Ferriday track off to good start

Published 10:01pm Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ferriday — With track and field being Ferriday High School’s only spring sport, head coach Cleothis Cummings found himself with athletes eager to run and only a short amount of time to train them.

The Trojans track team features 25 athletes, but Cummings didn’t get a chance to hit the track with his players until the winter sports, and the winter weather came to an end.

“I wanted to wait until the basketball season was completely over because we have a lot of athletes on the girls’ and boys’ basketball team,” Cummings said. “The weather has been an impact for us as well because it’s been extremely cold or raining.”

When the track team finally got a chance to start their season, Cummings saw just what he expected.

“The first day of practice, they weren’t really in tune in with what to expect, but after the first day they opened up and took to the training,” he said.

The Trojans competed in their first meet last week at the Wossman High School Invitational, and Cumming said it was a promising start to the goals they are trying to reach.

“Jalen Russ had third place in the mile and second place in 800- and 3200-meter race,” Cumming said. “Melvin Jones got third place in the 400 meter, Jashon Foster was second in the 110 meter hurdles and the 4×400 meter relay team of Allen Cummings, Ronald Davis, Jaylen Mill and Dajohn Mitchell pushed for third place. It was a pretty good first successful track meet”

Cummings said the next step is getting his athletes ready for the district track meet.

“Our relay guys have been running for three years, so they are pushing for making first place in district, go to regionals and make a run for state,” he said. “It’s about being self motivated to go out there and compete. Even though we have individual races, we push for a team time.”

The track team is not the only Ferriday sport that will benefit from a successful season. There are 16 football players on the track team, and Cummings, who is also the football coach, said the conditioning would get them ready for next season.

“It’s a great double-edged sword, because you get your skill guys to come out and run track, and they think they can run, but they come out here and see they are running against horses,” Cummings said. “Davis wasn’t as fast his freshman year as he was his sophomore year, but track helped.”

The Trojans will head to Monroe, La., to compete in the Richwood High School track meet Friday.