By Joshua Bray
The spread of COVID-19 around the country led UIL to suspend all contests, practices, rehearsals and workouts until May 4, according to a post by the University Interscholastic League. It was amended later to follow the same delays as school reopening.
Along with the rest of Slaton High School’s sports teams, the track team has been put on hiatus.
Coach Jacob Dangerfield said he was excited about the season and was excited about where it was headed.
Dangerfield said that despite having a very tough road ahead of them against outstanding competition, the team’s times were all improving at a pace Dangerfield liked, something that made him excited about the season and its future.
Those affected by the hiatus includes the team’s seniors, whose last opportunities to run while representing SHS has been put in jeopardy during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Dangerfield said the boy’s track team has two seniors this year, Kevondrick Gober and Quevon McDaniel, both of whom he said have been helping guide their underclassmen.
“My two generals, (also known as) seniors, Kevondrick Gober and Quevon McDaniel, have been extremely influential in the training process,” Dangerfield said.
“Although they wouldn’t believe it, their leadership helps guide our underclassmen more that they will ever know.”
Mental toughness is something Dangerfield feels the Slaton track team has made big strides in, which he said had been their main focus this season.
“I have been so proud of all of the athletes especially my two seniors, Kevondrick Gober and Quevon McDaniel, but Zephron Ortiz, Demarcus Trotty, Jacorein Doss, Damion Tagle and Christopher Rader have all been taking big steps in increasing their mental toughness,” Dangerfield said. “I feel our mental toughness has been improving each day. We really focus and remind our athletes to get better every single day.”
Dangerfield said that the team’s goals for this season included being District, Regional and State champions by the end of the season. While many of their goals center around what happens on the track and field, Dangerfield said that they also focus on their players lives off the field.
“Our main focus again was preparing these athletes for life after High School,” Dangerfield said.
A sentiment shared by other coaches during the hiatus, Dangerfield said he looks forward to reuniting with his students once the hiatus ends.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the athletes and kids as a whole,” Dangerfield said. “This unprecedented event has really shown us something coaches and other leaders have been saying forever; tomorrow is never guaranteed, so give it all you have today.”
“These athletes have been learning that even during the tough workouts and tough times it is still important to do everything they can do to get better. I trust they continue do this because tough times will always come and go through their whole lives. It will help them learn and grow into what kind of men they will want to be for the rest of their lives.”