Downingtown Is Proving To Be A Powerhouse

Posted: January 25, 1988

Joan Davis didn't know what to expect when she took the job of girls' swimming coach at Downingtown one week before the season started.

Davis, 22, had never coached swimming before. She was still a student at West Chester University and said in late November that she hoped the team would be "respectable."

The team has been respectable. Very respectable. In fact, it's in first place in the Tri-County League after trouncing rival Coatesville (2-1, 5-4) on Thursday, 126-45.

Downingtown dominated the Red Raiders, taking first and second place in every event except for the medley relay and diving, in which Coatesville captured second places.

The Whippets (3-0, 8-2) were led by three triple-winners: Kathy Koerber (200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, medley relay), Jen Hitchings (100 butterfly, 200 individual medley, medley relay) and Sonia Schofield (50 freestyle, 500 freestyle, medley relay). It was the first time in Schofield's career that she has won three events in a meet.

Davis said the meet showed the depth of her team.

"I changed a lot of people around and gave some people a chance to swim events they might not normally be in," she said.

On Tuesday, Downingtown handed Tri-County foe Perkiomen Valley its first loss of the season, 123-48. Again, the Whippets dominated the meet, winning both relays and taking 20 of the 27 top-three places.

Sophomore Amy Brannen won the diving in both meets for Downingtown, the first two victories of her career.

"I really don't know what to expect when we swim against most of these teams, so I'm still pretty surprised when we keep winning," Davis said. "We have a very strong team."

Davis, who graduated from West Chester University last month, will be a substitute teacher in the Downingtown district while she looks for a teaching job in health and physical education. She said she would like to stay where she is.

"I love coaching swimming, and I really like the girls on the team. They're a great bunch," Davis said. "I didn't know what to expect when I took the job, but they have been great. They all work hard and contribute. . . . I'd love to stay here."

The Whippets can clinch the Tri-County League title with a win tomorrow over Sun Valley.

Downingtown's boys (2-2, 5-5) were edged by Coatesville on Thursday, 89-82. The win gave the Red Raiders (4-0, 8-3) their first Tri-County League championship. It was the first time in five years that Coatesville's boys had beaten Downingtown.

The meet came down to the final event, the 400 freestyle relay - and Coatesville's Steve Grubb, Steve Phenneger, Jim Ross and Chris Morris took the event to win the meet and clinch the title.

Morris won three events for Coatesville: the 100 freestyle, 50 freestyle and freestyle relay. Adam Carroll won three events for Downingtown: medley relay, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.

The Downingtown boys beat Perkiomen Valley on Tuesday, 96-64. Carroll led the Whippets with three wins: medley relay, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Ed Paradise won the 200 individual medley and the 200 breaststroke for Downingtown.

Coatesville's boys were edged by Cedar Crest on Tuesday, 87-85. The girls lost to Cedar Crest, 111-60.

West Chester East's girls' team lost to Marple Newtown on Wednesday, 105-66, but the Vikings got an impressive performance from freshman Sarah Gould.

Gould won the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke, and anchored the winning freestyle relay for East (4-1). Lisa Davis placed first in diving for the Vikings.

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