Keep our teams together

It has come our attention that the decision has been made to separate the Sparks and Trojans swim teams into two separate teams. For years, this co-op has flourished between Highland Park and SPA, both in and out of the pool. When we, the captains of both teams, were informed of this change, 'cultural differences' and limited pool space were cited as reasons for the split. These cultural differences are not a reason to divide the team—they are a key factor of what makes this team so special. The relationships and bonds formed between swimmers from both schools would never have been possible without the co-op. When it comes to the issue of pool space, we found a solution to the limited space during this past season, and believe that if the issue of space were to continue to be a problem, there are more viable solutions than to just separate the teams completely. This is not like the past where the teams were only separated while competing in conference meets (but could still compete in non-conference invites, dual meets, sections, and state together). The Athletic Department wants to separate us completely. We, the captains of both teams, and our fellow teammates believe that this is not in the best interest of either the Trojans or the Sparks in any way. While swimming together competitively the boys were able to come in 5th place in their 6AA sections and the girls were able to come in 7th place in their 6AA sections. If the teams were separated, like our schools intend to do, the boys team would have come in 7th place at their sections and the girls would have come in 8th place. The boys last year were able to get a new school record for their 400 free relay with two of those swimmers being from SPA and the girls were very close to breaking the 200 free relay record of which one person was from SPA. Additionally, a swimmer from SPA for the girls team broke a record that had stood for over 20 years in the 100 fly this past season. As mentioned previously, the teams as a co-op have been able to accomplish great things that they would not have and will not be able to achieve as two separate teams. We hope to have your support and for you to sign this petition in order to help us to keep our teams together.

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