Head coach: Frank Boothe (11th year)
1997 conference finish: 2nd.
Returning letter winners: Seniors: Leslie Goldstein, Emily Blackall; Juniors: Anika Johnson, Elizabeth Ruggle, Lindsey Smith, Niki Mathias; Sophomores: Deanne Banfield, Amanda Dahl, Kate Goldstein, Erica Hettensee.
Promising newcomers: Anne Leinart, Lyndsey Mathias, Amy Roller, Katie Schaumburg, Melissa VanErt.
Outlook: The Moline Maroons are looking to improve from last season's runner-up spot in the Western Big Six with a good combination of returning letter winners and a solid group of incoming freshman.
Despite the loss of All-American Megan Parise and 4-time state qualifier Kelly Weime to graduation, head coach Frank Boothe believes his squad can still be real competitive with this year's mixture of talent.
Boothe says: ``We graduated two outstanding swimmers who will be hard to replace. On the other hand, the incoming freshman class looks great. The team is working hard and we are looking forward to getting started.''
Head Coach: David Busch (20th year)
1997 conference finish: 5th
Returning letter winners: Seniors: Kristi Lingner, Amber Shappard, Sara Lintz; Juniors: Krista Colberg, Taryn Hanson; Sophomores: Diana Betsworth, Amber Williams (so).
Promising newcomers: Senior: Tiffany Beasley. Juniors: Rachel Burns, Heather Enes, Lacy Grafton, Lynn Scott, Jill Sims. Sophomores: Jessie Burns, Rachel Chilla, Jackie Phipps, Michelle Reamy, Roseanne Ward. Freshman: Jennifer Baldridge, Jessa Claeys, Rachel Jacobs, Yolanda Raya.
Outlook: The Panthers will have to get experienced real quick if they plan to compete for this season's Western Big 6 girls swimming title. Head coach David Busch, in his 20th season, enters this season without seven letterman from last year's squad that finished fifth in the conference and the sectional meet.
Busch says: ``Our most versatile swimmer will be Diana Betsworth, and we will be strong in the events that I put her in. She had a great summer of swimming and is hoping to challenge for a spot in the state meet.
``We are very inexperienced as far as having kids who have placed in the upper tier at our major meets. Our kids are working hard and hopefully we can make good progression at every meet.''
Rock Island Rocks
Head coach: Alan Dassow (4th year)
1997 conference finish: 3rd
Returning letter winners: Seniors: Rena Kelinson, Emily Scott. Juniors: Sarah Berg, Amanda Myers, Kellie Vogt and Whitney O'Donnell. Sophomores: Maura Miles and Nicole Jackson.
Promising newcomers: Sophomores: Krtistin Green and Tara Frank.
Outlook: Although numbers are low on the Rock Island squad, Dassow is optimistic that his returning eight can competitvely compete.
The problem for the Rocks is finding young talent to fill the void left by seven graduates.
Dassow says: ``Our feeder program is only producing one or two freshman each year. The strong programs right now, like Galesburg, are getting seven or eight freshman each year, that makes it tough.
``They need to perform as a team and each hold their own place on the team. I told them that every tenth of second is going to count and the varsity swimmers are going to have to place high in every meet.''