Palmetto Bay resident David Booher clearly has a winning approach to youth athletics and as coach of the boys swimming program at Miami Palmetto High School that has paid off in a big way.
For the second straight year the boys swim team of garnered first place in the Class 3A State Championship. Held on Nov. 13 at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando, the meet brought teams together from all over Florida.
“The funny thing was that we also won the championship last year on the 13th, on an earlier day of the week,” Coach Booher said. “I told the boys that was kind of ironic. I’m just overjoyed and ecstatic. I’m very proud of the boys winning again this time.
“We lost so many good swimmers last year to graduation, and they’re all in college now, so for our team to be able to come back and win it the year after is amazing. All the boys swam really strong throughout the year, and when it came time for district, regional and state, and they really ended up doing well in their relays. One of our boys had the fastest time ever posted.”
There were more than 40 students — boys and girls — who participated during the year, and 11 boys and seven girls that were in the state meet.
“The state level is the highest they go, but they publish their times in the national magazines and there’s a ‘mythical’ national champion chosen based on the best times of each team, but it’s all done on paper — they don’t have a real swim-off or anything,” Booher said. “One of our boys was acknowledged at the national level last year. We’ll have to see how we do this time.”
Booher is just in his fourth year coaching at Miami Palmetto, so state championships two years in a row seems all the more impressive. He had previously been at Coral Reef High. He had a special reason for moving to Palmetto and to be extra proud.
“It’s my alma mater, so I really wanted to come over and coach here,” Booher said. “The championships are not only a first for our school, I think it’s the first time any Miami team has done it since 1967. And we’ve had to do it practicing in borrowed pools. Some of the other teams around the state have their own pools on campus.”
Booher said that he thinks they have a good start on a great team for next year as well.