Story & Photos by Karen Fucito
It’s been a long 20 or so years for the Shore Hills Country Club Swim team. Ever since Horseshoe Lake created and took back the kids living in the Succasunna area of Roxbury, Shore Hills has struggled to win meets or even put kids in the water. The tide as they say is changing. Last year’s squad won four meets. Coach Brian Hehir is confident this year’s squad will better last year’s record with at least one more win.
Coach Brian Hehir
“Last year was a breakthrough year,” said Hehir. “We were 4-6 last year and I fully expect us to win against those four towns and pick up another win along the way.”
Hehir, 21, has been coaching at Shore Hills since he was 18 years old. This is fourth year as a head coach.
“This year we have 71 kids on the swim team. That’s 30 more than my first year.”
Hehir started swimming for Shore Hills at the age of four. He swam at two different YMCA’s until he was 18. He attended Roxbury HS but did not swim, thinking he was a better basketball player than swimmer. He is a graduate of James Madison University where he swam one semester.
When Hehir was just 14 or 15 and swimming for Shore Hills he noticed a new kid, maybe 6 or 7 swimming on the team. It was Kevin Pollison.
“I knew then he was going to be special,” said Hehir of Pollison. “Here I was, just a kid myself and I’m telling his parents to get him into winter swimming—and they listened!” Now that little kid, Kevin, is coming into his own in the 13/14 age group, winning almost every race he competes in and scoring a lot of points for Shore Hills. His best race is the 200IM. “I don’t ever have to watch him swim. I know he’s going to win his meets,” said Hehir.
On the girls side, 17-year-old Torie Miller will defend her league championship is the breast stroke. Miller, who swims for Roxbury HS, has been a Shore Hills team member since she was a little kid.
With two meets already in the books, Shore Hills is still looking for their first win. Hehir is not worried. Their two losses are against the two powerhouses of the league, Roxbury (Horseshoe Lake) and Cranberry Lake. Both teams have rosters with more than 150 kids participating. With eight meets to go they need to go a tear to reach their goal of five wins. Here is their remaining schedule:
SAT 7/7 Lake Shore @ SHCC
MON 7/16 Ribbon Meet
WED 7/18 Denvile @ SHCC
SAT 7/ 21 Flanders Valley @ SHCC
WED 7/25 SHCC @ Shongum
SAT 7/28 Park Lk @ SHCC
MON 7/30 Lk Forest @ SHCC
WED 8/1 Randolph Pk @ SHCC
THUR 8/2 NJRLL Seed Meeting
SAT 8/4 Silvers Invitational
THURS 8/9 TRIALS (Host Lk Shawnee)
SAT 8/11 Finals
Coach Brian Hehir gets the 13/14'2 ready for practice