BBD Banquet Talk from Coach Kevin

Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins on May 09 2020 at 12:12PM PDT

Dear Swimmers and Parents,

While the season did not end the way any of us would have liked, it was a very special year until it ended so abruptly. The board and I still discuss plans for some sort of banquet, but we all know that is not in our hands. I did want to send you the outline of my end-of-the-season comments to recognize some of our team’s achievements and some plans for the future.

First of all, a huge thank you to our board who have been challenged in so many different ways this season and have risen to meet each one. A team like ours cannot exist without the support of our parent board and they have provided (and continue to provide) exemplary service to all of us.

This season we graduate a handful of seniors, some of whom have been with us for their entire careers. (And in the light of recent events, if college is postponed we will be thrilled to welcome them back!)

Nicholas Ludwig – Nick was looking forward to his first trip to the National Meet. Nick was the captain of the Cranbrook- Kingswood swimming team and an All-State swimmer as well as a lifer on the Detroit Golf Club team. He will begin coaching this summer at Orchard Lake Country Club. He is undecided about his college choice.

Aidan Nelson – Aidan will graduate from Brother Rice where he swam for four years before he heads off to college.. He has been a lifer at Woodside.

Tyler Pietsch – Tyler is a lifer at BBD and Beach-Wood. I think his family may have the distinction of having the longest tenure at BBD as he followed his older brother, Matt, onto the team and leaves his younger brother, Conor, with us! Tyler had qualified for the Division 1 State Meet this past season

Jerome Wiater- Jerome was set to return to the National Meet. He has been a captain and and All-State swimmer at Cranbrook and a lifer at Forest Lake. He plans to swim in college.

Marissa Thome- Marissa is this year’s winner of the scholarship given annually to the senior who, by their dedication to the team set a standard for all of their teammates. The criteria for the award is that a swimmer must be with the team for at least five seasons,must have excellent attendance at practice and meets, must care about the team and support their teammates,be willing to lend a hand and model a winning attitude in all they do.

Marissa has been on the team for her entire career and she has been an essential teammate. When she was ten she was a member of the 9-10 medley relay that set the BBD record. The former record had also been the YMCA National record. She went on to qualify for the YMCA National Meet as a freshman. She struggled to re-qualify for the meet in her sophomore and junior year, but she never gave up and was poised to return as a senior. Coach Mike said of Marissa “The lasting lesson she has given us is a very simple one that my wife and I try to instill in our three-year-old son every day. Don’t give up, don’t look for the simple route, and work until you figure out a solution. The easy solution is to place blame, switch teams, and feel sorry for yourself. Marissa never took that path and for that we are pleased to honor her with this award.”
Marissa was the captain of the Seaholm team and a lifer at Beverly Hills Athletic Club. She will be a freshman at Michigan State come fall.

Blue Dolphin Award
Several seasons ago we began giving an award to a deserving twelve year old swimmer. The purpose of the award was to give encouragement to a rising swimmer who was ready to take the next big step in their training with a commitment to spring/summer long-course training. The award is given to a diligent swimmer who leads by example, and who is an exemplary teammate. It isn’t intended for the most successful swimmer, although that doesn’t disqualify an athlete. The selection is made by the coaches who work with the 11-12 age group and affirmed by the head coach.

This year the award is being given to a swimmer who engaged the coaches in the goal-setting process throughout the season. They sought the coaches’ advice when it came to event selection and kept a broad menu of events. They maintained a rigorous practice schedule, beyond the program’s expectations and kept the commitment while managing all others. There were more swimmers considered than ever before, and the decision was an extremely difficult one to make. Congratulations, Savannah Sneyd, on receiving this year’s Blue Dolphin award.

New BBD Records
Congratulations to our new team record holders!

  • 8 and under girls’ 25 free Sophia Kommer 14.47
  • 11-12 boys’ 200 breast Evan Tack 2:23.32
  • 11-12 boys’ 50 back Emmett Knudsen 26.95
  • 11-12 boys’ 100 back Emmett Knudsen 58.96
  • 11-12 boys’ medley relay Emmett Knudsen, Evan Tack, Sean Lu, Jack Higgins 1:49.21 NATIONAL RECORD!!!
  • 11-12 boys’ freestyle relay Ian Whan, Evan Tack, Emmett Knudsen Jack Higgins 1:36.67 NATIONAL RECORD
  • 13-14 1650 freestyle Ethan Schwab16:22.03
  • 13-14 100 breast Ethan Schwab 58.55
  • 13-14 200 breast Ethan Schwab 2:08.30
  • 13-14 200 IM Angus MacDonald 1:56.51
  • 13-14 400 IM Angus MacDonald 4:12.11

That’ s pretty impressive list for an abbreviated season!

I couldn’t be more proud of our entire organization. We continue to plan for a very bright future for all of you. We will try to keep you informed of any developments as they unfold. We know that this too will pass and imagine the stories our
swimmers will be able to tell their kids!

Speaking of that future….it starts now….if you are interested in some dry-land fun and socializing with the coaches continue reading.

  • 8 & Unders – if you completed the season by participating in all of the required meets, we have a paper plate award and a gift for you that the coaches will deliver. Please send Coach Jeannie your address. If you would like to participate in a Zoom gathering with Coach Jeannie and your teammates, e-mail Coach Jeannie! Her e-mail is
  • 9-10s – If you would like to participate in some dry-land training with Coach Mike, let him know at
  • 11-12s – If you would like to do some dry-land training with Coach Greg, let him know at
  • Seniors – Our seniors are already doing dry-lands regularly. If you’d like to join the group, let me know at

Thanks to all of you for making BBD the amazing team it is!! I am grateful for the YMCA and its philosophy, my assistant coaches, my board and all of our parents and supporters, but most of all to our swimmers who always make it look like we know what we are doing!