Son not only one to sing Fenwick coach’s praises
Fenwick senior Tommy McQuire (middle) is a four-year member of the Friars swim team. | Photo submitted by chrisguillen.com
Updated: March 15, 2013 12:07PM
When Fenwick senior Tommy McGuire was deciding where he wanted to attend high school, one factor figured prominently in his decision.
“I knew if I chose Fenwick, my dad (Luke McGuire) would be my coach,” McGuire said. “I just thought it would be better for him to coach me than anyone else.”
The father-son bond between the two has only gotten stronger because of the shared swimming experience.
They will make one more state run together when Fenwick hosts a sectional Saturday.
“It’s been fun,” Luke McGuire said. “The last year has been the hardest. Senior year is hard for all high school kids. They’re anxious applying for (colleges) and the end being near makes it hard. He’s a good kid in general and does well in school. I think he will have a breakout year.
“I’m pretty proud of him. He made state in an individual event as a junior and I think he can be a contender to be back on Saturday (for finals). He’s a good competitor and is swimming with a group of guys he’s pretty much known all of his life. It’s fun to see him growing up.”
The younger McGuire, of Oak Park, is a goalie on the water polo team, which had its eight-year state championship run end last year with a loss to eventual champion Lyons in the sectional final.
While water polo may be his favorite sport, McGuire has had plenty of success in swimming as well.
He finished 38th at state in the 100-yard breaststroke as a junior. Last season he also teamed with senior Justin White and two graduated seniors to place sixth in the 200 freestyle relay and with three graduated seniors to place 16th in the 200 medley relay.
“It’s been great,” McGuire said of swimming for his father. “I’ve gotten better and get more guidance because the other swimmers don’t get to go home with coach and continue to work on ways to get better. Just talking about swimming with him in general has been great. Getting to talk about my stroke or talk about the team is something I wouldn’t get the chance to do if I went to another school.
“I was scared that he would be harder on me than the others, which is kind of true, but I’ve been able to deal with it. It’s definitely been a benefit for me.”
White knows there is no special treatment for Tommy and also credits Luke McGuire with the strides he’s made in the program.
“I think they have a great relationship,” White said. “When they go home, they can be father and son, and then come to practice as coach and swimmer. There have been absolutely no issues in that regard. Luke is a great coach and kept me going for four years. I improved so much and I will be forever grateful.”
The Friars are seeking their 10th straight sectional championship, but have their sights set more on state.
“We have a good group of guys working hard,” Luke McGuire said. “We’re right where we want to be. We have a couple guys tapering (resting), but a majority of the team is waiting until state. We’ve already gone the state cuts in a lot of events, so there’s no reason to rest yet.”
McGuire anticipates all three relays qualifying for state, as well as a number of individuals, including diver Max Showalter, who is the favorite to win the sectional.
“I’m really looking forward to the sectional meet,” White said. “We’re confident as a team and it’s a pretty good group of guys who seem to band together in the clutch when we really need to. I definitely want to place individually at state and I want our team to be right up there with the top schools in Illinois swimming.”