East senior Sean Morin laughs as he swims laps with a kick board while practicing Tuesday at the Victoria Aquatics Center. As well as being on the swim team, Morin, who transferred from a school in Georgia before the school year, is also the Titans' mascot.
Originally published on Saturday, February 4, 2012
District 24-4A Swimming & Diving Meet
When: SaturdayWhere: Lamar Consolidated ISD Natatorium, RosenbergTimes: 9:30 a.m., diving; 1 p.m., swimming.Teams: Victoria East, Victoria West, El Campo, Bay City, Wharton, Stafford, Lamar Consolidated, Rosenberg Terry, Richmond Foster, Richmond George Ranch
Sean Morin may be one of the most well-known, but least-recognized students at Victoria East.
Morin wasted no time getting to know his classmates after moving to Victoria from Georgia before his senior year.
He joined a swimming team upon his arrival and soon found himself immersed in extracurricular activities.
"There really wasn't that big of an adjustment," Morin said. "I swam with these guys during the summer so I basically knew all these guys. I've gotten real comfortable with these guys. It's just meeting new people and having fun and that's what it's all about."
Morin made his presence known by becoming one of the Titans' top swimmers and one of their best hopes for earning a medal at the District 24-4A meet Saturday at the Lamar Consolidated ISD in Rosenberg.
"I think he jumped right into it," said East coach Kyle Hudson. "I don't think he missed a beat. He gets along with everyone and he fits right in."
Swimming is not the most high-profile sport and Morin wears goggles, which somewhat explains his anonymity.
But for the thousands of Titans fans who have seen Morin and don't know who he is, the reason is a suit other than the one he wears in the pool.
Morin is the school mascot, a position he assumed after attending East's season-opening football game at Harlingen South.
"My first week they started the pep rallies and I got into the pep rallies," Morin said. "I was like I want to go to the first game.
"The first game was in Harlingen and I was like, 'Dad, I really want to go.' We took the long drive over there, and we were in the stands, and the crowd was doing nothing so I was in the stands pumping up the crowd.
"One of my teachers, Mr. (Jesse) Rayos, asked me to be the mascot and I was like, 'Why not.'"
Morin enjoys interacting with the crowd, even if he's had to put his mascot, duties on hold during the swimming season.
"It's a really, really big adrenaline rush," he said. "It's just acting yourself. People don't know who you are under a mask so basically you're unknown."
Morin had an unexpected break from swimming recently when a viral infection forced him to miss a week of practice.
"I've just been trying to push myself as hard as I can." he said. "I'm trying to get myself back into it. I'm determined to do my best at district."
Morin has rebounded enough to compete in the 200-yard freestyle, 100 butterfly and two relay events at the district meet.
"He already had his stroke when he got here," Hudson said. "Really the area where he has improved is his endurance. Most of the stroke technique he came here with."
Morin enjoys pumping up the crowd at sporting events, but gets a bigger thrill competing at swim meets.
"I probably have to be more nervous at a swim meet," he said. "Whenever I get in the blocks, I'm just focusing on my race, and, sometimes, it gets in my mind and really gets nerve racking."
NOTES: The top eight finishers in each event at the district meet score and the top six finishers qualify for the Region VI meet.
The regional meet is scheduled for Feb. 10-11 at the Conroe ISD Natatorium.