Announcements‎ > ‎

Team/Season Details from Coach Debra

posted May 24, 2017, 8:45 AM by Louisa Gators Swim Team
Copy of Coach Debra's 5/12/17 email...

Hello Gator Families!
It is almost time for our summer swim team to get started.  I apologize for being so late in contacting everyone but as most of you know…I fell and broke my hip in mid-February so am just now able to get out, sit in a chair and resume most of my normal activities.  I appreciate everyone’s patience during this time.
There are MANY changes in the swim team this summer so please be sure to read this entire email, even if you are a returning Gator!!
Opening Day Picnic – May 21  2-5 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. 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 (if you don’t like lemonade). The team will provide hot dogs, buns, utensils, plates, condiments and lemonade.   The picnic is open to the entire family, so bring your suits & towels and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the pool.
Coaching Staff
Debra Bickley – Head Coach
Lindsey McClellan
Jennifer Thorpe
Paul Spencer
There will also be a variety of Junior Coaches who will assist practice both from the pool deck and in the pool.
POGA Board Members
April Pekary – President              
Margaret Hiter – Vice President   
Kate Straley – Secretary              
Tracy Eppard – Treasurer            
Debra Bickley – Head Coach        
Sarah Hood – JSL Representative
Fundraising – VACANT                          (let us know if you are interested!!!)
Debbie Dessent – At Large          
Denise Feagans – At Large          
Colleen Moore – At Large            
Jennifer Schulz – At Large           
Registration Fees
The POGA board has extended the spring deadline through the picnic on May 21.  Therefore, swimmers may register for $180 first swimmer and $170 for each additional swimmer at the picnic.  After the picnic, the price goes to $195/$185.  If you have not yet registered and plan to attend the picnic, just send Tracy Eppard an email ( Or feel free to send in your check still at PO Box 1373, Louisa VA 23093. The 2017 Registration form is attached, if you would like to fill it out in advance.  If you have recently sent in your registration fee and paid the $195, we will credit the overpayment to your fundraising obligation.
Practice Information
Practice begins on Monday, May 22.  We will have evenings only for the first week since LCPS is still in school.  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 5:15 to the Activity Pool to meet with Coach Debra.  They will be assigned a color at that time and will then switch to the appropriate practice and main pool for the remainder of the season.  It is possible the 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 a suit & have goggles.  The team will be providing a swim cap for each child at no charge,additional caps or replacement caps will be $10.  The caps will be available from POGA board members during the picnic and practice.
Prep Team
Our prep team is designed as a nine day intensive skill instruction practice.  We focus on basic skills needed for all four competitive strokes as well as building confidence and endurance.  Prep swimmers may progress to the main pool/team at any point during this time.  At the end of the first two weeks, 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, May 22-26 (evenings only)
Main Pool  
5:00-5:45  Yellow
5:45-6:15  Blellow
6:15-7:00  Red
7:00-8:00  Green
Activity Pool
5:15-5:45  Blue (and all new swimmers who are not in Prep)
5:45-6:15  Prep
Week two of practice will feature both morning and evening practices…note time changes due the LCAF being open to the public for normal hours.   I have attached a copy of the summer schedule. We will also have copies available at the pool.
Team Suits
The POGA board has decided not to require a specific team suit this year.  During swim meets, swimmers must wear either solid black or purple/black suits.  There are a variety of suits featured on our team store at or you may purchase at another store of your choice. The prices of competition suits vary…but cheaper is not always the best deal.  Please note…suits worn at swim meets must meet FINA requirements and will have a scan code visible on the suit.  Swimmers may wear any suit during practice (girls should wear one piece to avoid issues when diving). 
The POGA board has decided NOT to have goggles available for purchase during practices & meets.  Families should plan to have at least one extra pair for their swimmers in case one is lost or breaks.  There are several pairs listed on our team store, or you can purchase them at other retail stores.  Please be sure to make some identifying marks on your goggles…paint pen or fingernail polish usually works. 
Stroke & Turn Judges
Each swim team is required to provide a minimum of four Stroke & Turn Judges at each swim meet.  Therefore, the Louisa Gators should have a minimum of six parents certified in this position.  In order to become certified, you must complete an on-line certification class which is composed of videos demonstrating correct and incorrect versions of the swim strokes and turns.  This portion of the class will take a minimum of 3 hours. 
If you are interested, please contact Tracy Eppard (Meet Director) at  She will then forward you a passcode in order to take the class without a charge.  Upon successful completion of the online course, you will be required to attend a group class to get information on specific rules and changes which our league has implemented.  This class runs approximately 1 hour and is followed by a Starter class for those of you who might be interested in starting the meet. 
At this time, two group classes have been scheduled at ACAC – Four Seasons in Charlottesville.  Wednesday, May 31 6:00 Stroke & Turn, 7:30 Starter OR Monday, June 5 6:00 Stroke & Turn, 7:30 Starter.  Returning Stroke & Turn judges are only required to take the online portion of the training but will still need to contact Tracy Eppard to get the passcode. Remember….online portion of training must be completed prior to attending the group class. 
Swim Meet Schedule
Wednesday, June 14  Home meet with FSBC, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6
Wednesday, June 21   Home meet with GOST, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6
Tuesday, June 27        Away meet at ELKS, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6
Wednesday, July 5     Away meet at GCC, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6
Wednesday, July 12   Away meet at GHG, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6
Wednesday, July 19   Home meet with CCC, arrive at 4:45, meet begins at 6
Directions for away meets will be provided prior to the meet.  We will be having Butch’s BBQ truck at our three Home meets to provide dinner for competitors and families.  Butch is giving the Gators a portion of the proceeds, so we hope you will support his business. If you would like to try out his food in advance, he sets up in Mineral in the grassy area next to BB&T, usually weekends but almost all Sundays.  His menu will include Pulled Pork BBQ, Chicken Tenders, French Fries, Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Corn Dogs and Hot Dogs! 
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 your family will be on vacation or has a 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!
New Location – Fork Union Military Academy
Days, Times & Groups  
Friday, July 28
7:30 AM – 1:30 PM   All 8 & Under swimmers (includes 6 & under)
1:30 PM – 8:00 PM   All 13 & Up swimmers
Saturday, July 29
7:45 AM – 1:30 PM   All 9-10 swimmers
1:30 PM – 6:15 PM   All 11-12 swimmers
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 (Shamrock Shuffle which was held in March) or the team raffle.  This year, we have chosen a Yeti cooler as our raffle prize, tickets will be available from POGA board members at practice.
In the event your family is unable to participate this summer, please let me know and I will remove you from our email list.  Feel free to contact a POGA board member if you have any questions!  Looking forward to seeing (and meeting) everyone at the pool!!
Coach Debra
540 760-1464