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(L-r) 1975 Hornet Swim Team members Robert C. Johnson, Kenneth Erving and John Whye, along with DSU President Harry L. Williams hold aloft their vintage DSC swimmer blanket and jacket.

  1975 Del State Swim Team Reunites


 

 

A splash from the past happened at DSU during Homecoming Week.
 
Quite literally.
 
Three members of the 1975 DSC Swim Team – Kenneth Erving, Robert C. Johnson and John Whye – reunited for a Oct. 11 tribute event in the DSU Wellness and Recreation Center.
 
The three alumni were members of the institution’s short-lived intercollegiate swim team (1972-1975) that competed against other swim teams in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference such as Howard, Hampton, North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State, as well as non-conference teams such as Bowie State, North Carolina Central and York College.

DSU President Harry L. Williams talks with former Hornet swimmer Robert C. Johnson during the Oct. 11 tribute reception.

 
Robert C. Johnson, a 1975 accounting and business administration graduate, said Delaware State College embraced the swim team.
 
“Every swim meet we had, it was packed,” said Mr. Johnson, who competed in the 200 (-yard) butterfly and the 200 individual medley as well as on the relay teams. “There was always a lot of energy in those swim meets.”
 
Kenneth Erving, who competed for Del State in the 200 back stroke and the 1,000 freestyle, DSC’s scheduling of multiple sports events in Memorial Hall help generate the students’ support for the swim team.
 
“Wrestling and swimming meets always often took place at the same time in Memorial Hall, so the crowd when back and forth to both sporting events,” Mr. Erving said, who graduated in 1975 with a degree in recreation.
 
John Whye, who earned a degree in health and physical education in 1976, says he has warm memories of Pop Watson, a physical education instruction during the 1970s who was in charge of the pool that was in the former Memorial Hall section that has since been demolished. “He gave me a job as a lifeguard,” he said.
 
Mr. Johnson recalls that while DSC did not win any championships from their water sport efforts, the Hornet swimmers were always competitive. "We did okay, but the other schools had more established teams, he said.