Out of school and into the pool: Brookwood to swim at Clemmons West in Tuesday meet

Published 9:47 pm Monday, June 10, 2024

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By Jay Spivey

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — It’s hot outside, so that means it’s time for a jump in the pool. 

But for some, jumping in the pool means more than it does for others. That will be the case on Tuesday when two pools in Clemmons face each other in a swim meet — Brookwood swims at Clemmons West for boys and girls ages 5-18 — which is a meet that is part of the Greater Forsyth Swim League. 

It’s big for Doug Johnsen, who is the self-described “cheerleader” for Clemmons West. He said he does odd jobs around the pool, is a fundraiser, and is a swim dad because his daughter, Lilly Johnsen, who is now at Appalachian State, is a three-year assistant coach at Clemmons West and swam there as a child for 11 years. 

“It’s huge because everybody, both of these pools went to Clemmons Elementary. All the teachers live right here,” Doug Johnsen said. “And like, since the league has gotten so big, we don’t get to swim them every year because they rotate like if they put some bigger, smaller, whatever. So, like now, we get it whenever we get to swim Brookwood it’s like a big thing simply because everybody knows each other, all the teachers know each other, all the parents know each other. 

“And it’s really like the only two pools like in Clemmons, Clemmons that people all know each other.” 

According to Google Maps, the two pools are just 1.2 miles apart. 

“It’s kind of like all the kids joke around, all the parents congregate more,” Doug Johnsen said. “It’s more of almost a social event. Everybody says hey, and all the grandparents know each otherSo we go beyond the call of duty when we swim Brookwood. 

“I mean we just do it up right at Clemmons West because the pool looks immaculate, everything’s cleaned up. It’s like our Super Bowl of swim meets.” 

It’s very early in the season, but that doesn’t take away from the importance of the meet. 

“Ideally, we’re all in this just for the summer kids to have fun,” Doug Johnsen said. “There’s very few Alex Vallieres (former swimmer at West Forsyth and is now swimming at William & Mary, plus he’s a swim coach at Clemmons West), the real stud swimmers that swim at West. It’s really more fun and more recreational, but, you know, when you get our age, it’s like, ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’ It’s a great thing.”