#12 - Thomas Murphy
Although what made it easier is I have never had a student-athlete on this list from the sport of Swimming from either gender. Enter Thomas Murphy.
I have the blessing of knowing most sports and what each sport presents. Swimming is hard and you must be strong (see Michael Phelps). As seen in the picture, Murphy performs the Butterfly and also does the Backstroke. He will have to improve in both areas to erase the pressure Brian Clancy (Oxford's best male swimmer who has since graduated last year) gave for Oxford that has seen a rash of Top 5 finishes but never a State Title (Oxford has never had one in Boys Swimming). Murphy finished in the Top 20 or better in each individual event he participated in last year and is Oxford's best returning swimmer.
The Swimming regions are similar to that of Volleyball. There are only two classes - so really it is the top tier of 4A and on up and the other class is the smaller schools in 4A and on down. Swimming is the only sport that I know of that crosstown rival Lafayette does not participate in. Swimming in terms of scoring is similar to the Track & Field sport where each event is scored dependant on how the swimmers do for their team. There are only around 50 MHSAA schools out of the 200+ that participate in this sport.
Murphy also participates in Boys Soccer where he did not have a proper offseason with the summer coaching change last year. Now he gets a chance to have the full offseason to learn the system better. He plays closer to the Defender/Midfielder position and did not play in as many games (in 4 games I kept stats on he took just 1 shot last year). Look for him to have a bigger impact with the team this upcoming season.
Murphy's impact in the water will continue to go a long way for the Boys Swimming team this year, then he'll have his last hurrah on the pitch.
**Editor's Note: This is the fourth of 12 Dandy Dozen Seniors I am releasing which will be done every Friday. They will be done AT RANDOM until the top two are released. You can see a schedule of which number will be released next HERE. #8 will be released next week.