Athlete of the Week: Alex Bessette
© Culpeper TimesAlex Bessette loves to swim. He has been swimming since second grade and is in the pool every chance he gets.
This year the Culpeper County High School senior was named captain of the boys team and he decided to sacrifice for the good of the Blue Devils ―he quit a club team he has been with for several years so he could concentrate on his leadership role at CCHS.
“He's been a swimmer for us for four years,” said CCHS coach Dave Hodgson. “He went to states last year. Up until this year he has also been a club swimmer. When we practiced, he would be in a different pool. This year he gave that up to focus on being captain.
“He has that drive to excel. This year he is focused not only on his needs, but also on the needs of the team.”
Hodgson said that when the team does running workouts Bessette stays with the pack instead of running ahead, pushing other swimmers to do better instead of running ahead to complete his own workout.
“He's been very encouraging to the newer swimmers,” Hodgson said. “He always has a good attitude and is a great ambassador for the team.”
Bessette put his decision to focus on the Blue Devil team in perspective.
“I had a great coach (with the club team) but I also have a great coach here,” he said. “Since I go to school with everyone on the team here it felt right to focus on this team.
“We're a family and everyone is close. This was the right choice.”
Bessette said his biggest challenge in the pool is always striving to get better.
“Swimming is a tough sport, but it will keep you keep in shape,” said Bessette, who swims primarily freestyle. “And it's fun to do with friends.”
Bessette said that not only does he want to return to state competition, but he wants teammates to come with him.
“We have a really good relay team and I'm going to try to push them to states, too,” he said.
Bessette said science is his favorite subject, but that he also likes his business and marketing classes. Like many seniors, he's filling out college applications, but he hasn't decided on a school as yet.
“I would like to major in either biology or business, whichever college I go to,” he said.
Although he doesn't have a lot of free time, Bessette said he and some friends are on an indoor soccer team in Fredericksburg and he enjoys playing the sport.
“And I like to go out to eat,” he added.
NOTE: Eastern View High School coach Melissa Garcia nominated senior Jarrett Sites.
“He's captain of the team, a good leader and a hard worker as well as being a good motivator,” Garcia said. “He does well in school and he's respectful. He's just a good kid.”
Sites said he's been swimming about 12 years.
“I like it because it works the whole body and also because I've made a lot of friends through swimming,” Sites said.
Sites said his biggest in-the-pool challenge is the butterfly.
“I haven't mastered that,” he said.
Last year Sites was chosen captain by his teammates and this year the coaches selected him.
“It runs in the family,” he said, laughing. My brothers Nick and Austin were team captains.”
Sites enjoys English and said his “most likely” college is Christopher Newport University.
In addition to swimming, Sites plays lacrosse.
“Lacrosse is harder than swimming,” he said. “And swimming helps with lacrosse.”
Sites also swims for the Culpeper Recreation Club swim team in the summer and enjoys video games, especially “Call of Duty.”