NORTH AUGUSTA — As the Fox Creek swimming program is resurrected, a familiar face will lead the program.
Chris Liner, who resigned as the head coach of North Augusta High School’s boys team last month, will lead the Predator program.
“It was really weird the way it happened,” said Liner, who will continue teaching at Paul Knox. “A parent of one of my students, who goes to Fox Creek and I taught her at Paul Knox, caught me in Kroger and made a comment that Fox Creek was looking for a coach. She asked if I was interested, and of course I was, but I never thought they would call me or it would come to anything.”
Liner said the next day she got a call from Fox Creek principal Josh Trahan.
“He asked me if I wanted to help start the team up again,” she said. “I guess it was just the right place at the right time. It’s going to be a smaller team, and this is something I’m good at. I’m good at going in at the ground floor and starting something from scratch, and building something that can be done over and over again. That’s what I told Mr. Trahan; I’m willing to start things off and help them get something started until they can find someone else later.”
Liner said that the team is currently looking at having nine to 15 swimmers. Trahan said that Fox Creek was “excited to have her on staff” and she seems to be a real “go-getter.” Trahan said that she knows all of the rules and regulations to perfection.
It remains to be determined where Fox Creek will hold its meets. The options are either the Hammond Hills Suburban Club or the Augusta Aquatics Center.
“I’m hoping my expertise from being one of the three catalysts at North Augusta means I can take those years of experience and make it less painful for the new regime at Fox Creek,” Liner said. “There are some who remember the old team, and I just want to follow in their footsteps. That will be a little easier than continuing a 10-year tradition at North Augusta. The people at Fox Creek have been willing to work and adapt to make it happen for the students.”
Liner said that Trahan let her know he was losing students because Fox Creek didn’t have a swim team. Because of that, he was willing to adjust his budget to fit in a new sport. That willingness, she said, “spoke volumes” about how Fox Creek wanted to make a team happen.
Fox Creek can swim in seven meets, with the possibility of qualifying for the state meet. Liner said that she plans to go to a coaches meeting to fill out the schedule. There’s a possibility that Fox Creek could swim against North Augusta. While there’s no points system in swimming, the times are kept separately, and what qualifies for a state meet in Class AAAA could be up to 10 seconds faster than what qualifies in Class A.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheScottRodgers.