North Bay Haven swimmer lands scholarship despite truncated season

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Thursday was a big day in the life of North Bay Haven senior student athlete Reagan Swindler.

Swinder signed a swimming scholarship with Birmingham Southern.

Reagan's senior season cut in half by Hurricane Michael, and though many swimmers from other schools were able to compete in districts and beyond, she did not get that opportunity when her school made the tough decision to end all fall sports in the wake of the storm.

That didn't keep the coach at Southern from changing his mind about an offer he'd already made to the Lady Buccaneer!

"Well most of it had already been done before this year," Swindler said shortly after signing. "What I found out when I talked to other coaches was they were more interested in club teams than high school team results. Since our club team (Panama City Swim Team) went through the hurricane and we still swam in meets, I was all set with that."

Birmingham Southern put her mind at ease right away.

"They were absolutely so supportive," Swindler continued. "Coach Toby [Wilcox] called me the day after the hurricane and asked if I was alright. I was able to get in contact with him, we were both able to talk for a little while, and he said 'anything you need just call me.'"

Reagan's journey to college started before North Bay Haven. On the day she prepares to start a new chapter in college, she reflected on the influence of Panama City Swim Team and coach Brian Haddad.

"Brian has been amazing. He's been my coach for the better part of a decade. He's had me for every group of swam in. He's just been amazing, he's been there for support during swim practice. He's really funny, always keeps a smile while our bodies are in pain," Swindler laughed. "I'm just so grateful to have had him and the entire Panama City Swim Team."

North Bay Haven senior Sam Rix also plans to sign a swimming scholarship, waiting until May to sign with Monticello.