|"We're number one!" or a subtle threat?|
To put it simply... it is because they have crazy bad-ass former Viking Jerry Champer on their staff. It is hard to see the power this man wields in the picture above. His shiny head barely peeks out from behind his fellow assistant coach there, but look closely at the way he is holding out that finger. He is about to jab that 'number one' into someone's eye. Notice the raised eyebrow and the way his mouth is sneering. He is not celebrating their success... he is laying down a threat to all of the other teams who think they have a shot at the NCAA team title.
Trust me. I have seen that look directed at me.
Jerry Champer was my coach at the Viking Swim Club and PHS in Petersburg, Alaska from 1989-92. He launched a successful career on the back of my talent. (just kidding!) It was his first real coaching gig, as he came to us straight out of Wisconsin- LaCrosse. He wasn't old enough to drive the rental car at state my sophomore year. Now that I am a little older I can see more clearly what a great job he did for us, and especially for me as his role far transcended mere coaching after my father passed away and I sorely needed a mentor in my life to help me stay on track. I was such a space case back then... I hope Jerry understands how much I appreciate him now. I can only hope his job has gotten easier since he moved on!
|This was quite a crew... five went on to swim D1 at Northern AZ, Western Illinois, MO State, San Diego and Auburn. I believe there were five AK state record holders in that pic. Not bad for an island with a population of 3000!|
This was the most embarrasing picture I could find. If you see Jerry on deck this weekend in Austin, be sure to let him know I posted this and tell him I said 'good luck' to all his girls.
Enjoy, Jerry! Once a Viking, always a Viking!
|We tried to fight off his vicious rampage with the only weapon we had handy. It didn't even slow him down.|