The Power of Bo Berry Biscuits

    Blood racing through their veins. Heads pounding in anticipation. Their eyes fixated on their teammates. All four have the same thought swimming through his mind: This is it.

To their left, thirty of their favorite people are trembling. Their pounding adrenaline convinces all fifty Cougars that they are the ones about to get up on the block and swim the race of their high school career. 

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These four boys have spent half of their lives in the pool. Legarth and other competitive swimmers spend nearly 25 hours practicing weekly. Weekly. Not monthly, not annually. Weekly. To keep up with what he puts his body through, Legarth eats. A lot. “I get out of morning practice, and I eat. Then I go to school and I eat more. Then I don’t stop eating through work, then I eat after swim practice. Then I eat dinner. I always have extra food someplace”, proudly admits Legarth.

Along with their massive appetites and affinity for Bojangles’ Bo Berry Biscuits, the Apex boys are famous for their pre-relay “charge up”. I was confused too, but Legarth revealed that the “charge up” is when the relay swimmers all cross their arms together and “for 5 seconds scream at the top of [their] lungs.”

Not everyone loves the “charge-up”, and our Cougar Boys became somewhat notorious for this tradition within the high school swimming world last year.

“Before the 200 medley relay [in my] junior year, we were charging-up but we were doing it when they got the last heat on the block”, explains Legarth. “Right as they said “take your mark” we “charged up” and they had to pause the meet for a few minutes. The official came over and yelled at us and said that if we did it again we would get kicked out of the meet.”

The tradition continues, but the boys are more cautious about their timing.

They’ve completed charging up. For 7 years too long the Falcons have taken the championship. The Cougars are hungering for this.

Boy's A Relay Boy's B-Relay

Ten minutes later the pool deck is a scene of marvelous chaos. The men and women Cougars have taken the 2016 SWAC Swim Championship, and the celebration has begun.

“We were warming down while the scores updated so it was basically four guys screaming in the pool… it was quite a sight,” laughed Legarth.

Congrats to both men and women swim teams! Bo Berry Biscuits and 4 am practices make some pretty incredible athletes.

Girls Bball Senior Night

The following photos are of the Apex Girls Basketball Senior Night game vs. Green Hope.

A special congratulations to Elle Hepburn and Ansley Harris for four years of representing the Cougars on (and off) the court! Although undecided about the next four years, our girls will certainly carry the Apex legacy wherever they go.

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Cats in the Water

Both the Men and Women Cougars left it all in the pool, (blood, sweat, and possibly tears), this Saturday at the NC Southwestern Athletic Conference. For the first team since 2008, both Men and Women Apex teams were crowned champions of the conference. Congratulations to our reigning Cougars- cats can swim purrrrty quick!

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Pinning Victory

       6 feet tall. 280 pounds. 4th in the State of North Carolina in high school Wrestling. First impressions would never reveal that Jovan Jarrett began the sport he now dominates to appease his best friend’s daily harassment.
      “[My best friend] told me every single day that I should wrestle with him, so I finally came to a practice, and the next thing I knew I was on Varsity and I fell in love,” reminisces Jarrett. “We always joke about it- I really wasn’t going to do it.”
      Jarrett discovered his passion as a freshman at the home of the Imps, and now leads the Cougars’ wrestling team as a senior. Jarrett speculates that when people first meet him outside of wrestling they fondly think, “ohhh, Jovan, so bubbly and happy.” The mat is a separate universe.
Wrestling Photo Gallery
Click on the photo to view the rest of the photos from Apex Wrestling Senior night
       “The aggression is my favorite part of wrestling,”  admits Jarrett. “During practice, if my drill partner gets hurt, I’ll just grab someone else and start wrestling with them.”
       Wrestling is intense. Practices are tough, physically and mentally. Sometimes “two-a-days” consume Jovan’s time. Last year, Jarrett “didn’t wrestle a lot because [he] started off with a concussion, and then it moved to [his] ankle, and then it was [his] shoulder, and then it was [his] elbow, and then the season was over.” Listening to his tales of injury and wrestling intensity, I had trouble comprehending how he remains motivated.
       “Two people are going to walk on that mat, and only one person is going to win, so why not let it be you” rationalizes Jarrett. Evidently, wrestling success requires more than a weekly one-hour practice and a dash of pixie dust. Jarrett’s weeks are not spent like much of consumerist America: indoors, inhaling pints of mint-chocolate chip ice-cream, catching up on the latest season of The Walking Dead. “If you want to be successful in wrestling, going to practice isn’t just what it takes,” explains Jarrett.
        So what does it take? Jarrett mapped out his typical weekday for me: “I usually get up, go to the gym, maybe go running, maybe lift weights. Then I go to school. Then I go to practice where we have drills and then running. Then I have to go to work, or the nights I don’t work I go to another practice. [I] have to also watch what [I] eat, go to the gym and sprint a mile, or lift. It’s what you do off the mat and on the mat.”
       Weight is not taken lightly in wrestling. In Jarrett’s words, “You can not even be .01 pounds over your weight class at a match.” Jarrett’s Saturdays are often spent traveling the East Coast, leaving trails of pinned competitors in his wake. Consequently, Saturday night is everyone’s “cheat day”. Jarrett laughed that “[On Saturday] people are always choking down food, and Monday suddenly [they] realize [they] have to lose a bunch of weight again.”
       While we spend our evenings trying to forgive ourselves for surrendering to the last slice of triple chocolate-pie, wrestlers are desperately working to lose the last pounds before match day. “Some people who are [a few] pounds over the day before a match have to do a bunch of running, and go to multiple practices”, admitted Jarrett. “And you CAN’T EAT. Not even water. It weighs a lot too.”
       Amazingly, he is still in love with the sport. “I want to do wrestling as long as I possibly can”, asserts Jarrett. “This year actually I decided that I want to be a coach. When I came to Apex people asked me for advice [about wrestling] and it actually benefited them. I want to be a coach because of that.”
      Jovan Jarrett: An Apex wrestling hero with the eye of the tiger, the heart of a teddy bear, and enough dedication to carry himself and his team to victories. Watch out.