Something about fall weather
in Wisconsin brings joy to many
people. For the Men’s and Women’s
Swimming and Diving teams, it’s that
unmatched feeling of being back in
Coming off an impressive season
last year, the Pointers are looking to
continue their success under head
coach Al Boelk, who has coached the
Pointers since 1997. The men’s team
won conference last season, marking
their 14th consecutive title. The
women’s team finished as runner-up
in the conference.
The Pointers also had success at
the national level. The men’s team
finished 16th overall and the women’s
Stevens Point has had a major
transition in the team from last
season to this season. To put things
into perspective, nearly 60 percent
of this season’s team is made up of
“We have had within this team
two of the largest graduating senior
classes in my entire career. Back to
back, which is really scary. This is the
youngest this team has ever been in
my career,” Boelk said.
Losing two large classes back
to back is certainly a challenge for
any coach. In order for the team to
succeed, underclassmen have to step
As the Pointers prepare to open
up the 2013-2014 season, the team has
yet to name captains.
“We’re not going to elect captains
until after our inner squad meet,”
Boelk said. “ A lot of people have been
displaying leadership, especially the
seniors, but I am seeing leadership
attributes out of swimmers from all
For junior Cassie Matthys, theguidance that she had as a freshman
will reflect on her character now.
“My freshman year, most of our
team was seniors and they did a
great job building the expectations of
us becoming leaders,” Matthys said.
“Now that I’m an upperclassman, I
want to push people to do their best
and try their best with a positive
Being one of the few seniors on
the team, Luuk Dekkers explained
how the large class of incoming
freshman will be pivotal this season.
“Losing all the fast swimmers
that we did last year, I think we really
have to rely on this freshman class.
Everyone needs to step up this year,”
Boelk has been a head coach
long enough to see how teams work
through bonding and acting as one
large machine. It’s watching the team
transform into something more that
really impresses him.
“The group becomes a team and
the team becomes something larger
than a team, like a family. When that
happens, and they start swimming
for each other, that’s when we create
something larger than the sum of its
parts,” Boelk said. “I’m really excited
for the chemistry of what kind of
team culture is evolving.”
As the team has changed over
the course of one offseason, the
expectations have not. The men’s
team is looking to make another title
run, and the women’s team has their
sights on capturing the conference
title as well.
Boelk has been extremely
successful as a head coach at UWSP.
According to his athletes, he serves
as a coach, a mentor and a friend to
many of the athletes.
“Al has helped me a lot. He’s
pushed me beyond what I ever
thought was possible for myself. He’s
believed in me the whole way and he’s been really supportive,” Matthys
The Pointers will host Parent’s
Day for their Purple/Gold meet on
Oct. 19, and then have a tri-dual meet
versus UW-Eau Claire and St. Cloud
on Oct. 26.