While the McPherson High School boys swim team will need to replace four very key graduates from another league champion team in 2017-18, there will still be plenty of firepower in the water as the Bullpups return 14 swimmers, including six who had top-15 placings at state.

Top returnee will be junior Will Powers who had a third placing showing at state last season, while senior Dawson VanGoethem and junior Justus Hampton each scored a seventh-place finish. Rounding out the top six returnees and the placing they had at state are senior Silas Steinert (10th), senior Rece Reiman (11th) and sophomore Matt Powers (13th).

Other swimmers back will be seniors Simon Steinert, Zach LeBlanc and Gage Stafford, junior Riley Shelton, plus sophomores Cody Achilles, Logan Ediger, Alex Houston and Rhys Vanderhoof. Ethan Berger and Wesley Wurm are two freshmen that McPherson Head Coach Matt Morrow feels can make solid contributions to the team.

“Losing four seniors from last year will a big hole to fill,” said Coach Morrow. “I think most of the seniors from this class have an opportunity to step up and fill those open spots. Will (Powers) and Justus (Hampton) have really put in the work in the off-season and we are expecting those two to have another great year. I’ll need our sophomore and freshman to swim well is we want to keep our league championship string going!! We keep getting closer to having a state champion swimmer, which I believe we have never had in McPherson.”

The Bullpup swimmers will be tested early as they open their season on Saturday, December 1 at the Maize Invitational, then turn around just three days later, on Tuesday, December 4, and travel to Topeka for another Invitational.

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