- The Tomahawk Hatchets always send swimmers to the state meet in Madison.
It's a tradition that goes back over a decade.
Last year the Hatchets placed 4th. This season Tomahawk is hoping to exceed those outcomes.
When Theresa L'Esperance started the Tomhawk girls swimming program she knew it would be something special.
15 years after, her team won its first conference title.
Now in her 20th season with the Hatchets, Tomahawk hopes to win its 5th consecutive conference title.
"We're a family, we are just a big family," said Tomahawk head swim coach Theresa L'Esperance.
The Tomahawk girls swim team is known as a GNC Powerhouse. But that success didn't happen overnight.
"These girls workout in the weight room. They swim in the summer and they swim in the winter," Lespereance said.
Senior Kaylee Svacina says the connection between her team and head coach Theresa L'Esperance is the key to their success.
"Being able to come and work in an environment you're comfortable in, it really helps you succeed," Svacina said.
L'Esperance believes her coaching style is simple: believe in your swimmers and be someone they can look up to.
"I just stay positive and develop great relationships with my kids," L'Esperance said. "When you have good relationships with your kids, they want to do their best and I want to do the best for them."
Players say having a best friend and a coach all in one person is the best way to describe L'Esperance.
"She wants to know you. She knows your strengths and weaknesses and she's here to help you," Svancia said.
While the teams' goals go beyond a conference title, the seniors want the younger girls to continue L'Esperance's winning tradition.
"It's exciting for everyone as a team to be able to say you are a conference champion," said Svacina.
And the teams' motivation isn't lacking.
"If we do what we know how to do and keep swimming how we have been, we should be just fine," said Senior swim captain Katy Volz.
Just fine is a minor description compared to what coach Theresa sees in her girls.
"They are the most talented, creative, smart, hardworking athletes that I have ever experienced," L'Esperance said.
The Hatchets will take on Medford tomorrow at 5:30. Tomahawk will end its season against its biggest rivalry Rhinelander on October 11.