Kerr hoping to lead AquaDogs to another city title

Tyler Hotz, Staff Writer

Sometimes, when someone steps into a room, everyone will follow. Sometimes, it is the one with the most to say, but in this case, it is the one with the most to show.

Senior swimming team captain Will Kerr has been a standout performer inside and outside the pool for four years, helping Bearden continue its long streak of city dominance.

“Will is a team leader both in and out of the pool,” BHS coach Justin Baxter said. “He leads both with mainly his actions but also his words.

“If you are around him as a swimmer and teammate, you want to do better and be better.”

Kerr has been making an impact ever since he came to Bearden, and he swims mainly in events that are considered sprints such as the 50 and 100 free, the 100 breast, and also relays such as the 400 freestyle.

“It has been really fun to be able to swim with better swimmers than myself, and it has taught me a lot,” Kerr said. “Mostly, I have been a quality addition to the team.

“I’m no superstar, but I help out on the relays and get points when and where they are needed.”

Even though Kerr has been a difference maker in the pool, his mindset and role has broadened as his high school career has gone along. Kerr swam year round in middle school but stopped once he reached the high school level.

“I think in the beginning [when I was a freshman] I started off really competitive,” Kerr said. “In my four years with Bearden, the individual times haven’t meant as much.

“I’m just trying to help out the best I can on the relays.”

Kerr’s leadership abilities have been shown on a regular basis throughout his high school career. Coach Baxter said Kerr has often turned the tide of meets in his relay events.

“He has just swam lights out the last couple of years as a sophomore and junior at the state meet,” Coach Baxter said. “He had a really good meet and helped our team, especially the boys, do really well.

“I can’t wait to see what he does this year at the city and state meet.”

City meet for diving is at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 and swimming follows all day on Jan. 31 starting at 9 a.m. Bearden just came off a huge dual-meet victory over rival Farragut who had beaten Bearden head-to-head the past two years.

The meet came down to the final few races, some of which Kerr participated and excelled in during clutch moments.

“It was really good to get a win against Farragut,” Kerr said. “We didn’t have any divers in that meet so that was a decent amount of points that we didn’t earn at all.

“We had to work a little bit harder to get the win because we just had points coming from the swim team.”

Kerr’s demeanor and work ethic inside as well as outside the pool has given him great respect from his teammates and coaches.

“I would describe his work ethic as relentless,” Coach Baxter said. “When he comes to practice, I know he is going to give it his all.

“He just has that mindset of getting it done and doing it to the best of his ability always.”

Added junior captain Andy Chance: “He always says hello to me. He’s a really nice guy, and he always wants to make people feel included.”

His work ethic and friendly personality have propelled him along also in the classroom. Kerr will attend the UT in the fall next year and major in mechanical engineering.

As with his swim career, Kerr said that his competitive career may be nearing its end, but he knows that it will always be a fun and important asset in his life.