From homeschool to the public pool

Montana Heffernan swims butterfly to prepare for the upcoming swim season.

Josie Koubek

Montana Heffernan swims butterfly to prepare for the upcoming swim season.

Juniors Luke Entz and Montana Heffernan are competitive swimmers who decided to take on the struggles of public school, so they could join the North Platte High School swim team. Both boys have a dream of swimming in college. Swimming for NPHS might be the way to make their dreams come true.
NPHS rules state that homeschoolers can participate in activities if they are at least partially enrolled in two or more classes. Entz is partially enrolled. This is his first year in public school. “It’s easier to transition into public school, instead of going all at once,” said Entz.
“I wanted to get back in the public school system, mainly to be on the high school swim team,” said Heffernan. He attended his freshman year, but last year he took online classes through the University Nebraska-Lincoln. This year, Heffernan enrolled in full time. “I like the aspect of being around people and getting to learn around other people because it helps me, ” he said. “It’s better than just sitting at a computer and doing classes by yourself.”

Not only has enrolling in classes at the high school been beneficial for both of the swimmers, Heffernan and Entz said there are many perks that come from being on the swim team. “You can get recruited easier to the next level if you swim with the high school,” said Heffernan. He is also excited for the many competitions he can participate in now. “I can compete at high school State instead of just club. I’ve never gotten to do that before,” said Entz.

Heffernan said he likes the team mentality at the high school. “It’s more of a team sport than Midwestern Swimming is, because you travel with your team and you compete with your team. Then all the points are added up and scored as a team,” said Heffernan. Entz is also excited to be part of the team this year. “We are going to have a good relay,” said Entz.
Both boys are passionate about the sport. “Swim is life. I’ll just say that,” said Entz. Heffernan said he has been swimming since before he could talk and his dad encouraged him to love the sport.“I have loved it ever since, because even though a lot of things have changed, the pool is still the one place that hasn’t changed. It’s where I can do the thing that my dad taught me how to love,” said Heffernan.