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Southland track looks back on a season denied

(Editor’s Note: This is a part of a series of stories regarding the ending of the 2020 UIL spring sports season.)

By Joshua Bray

Slatonite Intern

Southland High School athletics were in good shape all year. The football team made it to playoffs, the boys’ basketball team had a win in their first District game and the girls’ basketball team had improved their win rate compared to the past few years.

Southland track was next in line to show out for the school, until the COVID-19 pandemic forced UIL to suspend all sports, denying the Southland track team of the opportunity to represent their school the same way as the other teams had.

Dusty Grantham, athletic director and track coach for Southland, said he believed the track team was at a good place for the season and that the cancellation is tough. 

“You want to be able to keep working out and continue the process, but this severely limits you in terms of workouts and relationships,” Grantham said. “It also limits the kids because most don’t have the proper weight equipment to be able to do same differentiation in workouts.”

Grantham said that the cancellation cut deep for the boys and girls track team since they were looking forward to a return trip to Regional, and some of the athletes had an opportunity to get to Regional for their first time.

Grantham said he had a hard time choosing just one senior from the boys’ team who showed growth.

“I think there are several (seniors) who have made great strides over the year,” Grantham said. “I would say Andrew Quintana came a long way in all sports. From not doing basketball and track the last few years, to seeing him become a main player in each was very fun to watch.”

For the girl’s team, Grantham said Kalli Davis excelled, and not just on the track field.

“She became a much better basketball player and was setting personal records in track. I take no credit for either, (Quintana and Davis are) just great kids who work really hard,” Grantham said.  “I think both the boys and girls as a whole bought in to what we want to do as a program,” Grantham said. “They all had great attitudes most of the time. We have some really good kids, so it was great to see them excited and enjoying the program.”

Grantham said that the goals were to improve overall and believes they did, and not just in track. Even with those success’s, Grantham said the most important thing for him, and the rest of the Southland coaching staff, is the opportunity to be able to coach their athletes.

“Even though it was cut short, we had a great year in Southland. We have some great kids who want to work hard and be good in what they are doing. We also have some great coaches who just really enjoy pouring into kids,” Grantham said. “We as a staff are excited for all of this to be over and get back to coaching our kids.”

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