As the Linsly boys' swim team opens its season this week, veteran coach Bill Brubaker is looking for senior Zach Hamm to help lead the Cadets to another OVAC championship.
"Zach will be expected to be a team leader this year,'' Brubaker said. ''As a senior with three years experience and having competed at nationals, he will be expected to lead in the water and by example on land.
''He has been selected by his teammates as one of the captains this year. As a two-event defending (OVAC) champion, he will be counted on to score for us again and be a major part of the relays.''
Linsly has a storied tradition in the pool. The Cadets have won the last four OVAC championships and a whopping 54 overall. That included 45 straight from 1948-92.
Brubaker has guided the team since 1980.
''(Zach) is looking to swim after high school and how well he does this year will influence where that may be,'' he said. ''Zach has done well. He has had success in the classroom, as well.''
Since Linsly isn't a member of the WVSSAC, the program shoots for success at the OVAC Championships, which will take place at Steubenville High School's Natatorium in late January.
Last season, Hamm won the OVAC 100 butterfly crown and joined forces on the winning 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams.
''Last year's successes at OVACs and Eastern's should give him a very good perspective on what he wants to accomplish this year,'' Brubaker said.
Brubaker added he is looking for Hamm to get faster in his signature events and stronger in others in an effort to become well-rounded.
''Zach's best strokes are the butterfly and freestyle,'' Brubaker said. ''He is hoping to put his name on the record board in the 100 butterfly and possibly the 50 free for the school.''