The Hopkins Boys Swim and Dive team celebrated the end of its season a bit differently this year. The team had a great year, Wendy Robinson said. Her son is one of the team’s captains. Some students earned letters and several broke records for the team. Robinson was in charge of the celebratory banquet. It didn’t seem right to have a great season and not be able to celebrate. So, she pushed to come up with something to do for the team.
Robinson, along with the other captains’ parents and Coach Jared Anderson came up with an alternative plan. On May 17, the team had a curbside pickup banquet and presentation of awards over Zoom.
The Oak Ridge Country Club in Hopkins was doing curbside meals. Robinson worked with the club to get their pasta banquet curbside too, she said. Then, she talked with the coach to see if he was willing to do a curbside pickup of awards and a Zoom banquet.
The coach and captains waited at the club for team members to arrive. The meal was handed in one side of the car and the award was passed on the other side, she said.
The rainy weather was a challenge on May 17. The captains were discouraged at first, trying to get the decorations up outside for pickup time, she said. But, as soon as the team started showing up, it didn’t matter. She heard one of the captains say how fun it was to see everyone again, masks and all.
When the team got home, the members had the Zoom banquet and award presentation. It went on as it normally would, minus a few parts, Robinson said. Gabe Gauderman, a captain and the only senior, gave a speech. The captains thanked their coaches and parents. There was a slide show and presentation of awards. Anderson led most of the Zoom, she said.
There was a separate event in January to honor the team’s senior captain. It was an amazing night, she said, adding Gauderman has been a great leader and role model for the team. About 12 students got up to give speeches on how he’s impacted their lives as swimmers. “There was not a dry eye in the house,” she said.
A positive that came out of the season was their good sportsmanship. Other teams would comment on how the team’s friendly demeanor, she said. At every meet, they’d cheer with the opposing team whether they won or lost. It was about the sport, not the end result, she said.
So many things have been taken away from the students, she said. They needed to have a celebration of the season.
Her son Max Robinson is a junior and one of the captains. The celebration was a way for everyone to get their awards and see each other, he said “It was a good idea to get closure for the season,” he added.
The event was also a way for the team to look back on the season, which is important, he said. They could go over the highlights and honor those who did well.
Robinson’s highlight from the season was a meet against Buffalo. The Bison swimmers were new to the conference and were at about the same skill level, he said. It was a loud pool, the team was cheering and it was really fun, he said, adding that Hopkins ended up winning.
Max is excited for next year’s season, including being able to see people again, his last year of sections and getting back in the pool, he said.
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