Panthers track readies for outdoor campaign

Published 9:49am Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spring sports at Elmore County consist of soccer, baseball and softball; but with the addition of Warren Brown to the staff, the Panthers are prepping for their first outdoor track season.
“I’m a track guy,” said Brown, who coached track as both an assistant and head coach at Stanhope Elmore.
“I saw how much the kids can compete and how much it helps out that athlete and prepares them for other sports. It’s beneficial to them all around.”
The Panthers got a taste of the track lifestyle during the fall as Elmore County, for the first time, competed as an indoor track team.
The group ended their season at the state meet contested at the newly constructed Crossplex in Pelham, a facility specifically designed for indoor track.
Sophomore Eddie Cooper became the first Panther to medal, finishing third to earn a bronze in the 60-Meter Dash, behind Prattville Christian’s Shane Parks (state champion) and UMS-Wright’s Tyler Beard.
“He’s coming back for the outdoor season and is going to be big for us,” said Brown.
While the first meet isn’t until March 2 at Auburn, Brown is happy with the progress his charges are making.
“We are going to be a fairly young track team,” said Brown.
“Most of them hasn’t ever ran at all.”
The Track Panthers boast a roster in the 30s, with four seniors.
“Most of the guys are football players coming out for the first time,” said Brown. “We do have enough for a junior varsity team (7th-9th grade). Right now we are majority boys. But we are trying to get some more girls to come out.”
Along with Cooper, Brown has been pleased with the work of Javon Moore and Michael Jones.
“Javon looks really good right now and he’s probably going to a 400-Meter/200-Meter guy for us, may be a high jumper and a long jumper,” said Brown. “Jones did well in the indoor season as a thrower and I expect him to do well outdoors throwing the shotput.”
Brown said the team has every category field (even javelin) but no pole vaulters.
“For the indoor season we practiced around the football field and at the elementary school,” said Brown. “There’s an outline of a track there, but it’s nowhere near what we need it to be. We’ve been jumping in the in the sand pits at the elementary school, just marking things off as we go. I’ve got a couple of hurdles that we use. The biggest problem is that there is no track of any kind in Elmore County.”
To remedy this problem, Brown and the Panthers bus to Montgomery one day a week to use the tracks at Sidney Lanier High and Carver High.
“That’s what I had to do last year with Stanhope Elmore,” said Brown. “It’s sad that we have to get on a bus and travel over 30 miles just to practice. But it’s worth it.”
The first meet in Auburn will pit the Panthers against a host of 6A schools.
“That’s what we need to see,” said Brown.
Two weeks later (March 16) the Panthers will travel to Beauregard for a meet that will feature more sectional opponents.
“I’m going to try to build this team and see where it can go,” said Brown.

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