Six returning state qualifiers should give McPherson High’s boys swimming team plenty of firepower as it heads into the 2011-12 season full of optimism.

The Bullpups open their campaign Tuesday competing at Newton, with meet time scheduled for approximately 4 p.m. Other teams expected to be on hand include Derby, El Dorado, Campus, Hutchinson and Winfield.

Bonnie Sue Fisher begins her third year as head coach, and she’s excited about her team’s prospects.

This group of returnees will spearhead the charge:
• David Plenert -- He is the highest returning state placer, earning 10th in the 100 breaststroke and also earned a relay medal.
• Aaron Marshall -- He earned three state medals, two of them in relays.
• Derick Goodson -- Another state placer, he won both an individual and relay medal.
• Cody Persson -- He garnered two medals, one individually and one on a relay.
• Joel Campbell -- A state participant.
• Skyler Stucky -- A state participant.

“The 200-medley relay team looks great, as we have all four state swimmers returning,” Fisher said.

Goodson may be the team’s most versatile swimmer.

“Derick has continued to work extremely hard in the off-season and will be able to qualify and place in state in almost any race the team needs him,” Fisher said. “Between him and Aaron Marshall, I expect some team records to fall pretty quickly.”

Fisher said she’s expecting big things from Marshall in the sprint freestyles, Plenert in the 100 breaststroke, Persson in the 100 butterfly and Stucky in the 100 backstroke.

Relays will be another key, as Fisher said she should have both strong A and B entrants.

Other swimmers expected to contribute are Charles Kinzel, Ryan Clark, T.J. Smith, Andrew Shaughnessy, Corey Long, Jamie Goodson, Zane Richter, Ben Crouch and Kyler Jost.

SCHEDULE
November
29 -- at Newton.
December
3 -- at Wichita Northwest. 6 -- at Great Bend. 12 -- at Campus.
January
5 -- at Newton. 7 -- at El Dorado. 9 -- at Hutchinson. 12 -- at Salina South. 24 -- at Great Bend.
February
11 -- at El Dorado.