We’re still a few weeks away from the spring sports season kicking off, but Lynn Camp track and field coaches Allen Harris and Lauren McMillan are eager to find out what their teams are going to look like when that time comes.
In their second year of coaching track at LCHS, Harris and McMillan are hoping to see an overall increase in participation this spring. Harris also serves as the school’s head football coach, and McMillan heads up the Lady Cats volleyball program, so they know firsthand about the athletic talent roaming the hallways of the high school each day.
“We are trying to raise interest this year,” Harris said. “We are planning on going to more meets, and we have even done some work on our own track. It is lined and numbered now, so we are able to get a better feel when we’re practicing of where the kids need to be. Last season the administration also invested in some starter blocks for us, as well as some other equipment. I feel like that helped make us better last year, so hopefully that will carry over into this year.”
“I expect to have a decent team on the boys’ side,” Harris continued. “We’re going to have some athletes (including Jacob Helton, Sr and Jackson Burnette, Jr) throwing shot put that I think will stand out, and then we will have some of our skill players from the football team (including Dalton Cook, So) in the relays. Jesus Torres (Sr), who was our field goal kicker, is going to be one of our distance runners. We’ll also have Tanner Boggs (Jr) at the long jump and the high jump. Overall, I look for the boys team to be pretty competitive.”
The addition of Tanner Boggs to this year’s Wildcat track and field team should definitely help to generate some excitement around the program. Boggs has already made a name for himself as an accomplished jumper, qualifying for the Class A state championship meet last season as a member of the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets.
Continued facility upgrades should also be a big help. Harris commented that the school board is currently planning to invest in the construction of jumping pits, as well as throwing areas for shot put and discus. “I think we’re still a few years away from hosting a meet,” he said. “But that is my goal as coach. If we can go out and make a name for ourselves this year, then maybe we’ll begin to see a lot of these things become available to us.”
As for the girls’ team, coach McMillan said, “Obviously, numbers are going to be a big thing at a small school. We’re just really trying to push to get our numbers up. I’d love to have a strong relay team if we can reel in some more girls.”
However many athletes she ends up with on her roster this season, McMillan said that she hopes they will all stick with it. “I would like to have a group that is going to stay with each other,” she explained. “Even if they’re not the strongest team this year, by the time they’re juniors and seniors they may become very strong in relays, or in individual races.”
At this time, McMillan is not sure about whether she will be coaching any throwers or jumpers in 2017, but she is remaining hopeful about what the future could hold for the track and field program at Lynn Camp. “Hopefully things will continue to get better,” she said. “The more kids that we have participating in events, the higher the score for our school will be, obviously. That’s really our biggest thing. We just want to see more kids competing in more events.”
The 2017 track and field season will get underway next month. For more track previews, as well as previews of other spring sports seasons, be sure to check out future print editions of the News Journal.