Local Swimmers Look to Make a Difference - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Local Swimmers Look to Make a Difference

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Tuesday night at George A. Myles Pool in Elkins, Zach Abbott and Tyler Kenney were opponents. Abbott was swimming for Bridgeport High School while Kenney competed for Elkins High School.

The two may soon be fighting for the same side. Both Abbott and Kenney hope to enroll in the Naval Academy next year.

"I have a couple of family members in the armed services," said Kenney, a senior. "My granddad was in the Army, and my cousin is currently serving in the Navy on an aircraft carrier. So I've just heard from various people how it can change their life."

Kenney has received nominations from Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and Senator Joe Manchin for the Naval Academy. Nominations are a prerequisite for acceptance into the armed forces academies.

Abbott, who has nominations for the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy, believes that serving would help build his character.

"Every guy that comes out of there is a genuine, great guy," said Abbott, also a senior. "There's no real knuckle-brains that get to go to the academy. That's what I'm looking forward to."

Joelle Kenney, Tyler's mother and the Elkins swim coach, says that, more than anything, she was proud of Tyler when he came to her with the idea of entering the Naval Academy.

"He's a well-rounded kid," Joelle said. "Even if I wasn't his coach, I would say the same thing. Or if I wasn't his mom, I would say the same thing, also."

Kenney and Abbott will hear back about whether or not the Naval Academy has accepted their application by April 15 at the latest.