The Tigersharks defeated Cumberland (5-2) on Monday, June 27 to clinch their second consecutive division title under head Coach Joey Fitzgerald.
Right now I guess we're the team everyone hates," Fitzgerald said. "But, I still can't believe we're where we are now. Our only goal coming into the Red Division was not to finish last...and we won it."
Ringgold won the White Division in 2004, before moving up a division this year to compete with some of Chattanooga's most competitive swimmers.
The odds were against the Tigersharks coming out on top with Cumberland, Hamilton Club, Cleveland, Country Club and East Ridge was highly unlikely, according to senior swimmer Austin Foster.
"I was kind of worried coming into the season because I had been away at school and didn't really know who, or what, we would have coming into the new division," he said. "I just knew it was going to be really tough."
Foster, 19, just completed his first year of college at the University of Georgia. He said his team had worked hard, and had a large amount of year-round swimmers step up and contribute to the Tigersharks'' success.
In his eighth year on the team, Foster competes in the breast stroke, butterfly and relays.
"Joey just does an amazing job," he said. "It's really incredible that he can get these kids swimming on such a competitive level in such a short amount of time."
The Ringgold assistant coaches are Ashley Patrick and Andrea Clifford.
Matt Dean, 14, said the practices have been harder this year, but it's paying off. He swims the freestyle, back stroke, breast stroke and relays.
"Everyone wants to beat us," he said. "But we don't mind."
Even though their year is far from over the Tigersharks are already slated to move up one more division next year where they will compete with Dalton, Signal Mountain, Colonial Shores and Red Bank in the Blue Division in 2006.
With more than 100 swimmers this year, expectations will be high again next year.
"I have no idea what the Blue Division will be like," Fitzgerald said. "I'm hoping we'll know more about where we might be next year in the next few weeks."
The Tigersharks will meet back up with rival Fort Oglethorpe in the Georgia Park's and RecreationDistrict meet on Saturday, July 9 in Fort Oglethorpe.
The Marlins have four wins in the White Division headed into their final stretch.
Both teams are slated for the City Meet on July 15 and the state on 22