Swim League showdown will settle inter-family rivalry

July 19, 1992|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Staff Writer

More than just the Harford County Swim League title will be on the line Wednesday night when undefeated teams Emmorton and Edgewood meet at Edgewood Middle School.

One member of the Lee family will earn bragging rights at the dinner table as well.

Jean Lee is the head administrator for Edgewood, and daughter Annie is head coach for Emmorton.

Caught in the middle is husband and father, Fred, who coaches members of both teams in his year-round program.

Sound tricky? Well, it is.

But it makes for some interesting conversation, Fred says.

"We talk about which team's going to be stronger, which will be faster. . . . mostly just friendly conversation," he says.

"We try not to talk about it too much, because I think it would be unfair to the kids. I guess the whole situation is kind of interesting, though."

It's more interesting when you consider the history of the Emmorton-Edgewood matchup.

Three years ago, the teams tied during the regular season and decided the title in a highly competitive swim-off.

Then, after Emmorton won by the smallest of margins in 1990, Edgewood answered last summer by winning the meet in the final two relays.

"We know one another pretty well," says Edgewood coach John McDonough. "It'll come down to putting our best lineup up against theirs. It will come down to who swims well that night.

"The kids on both teams are very, very well aware that this is going to be our big meet."

In the past few years, this intensity has made the rivalry perhaps the hottest in the 10-team league.

On the night before the meet, members of each team -- ranging in age from 5 to 18 -- participate in a pep rally.

Then, on meet night, hundreds of family members and friends traditionally turn out to make the evening one of the most exciting, if not deafening, on the league slate.

"There's a healthy competitive edge involved," McDonough says. gonna make for one heck of an exciting meet."

McDonough says each team possesses a number of outstanding swimmers, and that points should fly back and forth from event to event.

He stressed a team concept, asserting that it won't be the top competitors who will decide the meet, but the lower-placing swimmers who may earn a few scattered points.

"These two teams are always neck and neck," says Fred Lee.

And around the Lee household, debate rages on about who's involved with the better team.

Says Jean Lee: "It's all we talk about day and night. I think Edgewood has a good chance."

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