The Hough swimming program is only its second year of existence, but already Coach Tim Queen and the Huskies have state championship expectations for the boys' and girls' teams as they enter the final month of the season.
That effort all begins this Saturday, when Hough looks to win the I-Meck championships, with Lake Norman as its top competition for both teams.
"It's not easy to have huge expectations for a team this fast," said Queen, who has six state championships to his credit, with his most recent coming with the North Meck boys' team in 2008. "But we hope to be right up there with the Providences, the Lake Normans and the North Mecks."
The Hough boys, who won the I-Meck in their inaugural year, have the biggest expectations after finishing as the 4A West Regional runner-up and fifth at the state meet.
The Huskies will look to senior Peter Brumm, a University of Michigan signee, to lead the way. He not only is a state contender in several events but has three U.S. Olympic trial qualifying times in the pool.
Brumm will have a lot of support, with Jack Manchester, Andrew Botellho and Charles Mitchell, a diver, among the biggest contributors.
Lake Norman is Hough's top rival and competition in the pool, and the Wildcats have major talent in seniors Logan Heck, a UNC Chapel Hill signee, and Reed Wheeler, an N.C. State signee, to help give the Huskies a run for their money Saturday night at the I-Meck championships.
While the boys believe they have the talent to win a 4A West Regional and state title, two-time defending state champion Providence won't be easy to unseat.
The Hough girls also have a talented squad, led by senior Payton Schrum, juniors Ali Kitchens and Katie O'Brien and sophomore Heather Merritt and are looking to claim their first league title and build on fifth-place regional and state finishes.
Lake Norman, the defending I-Meck champs will counter with a team led by seniors Heather Isetts. Morgan Holbrook and Sierra Johnson, who want to repeat at both the conference meet and beyond.
Shivaughn Wiggins, North Mecklenburg: senior point guard continues to make his case for I-Meck Player of the Year and beyond with 30 points, five assists and five steals in 67-51 win at Mooresville to take sole possession of first place earlier this week.
Matthew Godley, Cannon: senior forward has stepped up, averaging 20 points per game after point Alec Wintering left team, including 32-point outburst in recent win over Victory Christian.
Alex Scearce, Lake Norman Charter: 6-foot-4 junior forward known for his football ability is quietly keeping the Knights in Southern Piedmont Conference contention, scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds per night.
Anna Diggs, Hough: Sophomore point guard has her Husky team (9-6, 5-1) tied for second in the conference going into the weekend, with 19-point effort in win at 64-54 win at Lake Norman.
Destiny Barrino, North Mecklenburg: Sophomore (12 ppg) continues to have big season with 20 points in win over Mooresville.
Kourtney Hailey, SouthLake Christian: Eagles' shooting guard had 28 points to lead team past Covenant Day this week.
Wrestling for position
The Lake Norman and Mooresville wrestling teams continue to share the lead atop the I-Meck standings going into this weekend.
Lake Norman, also No. 3 in the state according to retrorankings.com, is 20-3 overall, 2-0 in league play, led by junior Cody Karns (27-1) and Jackson Dowless (27-4), who won their respective weight classes at the Bearcat Invitational at Rock Hill High last weekend.
Mooresville (17-6, 2-0) is also having a strong season again led by senior Zach Brown (27-1) and Matt Krider (27-2).