Tassin signing

Cleburne’s Zach Tassin signed with McMurry University swimming on Thursday. Seated, from left, are father Perry Tassin and Zach Tassin. Standing, from left, are mother Marianna Tassin, Coach Jim Abt and Cleburne Assistant Coach Jennifer Lance.

A.J. Crisp

The Cleburne swim program had one of its first athletes sign in a couple years to continue their careers at the collegiate level when Zach Tassin signed with McMurry University.

Tassin has been an integral part of the Yellow Jackets’ success the past four seasons. But swimming in college isn’t something that came up until recently, Tassin said.

“It’s just something that kind of came up recently,” he said. “I really like swimming. I just wanted to try it in college. I’m excited for a change of scenery with new teammates and coaches. I’m really excited.”

Former Cleburne High School Swim Coach Jim Abt has coached Tassin for five years and said he’s proud for him to continue his career.

“Zach’s one of the greatest finishers I’ve seen,” Abt said. “There’s something to be said for people who finish what they start and he is a true finisher. He’s consistent and more driven than most of the athletes I’ve come across. He’s going to do well in college. He’s going to be an asset to McMurry. I’m sad to see him go but glad for the experiences he’s going to have.

“We had him on the USA team. He was excited about going to high school and swimming in high school. He’s a tireless worker. He’s a great kid and motivated. It’s his attitude of never say die and keep going at it no matter what gets in your way. He’s an overcomer.”

Cleburne Asssistant Coach Jennifer Lance said his leadership ability will be missed next year.

“He is a true team leader,” Lance said. “He’s the one who came in and helped lead practices for the swimmers. They would listen to him and respect him.”

Tassin, who’s been swimming for about eight years, said he’s looking forward to the travel that awaits as a member of the McMurry swim team.

“I’m mostly looking forward to all of the traveling because they go all over the place for conference meets,” he said. “One of the memories that stands out with Cleburne swim is the food practices we had. ... It was kind of gross but it’s memorable because it was fun. Those were fun memories.”

Abt said he’s looking forward to seeing what Tassin can accomplish in college under Coach Bev Ball.

“It’s going to be entertaining,” he said. “He’s got a coach I used to coach with. She’s about 90 years old and she’s still a great coach. I think he’s going to do well with her. It will depend on him and how far he wants to go.”

Having Abt help train and coach has been instrumental in Tassin’s success, the swimmer said.

“He’s helped me be goal oriented. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with swimming,” Tassin said. “He would give me tips and help send me in the right direction.”

Tassin said he plans to major in business, marketing and finance.

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