Jacoby: Pioneer swim team shows true character after state finals

It’s a very telling photo to look at? It’s the whole story – right there in a picture.

How does a group of young athletes who did everything asked of them, worked as hard as they could, used their great talents to achieve greatness only to come up just short – and we will define just in a second.

Just moments after losing – wait, they didn’t lose anything. Let’s rephrase. Just moments after finishing second at the Division 1 MHSAA Swimming and Diving State Finals on Saturday, the Pioneers gathered on the podium for a team photo. How would they look just moments after learning they had finished second by JUST a half point?

Well, look at the photo. There is your answer. EVERY Pioneer in the photo is flashing a smile of pride and accomplishment. That’s how you respond to a difficult situation – you smile and realize you are still very much a champion. A point or two points or a half point doesn’t define you.


The Pioneers have every reason to smile. Finishing second in the state in the very competitive waters of Division 1 swimming and diving is something to be extremely proud of. And coming that close will only make them hungrier, more determined – if that’s possible – and relentless next year.

And that’s the other way you respond to a tough outcome. You come back stronger, faster, better.

Pioneer Coach Stephanie Kerska had nothing but compliments and praise and pride for her team on Saturday.

“We are so proud of our group of young women,” she said. “From the first to the last day of the season, they focused on everything they could control. We had many performances that were season and lifetime bests. We are so proud of our team and their accomplishment.”

They have plenty to smile about – and no one knows that more than they do.