All-Area Girls' Swimming Coach of Year: Central's Will Barker
Directed the Maroons to their sixth consecutive sectional championship.
Season highlight: “It was an emotional roller coaster with this special group of seniors giving everything they had for one last successful season, the passing of Jan Penwell (whose daughter Katherine is a senior swimmer), the incredible conference and sectional performances and qualifying five events to state. I am very proud of this group of girls who were extremely close and supportive of each other. The energy was amazing,” Barker said.
A few of my favorite things: U2 ... “Star Wars” (the original) ... “Star Island,” by Carl Hiaasen ... Barbecue or Chinese ... Shanghai 1938 or Rainbow Garden ... University of Miami ... Kitchens ... lifeguard at the original Sholem Pool ... Originally went to college for marine biology ... On my bucket list, to go to Disney with the family, to take a real honeymoon with my wife and to go on a mission trip.
About Coach Barker: “I have known Will since I was either 2 or 3 years old. My brothers and I all grew up having Will as our coach. We really respect Will and cannot imagine our lives without him as a coach and a supporter in other aspects of our lives. He is truly a great family friend. Though I am ending the 14-year McGill high school swimmer ‘run,’ the relationship we have all formed with him will always be there. He’ll always be a part of our lives. In knowing Will this long, I have had the privilege to not only be coached by Will but have learned many life lessons from him that I know will carry with me. Will is very passionate about coaching and cares very much about swimmers and their individual successes. He also teaches his swimmers things they will always be able to use. Will often says, ‘Control what you can.’ This is something he teaches us at the pool to focus on ourselves, but then he also helps us apply this to our lives outside of the pool. I am happy for Will’s 20 years of coaching at Central. Our high school has been very fortunate to have had Will as a coach for this long.” — Central senior Sarah McGill