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Autumn Reeves becomes head coach of Wadsworth swim team

BY JANAE JOACHIM

Autumn Reeves accepted the position of head coach of the Wadsworth High School swim team for the 2020-2021 season. Prior to this season, she was an assistant coach under head coach Allison Pallija. 

Following Pallija’s resignation, Reeves stepped up to the role of head coach. 

“She is doing really good with all the stress from COVID, and she has been following the rules we have so that we do not get shut down,” said sophomore swimmer Aspen Schaller. 

Reeves swam herself from the time she was five years old all the way up to college. She went on to the Olympic Time Trials, missing the cut by one-one thousandth of a second in the hundred breaststroke. 

Additionally, Reeves was the head coach of the WHS swim team from 2005 through 2012, and she came back to the sport again as an assistant coach in 2018. 

“I enjoy being back on the pool deck and coaching,” said Reeves. “I love seeing the kids swim, watching the kids compete, changing strokes and making the kids faster.”

Autumn Reeves and Matt Pavlak explain the next set to the swimmers at their last after-school practice before Thanksgiving break. The swimmers have to stand distanced in the shallow end of the pool while listening to the coaches between sets. Photo by Janae Joachim

However, being a coach this year has looked different from past years due to the pandemic. 

“There are changes in the workouts because we cannot do a stroke group and a free group,” said Reeves. “We have to stay in our lanes.” 

Sophomore Aspen Schaller swims the 100 butterfly at a meet. Reeves has her swimmers do various stroke sets during practice to perfect technique for meets. Photo courtesy Aspen Schaller

Reeves has had to navigate the waters of being head coach while doing all she can to ensure the safety of her team. Swimmers must maintain distance while in the water and wear masks when not in the water. 

“You have to really monitor everything,” said Reeves. 

She will be assisted by Cindy Beeman and Matt Pavlak for the 2020-2021 season.  Pavlak was also an assistant coach during the 2019-2020 season, but this is Beeman’s first season as an assistant coach. 

“Matt has taken his place as assistant coach very seriously,” said Schaller. 

Since the swimmers cannot separate into groups based on strokes this year, the coaches have had to watch all of the lanes super closely. 

“She [Reeves] is doing a good job of one-on-one coaching, helping people if they are struggling with a certain task or stroke,” said Schaller. 

Reeves coached her first meet as head coach on Friday, December 4 against Hudson. Her first season as head coach will end on February 27 if any swimmers make it to States. 

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