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Sunnyside Sharks have new coaching staff

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Carolyn Hazzard (center) is the new head coach for the Sunnyside Rotary Swim Team. Hazzard will be assisted this year by Nicole Garza (L) and David Elerding. "I think it is going to be a great year between the three of us," said Hazzard. Registrations for this year's summer swim team will be accepted on the first day of practice at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, June 6, at the pool at Central Park.

Carolyn Hazzard is not new to the world of summer youth swimming. But Hazzard is new to the role she will be assuming this year as head coach of the Sunnyside Sharks Rotary Swim Team.

She replaces Angie Poff, the head coach of the Sharks for the past two years.

Hazzard has been involved with the summer swim program for the past five years through the efforts of her daughter, Toni Castillo, who is an outstanding young swimmer in her own right.

But, Hazzard just isn't interested with helping her own daughter become a better swimmer. Rather, she, along with her coaching staff, wants to do as much as they can to help everyone on the team be the best swimmer they can.

Hazzard will be taking on the duties of head coach of the summer program with the help of assistant coaches Nicole Garza and David Elerding.

"Between the three of us it is going to be an awesome year," said Hazzard. "We (the coaches) are all working as a team. I will turn to them and they will turn to me."

Hazzard is a big fan of the summer swim program, feeling it serves an important purpose.

"It gives the kids something to do for the summer," said Hazzard. "It keeps them out of trouble."

Taking on the role of coach will definitely be different than that of a parent, said Hazzard, but she will not be shy about carrying on like she has in past years.

"I had never been a parent that cheered just for Toni," said Hazzard.

Hazzard said she has always rooted on every member of the Sharks team and doesn't plan to do anything different as head coach.

"It is like a huge family," said Hazzard.

One of her goals as coach is to develop a balance that allows the swimmers to have fun while putting in the needed time to get better. Hazzard said it is important to have structure in a program such as this, but to also not let it get too serious for the participants.

"I just want the kids to have fun," said Hazzard.

Hazzard sees it as a benefit that she knows a majority of the swimmers who will be on the swim team, but she is also excited to meet the new swimmers who will be taking part in the program.

"I was excited about all the new kids that were there," said Hazzard about the faces she saw at the sign-ups held earlier in the month.

Hazzard said she isn't necessarily looking ahead at the big picture when it comes to coaching. Hazzard said she wants to focus on making her swimmers better each day they are at practice and hopefully that will carry into the latter part of the season.

"I am looking for improvement," said Hazzard.

Hazzard said she plans on running a strict practice that will get the swimmers the most out of the time they spend each morning and at the meets.

"It is not the quantity of the workout they have," said Hazzard. "It is the quality."

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