Swim Cadets demonstrate their 'Girl Power'
The Cleveland Heights High School Swim Cadets, a 16-member synchronized swimming team, have announced that their 2018 annual show is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22, 23 and 24. The school’s oldest extracurricular club has chosen the theme “Swim Cadets Present: Girl Power,” and songs that highlight female empowerment. Clare Peppler, the club’s vice president, noted, “I’ve been surrounded by an amazing group of girls who motivate and influence me to be the best version of myself every day. This year we chose the theme ‘Girl Power’ to show how even in a society that isn’t always fair to women, we can persevere together.”
Since 1939, the Swim Cadets have been a part of Heights High’s rich history, putting on an extensive show choreographed to music and lights, complete with costume changes. There are traditions that have carried on over the decades, and it is not uncommon for the girls to be second- or even third-generation Swim Cadets. Current club members include daughters and nieces of former club members. Senior Jenna Dent, the club’s sergeant-at-arms, said Swim Cadets has felt like home throughout her high school years. “I’m so proud to be a part of 79 years of tradition on this amazing team,” said Dent.
The show is the result of five months of 12 to 15 hours of practice per week. Emma Routh, club secretary, bragged, “These girls are the most hilarious, hard-working, and motivating girls to be around. Swim Cadets is always a pick-me-up—whether it’s practicing tough routines together or giggling while we stretch. Swim Cadets has given me the best high school experience I could ask for and I will miss all the girls dearly.”
Hannah Thellian, club president, pointed out the importance of the team in her high school years. “This club has given me the chance to grow and learn in innumerable ways, and I will be forever grateful. I love our team with all of my heart,” said Thellian.
Ally Boyd, treasurer, said, “Swim Cadets is a group full of amazing girls that are full of passion and fire. They inspire me every day to be the best version of myself and I am so grateful for the impact they have had on me. Swim Cadets is and always will be my family.”
The 2018 Swim Cadets seniors are Boyd, Dent, Isabella Marotta, Peppler, Routh and Thellian. Emma Henninge, Georgie Jolivette, Julia O’Donnell and Brynn Pierce are juniors; Emma Hubbard and Charlotte Piszel are sophomores; and freshmen are Sophia Forniti, Arden Lindberg, Fiona Macke and Anna Turner. Esther Bergson, a former Swim Cadet and Heights High graduate, is the team's coach.
The shows begin at 7 p.m. each night at the Cleveland Heights High School Natatorium, located at 13263 Cedar Road. Tickets are $8 and available from club members and at the door.
Kara Hamley O'Donnell and Mary Pat Jolivette
Kara Hamley O'Donnell and Mary Pat Jolivette are proud parents of Swim Cadets.