Originally created 05/12/00

Richmond boys aim for state crown



Alvin Wright laid the groundwork for the Thomson boys track and field team a few seasons ago. Now, the Bulldogs are beginning to see some rewards from their rigorous labor.

Wright turned the team over to John Barnett before the season started, but Barnett is continuing what Wright started. Today, Barnett will take nine athletes to Jefferson to compete in the state meet. The state meet begins today and continues through Saturday.

"We've just got a good group of seniors that have benefited from things such as our weight program," Barnett said. "This is part of the new attitude around here. Alvin deserves most of the credit.

"Then I've got a guy here who's a volunteer coach named Willie Williams who ran track in college, and he knows most of the fundamental things that I don't know. Without those two guys (Wright and Williams), we wouldn't be where we're at."

The Bulldogs, who won the Region 3-AAA boys title, will be just one of the many local schools in the area with a chance to challenge for state titles. Richmond Academy will take 10 athletes with a chance to challenge for the state title.

"It's taken time," said Richmond Academy coach Eric Luke of his team's progress. "These kids have worked extremely hard and done everything I've asked them to do. You know Burke County has dominated for so long. But these kids have just jelled together."

Thomson has eight athletes competing in nine events, and Barnett believes his team has a chance to challenge.

"I was surprised we won the region meet by as many points as we did," Barnett said. "You take guys like D'Angelo Daniels, they've improved a lot during the year. We've got a chance to place in the fielding events, then I think we have a chance to do real well in our running events."

In Class A, Washington-Wilkes will take 14 athletes to the state meet while Swainsboro will take nine athletes and compete in Class AA. Screven County will take eight athletes and compete in Class AA while Josey (Class AAA) and Lincoln County (Class A) will send five athletes each to state.

"We've got a chance to score in every event we're going to and a chance to win six or seven events," said Washington-Wilkes coach Brady Sigler. "The kids are young and this is going to be a very good experience for us. I think these kids are battle-tested."

Defending Class AAA boys champion Burke County will send only two athletes this year -- Thomas Wright in the discus and the shot put and Cedric Bonner in the 110-meter hurdles.

Butler's 400-meter relay team of Kelvin Brown, Willie Greene, Carlos Rogers and Isaac West is expected to challenge for the state title in the 400-meter relay in Class AAAA.

Local participants

Local participants in the boys state track and field meet in Jefferson:

Burke County -- Cedric Bonner (110-meter hurdles); Thomas Wright (Discus, shot put).

Butler -- Kelvin Brown (400-meter relay, long jump); Allen Davis (400-meter relay); Damienon Fontenot (1600 meters); Willie Greene (100 meters, 400-meter relay); Carlos Rogers (400 meters, 400-meter relay); Isaac West (triple jump, 400-meter relay).

Evans -- Roy Cheney (110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles); Mike Poloney (pole vault).

Glenn Hills -- George Kitchens (long jump).

Greenbrier -- Matt Biasiny (pole Vault); Chris Bodenner (1600 meters).

Harlem -- Keith Boyd (high jump); Altavious Dorsey (long jump).

Hephzibah -- T Spann (high jump); Gavin Willingham (100 meters, long jump).

Jefferson County -- John Davis (800 meters); Arkier Johnson (high jump).

Jenkins County -- Carlton Harris (110-meter hurdles); Ricardo Lacue (300-meter hurdles).

Josey -- Arnold Harrison (1600-meter relay); Antron Smiley (1600-meter relay, 800 meters); Jimmie Smith (1600-meter relay); Marty Walker (1600-meter relay); William White (1600-meter relay).

Lakeside -- Brian Bratton (high jump); Mike Prisant (pole vault).

Laney -- Javarius Walker (100 meters).

Lincoln County -- Joseph Hearst (200 meters, 400-meter relay); Frederick Kennedy (400 meters, 400-meter relay); Dominique Mason (400-meter relay); Navaderick Stokes (100 meters, 400-meter relay); Torri Zellars (400-meter relay).

Richmond Academy -- John Becton (400-meter relay); Charles Berry (400-meter relay); Nick Black (3200 meters); Edward Durrant (400-meter relay);

Jozell Lovett (1600-meter relay); Willie Mazyck (1600-meter relay, 300-meter hurdles, triple jump); Derrick Miller (1600-meter relay); Rakin Rashada (1600-meter relay, 400-meter relay); Daryl Reeves (110-meter hurdles, 1600-meter relay, 300-meter hurdles, 400-meter relay, long jump); Joe Sapp (1600-meter relay, 400-meter relay).

Screven County -- James Atkins (1600-meter relay); John Budget (1600-meter relay, triple jump, high jump); Will Campbell (1600-meter relay, pole vault); Lee Pinckney (shot put); Demario Prince (1600-meter relay); Troy Scott (discus); Jonathan Sello (1600-meter relay); Brandon Taylor (1600-meter relay, long jump).

Swainsboro -- Damien Coleman (triple jump); Brian Mason (400-meter relay); Maurice Mincey (400-meter relay); Andre Nix (110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, 400-meter relay, pole vault); Trai Robinson (400-meter relay); Jason Samples (triple jump, 400-meter relay, long jump); Rocky Trice (3200 meters); Colby Williams (1600 meters, 3200 meters); Deric Williams (400-meter relay).

Thomson -- Bob Brown (1600 meters, 3200 meters); Andrew Burton (discus); Reggie Collins (100 meters, 200 meters, 400-meter relay); D'Angelo Daniels (400 meters, 400-meter relay); Lonnie Hill (200 meters, 400 meters, 400-meter relay); Carlandos Huff (triple jump); Edwin Scott (high jump); John Shelley (400-meter relay); Danny Warren (400-meter relay).

Washington County -- Tyler Biggins (discus, shot put); Jermaine Cooper (discus); Demetrius Dunn (300-meter hurdles).

Washington-Wilkes -- Henra Chenault (1600-meter relay); Dehargia Cofer (high jump); Richard Cook (200 meters, 400-meter relay, shot put); Quincy Felix (110-meter hurdles, 1600-meter relay, 300-meter hurdles); Marvin Gaye (high jump); Kedric Hall (400-meter relay); Marcus Hampton (800 meters); Kenny Lane (1600-meter relay, 400-meter relay); Antonio Mahoney (100 meters, 1600-meter relay, triple jump, 400-meter relay, long jump); Antonio Mercier (discus); Darryl Porter (1600-meter relay, 300-meter hurdles); Kenderus Wiley (400-meter relay); Herman Wynn (400-meter relay); Terry Wynn (1600-meter relay, triple jump).

Reach Tim Morse at (706) 823-3216.