  When that occurs, there will be a different event number in the box such as…75-B-2.  This means the swimmer will be swimming in the 11-12 Boys B Free Relay team in the second position.

Team/Season Details from Coach Debra

posted May 24, 2017, 8:45 AM by Louisa Gators Swim Team   [ updated Mar 27, 2018, 7:13 PM ]

Copy of Coach Debra's first team email for the 2018 swim season...

Hello Gator Families!


It is almost time for our summer swim team to get started, hopefully if we get rolling we will create some heat.   Today gave me hope but with snow in forecast?!!   I have confidence that one day soon it will get warm to stay!!!  Here is some preliminary information and important dates for you to remember.   Practice begins May 29 with both mornings & evenings available, with the opening picnic on May 27 (new date).  Prep Team has changed so be sure to check out the information below.  We are having registration/sign-up meetings this year…especially good for new swimmers to ask questions and meet coaches and POGA board members.  We will also be having a float in the Mineral Fire Department Parade! 


Team Registration & Sign-up Meetings

There are several ways to sign up for the Swim Team and/or Prep Team.  We will be holding three sign-up meetings at the Betty Queen Center, each from 6:30-7:30 PM.  The dates for are 3/28, 4/18 & 5/16.  In addition, swimmers may be registered by completing the attached registration form and mailing to POGA, P O Box 1373, Louisa, VA  23093.  Registration forms will also be available on our team website at in the near future.  The meetings will be a fantastic way to meet coaches and board members as well as getting many of your questions answered.


Mineral Fire Department Parade Float – April 27

We will be submitting a float for the Mineral Fire Department Parade.  We have a trailer but will need a person to tow the trailer.  In addition, please let Coach Debra know if you have ideas for the float or are willing to help decorate (or make decorations in advance!) the float.  Line up for the parade will be at 5:00, parade begins at 6:30.  All team members are welcome!!


Opening Day Picnic – May 27   7-9 PM at the pool

This is a great opportunity for families to get to know fellow team members, POGA Board members and the coaching staff.  Registration paperwork and fees will also be collected at this time so if you haven’t registered…no worries, the POGA board members will handle this during the picnic.  Families should bring a side dish and dessert plus drinks for your family, the team will provide hot dogs, buns, utensils, plates and condiments.   The picnic is open to the entire family so bring your suits & towels and enjoy a relaxed afternoon at the pool.  (NOTE – after this date, registration fee is $200 per swimmer!)


Coaching Staff

Debra Bickley – Head Coach

Lindsey McClellan

Jennifer Thorpe

Janice Van Tornhout


There will also be a variety of Junior Coaches who will assist practice both from the pool deck and in the pool.


Parents of the Gators Association (POGA) Board Members

April Pekary – President               

Margaret Hiter – Vice President

Colleen Moore – Secretary          

Tracy Eppard – Treasurer             

Debra Bickley – Head Coach       

Kate Straley – Fundraising           

JSL Representative – VACANT                            (let us know if you are interested!!!)

Heather Ways – At Large              

Missy Lonce – At Large                  

Lewis Keller – At Large                  

Stephanie Gurski – At Large       


Registration Fees

The POGA board is offering an Early Gator fee of $160 per swimmer if registered by 4/20.  From 4/21-5/27 the registration fee will be $180 first swimmer/$175 each additional swimmer.  Any registrations received after 5/27 will be charged $200.  (Note…the last day to register for $180 will be at the picnic!!!  Let your friends know early!)  We are trying to get paperwork out of the way ahead of time, so come to a registration meeting or send your fees in ahead of time so we will know to expect you.  I have attached a registration form in the event you send your forms via mail.


Practice Information

Morning & Evening Practices begin on Tuesday, May 29.  As always, swimmers are welcome at one or two practices per day…depending on family schedule.  Our swimmers are assigned a color based on their ability, returning swimmers should come to the same practice as last year.  New swimmers should come at 8:30 AM and/or 7:15 PM to the Activity Pool to meet with Coach Debra during the first week of practice.  The new swimmers will be assigned a color at that time and will then switch to the appropriate practice and main pool for the remainder of the year.  It is possible the new or young swimmer will remain in the activity pool for several days to work on a specific skill or endurance prior to moving to the main pool.


All swimmers should wear one piece suit & have goggles for practice.  The team will be providing a swim cap for each child, additional caps or replacement caps will be $15.  The caps will be available from POGA board members during the picnic and practice.  Please bring several towels and have sweatpants & sweatshirts to change into after practice…your swimmer will be COLD!


Prep Team

Our prep team is designed as an eight day intensive skill instruction 30 minute practice.  We focus on basic skills need for freestyle & backstroke as well as building confidence and endurance.  Do not worry if you are only available mornings or evenings…we will work with your schedule – just let us know!  Prep swimmers may progress to the main pool/team at any point during this time, the more they are with us the faster they progress.  At the end of the week, Prep members are expected to join the team and practice in the main pool unless the coaching staff deems they are not ready.  At that time, the remainder of the team fee will be assessed, with credit given for all but $10 of the Prep Team fee paid.


Practice Schedule – Week One ONLY  (5/29-6/1)

Main Pool  

7:30-8:30 AM  Red & Green

8:30-9:00 AM  Blellow

9:00-9:45 AM  Yellow


7:00-7:45 PM  Yellow

7:45-8:15 PM  Blellow

8:15-9:30 PM  Red & Green


Activity Pool

8:30-9:30 AM   &    7:15-8:15 PM


The Activity Pool will be used for the Prep Team and new swimmers for the first week only.  All new swimmers & Prep Team should plan on attending during this time.  New swimmers will be assessed and given the appropriate practice time for the Main Pool.  Depending upon the size of the Prep Team, the Prep team may be split into two groups.


Team Suits & Apparel

All swimmers will be required to purchase a team suit for competition.  Additional information and a link will be provided in the next few weeks.  We will also have other items available such as team shirts, spirit shirts, sweatpants, hoodies, tank tops, flannel pants etc.  Information on these will also be provided soon.



Goggles should be purchased in advance…swimmers should have several pairs in case one is lost or breaks.  There are several pair listed on our team store at gators or you can purchase them at WalMart, Sams, Cosco or sports stores.  Please be sure to make some identifying marks on your goggles…paint pen or fingernail polish usually works. 


Swim Meet Schedule

Wednesday, June 13   Home meet with KWC, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6

Wednesday, June 20   Home meet with GOST, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6

Wednesday, June 27   Away meet at CCC, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6

Tuesday, July 3              Home meet with GHG, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6

Wednesday, July 11    Away meet at FAST, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6

Wednesday, July 18    Home meet with ELKS, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6


Directions for away meets will be provided prior to each meet.  LCPRT will be providing concession during our home meets.


JSL Championship Meet

The Championship Meet is the culmination for the entire summer swim season.  The meet is open to ALL swimmers who compete in at least two meets during the regular season.   All swimmers will be placed in this meet unless on vacation or specified conflict.  There are many changes with the Champs meet this year, but please note the times & age group information is tentative and will be confirmed once all teams have submitted registration information.  For new swimmers, swimmers are only required to come at that time of their age group…they will not need to be there all day both days!



Each family is responsible for raising $100 per swimmer in addition to registration fees.  The fee may be handled in several ways:  outright payment, get a team sponsor or participate in a team fundraiser such as a team raffle.   I will be sending you the sponsor information later in the week.  Sponsors must be obtained by May 20 in order to be featured on our team t-shirt.


Feel free to contact me or a POGA board member if you have any questions!  Looking forward to seeing (and meeting) everyone at the pool!!


Coach Debra

540 760-1464

President's Message...

posted Feb 12, 2017, 3:11 PM by Louisa Gators Swim Team

Welcome Back Gators!
Louisa Gators Swim Team Update
Happy New year everyone!! My name is April Pekary, and I wanted to introduce myself. I am your new President of the Parents of the Gators Association (POGA). I have three kids on the team…Eleanor, Peyton, and Holden. Our family has been a part of the Gators for over six years now. We are very passionate about swimming and look forward to the summer swim season every year. It’s by far one of my favorite sports to be involved with! That being said…we (the POGA board) are very excited about what the Gators have in store for you, and can’t wait to kick off our new season together!!
Below I have listed the fee information for those of you that want to take advantage of our early bird discount that has been extended to January 31st!!
-$160 per swimmer for returning Gator families only until January 31st
-$180 with a $10 sibling discount per child by April 1st
-$195 with a $10 sibling discount per child AFTER April 1st
Here are a couple of dates for you to remember. Please mark your calendars!!
March 8th from 6-8pm: Swim Team Registrations at the Betty Queen Center
March 18th: Louisa Gators 5k Fundraiser (tentative)
April 2nd: Swim Team fees go UP!!
May 21st from 2pm-4pm: Swim team opening picnic
We have a lot of great fundraising opportunities to offer this year to help fulfill your fundraising obligation. Our season kicks off May 22nd 2017. I have attached a sponsor letter, for any of you that would like to get a head start on fundraising. It is very crucial to the team that we continue to bring in outside money. Our sponsors are what keep the team in motion! Without them, we wouldn’t be able to pay the staff, and operate as a team! I’ve also attached an updated swim team registration form for those of you that have not yet signed up for the team. You are more than welcome to print the form, fill it out, and mail it in to our PO BOX. 
Thanks so much for all support. We wouldn’t be here without each and every one of you!!
See you at the pool,
April Pekary

Coach's Update: February 12, 2017

posted Feb 12, 2017, 3:10 PM by Louisa Gators Swim Team

Hello Gators!
I am excited to begin planning for this summer...especially since it is SO warm today!  I have copied the letter from April Pekary below in case you did not receive it in January.  I am also attaching the 2017 registration form which is the main form we need to get started.  You can print the form and mail it to:  POGA, P O Box 1373, Louisa, VA  23093.  Very soon, our website ( will be updated with the additional 2017 forms.  We will also have them available at upcoming gator events.

You will be receiving information from Doug Straley regarding our Gator 5K.  Please be on the lookout for this email and let me know if you don't get it in the next few days.  I will also begin sending out updates on a regular basis.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  
Coach Debra
540 760-1464

Email from Coach Debra... June 28th

posted Jun 28, 2016, 6:04 AM by Louisa Gators Swim Team

Hello Gators!
Great job hosting our first home meet last week…everyone young and old worked hard and cooperated to make a successful meet.  Let’s keep up the good work!!

JSL Champs – Heat Sheet Ad Sales
We will be selling ads for the JSL Championship Meet Heat Sheet this week.  I hope we can get 100% participation in this program.  Our team receives 60% of all ad sales, all team ads are grouped together so they will be easy to find.  Ads can be individual family or a business. There will be examples of ads and sizes at the front desk.  Ad prices are as follows:  Half page - $100, Quarter page $55, Business Card $35 and Family Sponsor $15.  In order to put a picture of your swimmers on your ad, you will need to do at least a business card ad.  I will be happy to put the ad together for you, just let me know what you want to say and send me a picture of your swimmers if you want to include the picture.  Suggestions for pictures: siblings, best friends, relay team etc, action shots are hard to see in the book so candids are best.  Suggestions for writing:  Include your swimmer’s name…we are so proud of you!  Great job this swim season!  Congratulations on a fantastic season!   8 & Under Girls Free Relay…you ROCK!  All ads must be in good taste!  Families will receive credit for entire amount of all ads sold.
Fundraising Opportunities
There are several other fundraising opportunities which can be used to help your family fulfill the $100 per swimmer fundraising obligation.  Here are the current options:
Swim-A-Thon – will be held on June 30.  Yellow/Blellow swimmers will swim from 7:30-8:30 PM, Red/Green from 8:30-9:30 PM.  Forms are available at the front desk, this is a great chance for your swimmer to actually help meet the fundraising obligations.  They can contact family and friends to seek sponsors for swimming laps.  Money can be turned in at any time, checks payable to POGA.  If your swimmer would like to participate but is not available on June 30, make up times can be arranged with Coach Debra.
Snack Cart – we have a swim team snack cart which should be out during all practices.  The cart features water, GatorAid & various snacks.  Parents may work the cart and will receive a $10 credit for each hour worked.
Raffle – the POGA Board has chosen a Perception Sport Swifty Kayak & paddle for this year’s raffle.  The kayak is 9’6” long, 30” wide and weighs 44 pounds.  It will hold up to a 240 pound person.  It has a built in padded seat, 10” rear storage well and Keeper foot braces.   Tickets are available at the front desk during practice and will be $5 each or $20 for 5.  Families will receive the entire amount sold towards their fundraising obligation.
Swim Meet – June 29   This week is our SECOND HOME swim meet…we will be swimming with ELKS.  You will need to arrive by 4:45 in order to swim in warm ups which are at 5:00 with the meet beginning at 6:00.  Our team will sit in the grass at the deep end of the pool.  Whenever possible, please park down in the lower lot next to the Betty Queen Center.

We will be having concessions so you will be able to purchase food and drink.  Our menu will be hot dogs, BBQ and nachos.  We will also have a variety of candy/chips and drinks.  The prices will be extremely reasonable so please support our team!  As always, swimmers & families should keep all belongings in bags in order to grab quickly in the event of a storm. Parents are reminded that each family is expected to work at least one half of the swim meet however this is a home meet and we have to provide a few extra people.  

Meet Worker Information for Wednesday Meet
By now, you should have received the email from our Meet Director Rhonda Reinhardt.  The email contains the link to Sign-up Genius which allows you to sign up on-line.  In the event you do not have access to a computer/phone please see Coach Debra or Rhonda.  If you would like to practice a position during our team practice see Coach Debra or Rhonda.
Practice Schedule for the remainder week
Monday, TuesdayFriday morning – Red/Green 7:30-8:45 AM, Blellow 8:45-9:15 AM, Yellow 9:15-10:00 AM
Wednesday morning – everyone 9:00-10:15 AM, we will practice Starts & Turns, hold a team meeting to discuss the meet and write events on swimmer’s hands
Thursday morning – NO practice
Tuesday evening – Yellow 7:00-7:45 PM, Blellow 7:45-8:15 PM, Red/Green 8:15-9:45 PM
Thursday evening – SWIM A THON – June 30, only swimmers who are participating in the Swim A Thon will be allowed in the pool.  Yellow/Blellow will be from 7:30-8:30, Red/Green 8:30-9:30.
Team Picnic
Our next team picnic is on Friday, July 8 from 7-9:30 PM.  The picnic is open to all swimmers/families, it is a great chance for everyone to come play in the pool.  The team will provide hot dogs, buns, condiments and paper goods.  Each family should bring a side dish and dessert.  Ribbons will be distributed at this picnic.
Time Improvements
Although swimmers receive ribbons for each event…the Gators focus on the Red, White & Blue Time Improvement ribbons.  Our goal for this summer will be 200 time improvements.  Swimmers who get time improvements will be recognized at our picnics, we had 39 Time Improvements against Gordonsville.  Please watch our progress by checking out the Gator on the bulletin board.  He will continue to get colored in as we get more Time Improvements. These ribbons are very important…they demonstrate the progress swimmers are making throughout the season regardless of whether they ever place in a meet.  Let’s keep up the good work!
Each year, our swimmers strive to obtain a GOLD time in each event.  These times have always been established by the league however they have not been updated since 2014.  Therefore, at this time, we are going with those times but we are in the process of trying to figure out how to update them to insure our swimmers have to work to achieve these times.  Congratulations to the following swimmers for obtaining GOLD times at this point:  Rett Delbridge – Backstroke, Lauren Dessent – Butterfly, Benjamin Hiter – Butterfly, Alison Soriano – Butterfly and Kyler Soriano – Butterfly.
Make sure you have signed up for our group texting so that you can stay up to the minute on important information.  Note – swim meets are NEVER cancelled in advance due to pending weather.   The league requires that teams stay on the premises until 7 PM, so in case of storms we will simply go to cars and wait. As always, let me know if you have questions!!
Coach Debra

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