The Bryan County Redskins and Richmond Hill Wildcas were in action March 3 in a BCHS home meet versus South Effingham, and Portal.
The Wildcats finished near the top also, and I’ll have a story about them in Saturday’s paper.
The Redskins finished in third place in both boys and girls competition, which also saw some strong individual achievement.
"It was a pretty solid effort for the first meet," Coach Blake Nesmith said. "There’s definitely room for improvement, but I saw a lot of good things out there."
Senior Mitzi Cross won both the 100 and 200 Meter Dashes while newcomer Kim Williams finished second in the high jump in her first competition. The Girls 400 meter relay team also posted a second place finish.
On the boys’ side, defending region champion Taylor Lucas picked up where he left off last year by winning the shot put competition, with teammate Justin Bostick hot on his heals and finishing second. Willie Deloach won the long jump, and Winston Johnson won the 300 Meter Hurdles. Johnson also finished second in the triple jump. Jarell Paulk was second in the Discus throw.
Undoubtedly the biggest loss to the program this year is the absence of senior DJ McElroy who is out due to a knee injury.
McElroy was highly decorated last year for track and came close to winning multiple state titles. Coach Nesmith has brought McElroy on board, however, and he is currently working as an assistant coach.
"I’m calling him Coach McElroy," Nesmith said. "He’s a big help to me. In some ways, he’s more effective than even I am because he knows the sport so well from an athlete’s perspective. You can’t have the success he has had without knowing the ins and outs of this sport. He has a great demeanor too and the kids really respect his advice."
"There’s no two ways about it, losing DJ from the team is a huge blow to this program; he anchored so many competitions," Nesmith continued. "We’re trying not to dwell on it though. We do have some quality athletes back this year – I just wish we had a bunch more of them."
Nesmith said there is a lack of depth in the program because of the limited number of competitors.
"We’re a bit down in the running events, bit we’re a lot better in the field events," Nesmith said. "Taylor Lucas is the current school record holder for shot put and he’s looking real strong. I expect him to repeat as region champion. Close behind him in that event is Justin Bostick. If Justin works on his technique, he could compete with Taylor."
For the first time, the coaching duties are split to where there are both a boys and a girls coach. For the girls, Nesmith assists head coach Major Charles Davis. Nesmith doted on Mitzi Cross whom he said is "unbelievable in sprints."
The Redskins had another meet Tuesday and will be back in action tomorrow at home. Look for results in an upcoming issue.