WAYNESVILLE — Tuscola Mountaineer Rachel Swaim will continue her soccer career at the collegiate level, playing for Greensboro College.
Swaim was awarded the Presidential Scholarship ($109,400) and will participate in the Honors Program while attending Greensboro College. She also has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Captain John G. Gardner, USMC, Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
Swaim is the granddaughter of Jessie Mae Swaim and the late Hugh Swaim, niece of Beth Swaim Crouse and the daughter of Davis H. Swaim Jr., who is a Starmount graduate.
In the last six years, Swaim had been a member of two conference championship teams, in different sports: soccer (five years) and swimming (three years). In 2011 and 2012, she was the keeper for Waynesville Middle School, who was the Blue Ridge Conference (BRC) back-to-back champions. In 2014, the Tuscola Mountaineers were the Western North Carolina Athletic Conference (WNCAC) co-champions with the Franklin Panthers. In 2015 and 2016, the Mountaineers won the WNCAC Conference Championship.
As a senior, Swaim was named All Conference and set two records in Tuscola’s books: Most Saves in a Season (204) and Most Career Saves (256). Additionally, Swaim had the opportunity to play with her sisters, sophomore Natalie Swaim (defender/keeper) and freshman Sarah Swaim (striker/keeper), who were dual rostered as JV/varsity. The Swaims, all of whom played goalkeeper for Tuscola this season, combined for a total of 20 shutouts, 339 saves and had 32 goals against them (31 varsity and one JV).
Rachel passed the torch of being Tuscola’s varsity goalkeeper to her sister Sarah in the final three minutes of the second playoff game against Asheville High Cougars (0-4 loss). In addition to playing for the Mountaineers, Rachel has played for the Carolina Mountains Soccer Club (CMSC) and for the Highland Futbol Club (HFC).
“Rachel has been outstanding in goal for us. She has really come into her own as a goalie, especially after injuring her knee her freshman year. She has a real command of her area, which gives us the confidence and belief that we can take chances higher up the field and know that she will be able to cover for us,” said Tuscola Soccer Coach Erik Melville. “Rachel now owns the career and single season records for saves, which shows how dependable she has been. Greensboro College is getting someone who will be a real asset to their program.”
In addition to being a member of the WNCAC Champion team for soccer, Rachel Swaim was also on Tuscola’s Womens Swim team, who were WNCAC Champions in 2013, 2014 and 2016. She qualified for Regionals in 2015 as a member of the 400 freestyle relay team. In 2016, Swaim returned to Regional as a member of the 400 freestyle relay team, but this time with her sisters, Natalie and Sarah, also as members of the 400 freestyle relay team.
”It has been a pleasure coaching Rachel for the four years she has been on the swim team at Tuscola High School. She has always been willing to ‘go the extra mile’ for her team, stepping up and doing whatever is asked of her,” said Tuscola Swim Coach Robin Batchelor.
“Rachel’s sophomore year was spent healing from a serious knee injury, but she did what she could and eventually was able to compete and help the team win the Conference Championship that year. She also won the Coaches’ Award her junior year for her versatility and willingness to go outside her comfort zone. Rachel is a great teammate and will be a true asset to the soccer program at Greensboro.”