Teen Coach Leads North Cape Arthur Swim Team to Championship Season
Sean Brandt brings his talent to the swimming community in Severna Park.
The North Cape Arthur (NCA) Swim team completed its summer season undefeated, bringing home the title of County Champion for the first time in recent history.
Though the team had a lot of talented swimmers, the parents at NCA believe their coach, Sean Brandt, had a lot to do with their success.
“Sean has done a fantastic job leading our team this year,” Molly Winkler said.
A swimmer for NCA since he was 6 years-old and swimming for SPY since he was 11 years-old, and working as an assistant coach both at NCA and the Big Vanilla, Brandt had the experience it took to coach a winning team.
But Brandt didn’t agree to coach the team just because he hoped to have a winning team. Instead he wanted to give back something he had received years ago.
“I remember what it was like when I was 7 or 8 years old learning how to swim,” Brandt said. “Summer swim team made me so happy and I wanted to give that experience to the kids I coached as well.”
He was surprised to find though that he received something as well.
“I love to see how much each and every kid matures over the two months they're on the team, not just swimming-wise, but their personality as well,” Brandt said.
This insight is something Brandt had not considered during the years he has swam for NCA, SPY and Severna Park High School. It didn’t occur to him that his coaches were getting as much from watching him progress from the little boy who had only recently begun to swim to the young man who led two of his teams this past year as co-captain.
As a swimmer, Brandt has stood out for the 100 and 200 back stroke that he says he gravitated toward naturally. But parents and swimmers alike agree that he stood out as much as a leader out of the pool as in.
As an honor roll student, assistant coach and head coach for two teams – NCA and Big Vanilla, team captain both at SPY and SPHS and a national level swimmer, Brandt was surprised to find how easily his life fell into place and how much fun he was still able to fit into his schedule.
“SPY is a really close knit team, so most of my social life revolved around the team,” Brandt said. “Without the team, I don’t know if I would have taken the time to be social through high school.”
On Aug. 23, Brandt will be leaving Severna Park and this close-knit network of friends he has developed to spend the next four years at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania where he will swim the 100 and 200 meter backstroke as a Mountain Hawk.
Brandt does sometimes worry that he will miss his friends and the active life he has established in Severna Park. Because of this he has a piece of advice for this year’s incoming seniors.
“Enjoy this year.” Brandt said. “Don’t let yourself be so stressed out that you forget to have fun, because when you graduate it really hits you. I was surprised when it hit me, when I suddenly realized I was going to be leaving so many of my friends behind."
Luckily, he won’t be leaving everybody behind. Friend and fellow teammate, Kimmy Weyand, will be heading to Bethlehem, PA. as part of the Mountain Hawk Swim Team as well.
As the summer comes to a close, Brandt has something he has not had in four years – free time. Though he will need to do some shopping for his dorm and spend some time focusing on his own training in preparation for the early September start of swim practices, he also plans on taking this time to reflect on the good times he has had with the swim teams he has been a part of as swimmer, captain and coach and the friendships that have come from that.