GHS track team travels in search of championship

Published 5:21 pm Friday, May 2, 2014

The Greenville High School track and field team head to the State Track Championship at the Gulf Shores Sporting Complex this weekend with a double-digit count on broken records on the year.

But they also depart with full confidence that they’ll return with a little more jewelry than they left with.

Greenville High School head track coach Ron Dickerson said that last week’s performance at sectionals, held in Mobile at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, was the most telling sign of all that his team was ready to compete at the state level.

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A second-place finish (resulting in another school record), two third-place finishes, a sixth-place finish and an eighth-place finish round out the GHS state qualifiers.

But for Dickerson, his players’ performance off the field was equally important.

“Going into last week, we had to overcome so many obstacles, and they didn’t faze my guys at all,” Dickerson said.

“They went down there and just did a great job of representing their families, their high school and the town of Greenville, and I was so proud of them.

“People were giving them compliments on how well they handled themselves, and that’s really what it’s all about.  It’s great to have an opportunity to do something that Greenville hasn’t done in a while, and to be commended off the sporting arena is really what made me happy—that means I must be doing something right as a coach.”

Junior Parrish Patton is a relative newcomer to the scene of track and field, but the significance of this year’s efforts hasn’t been lost on him in the slightest.

As a member of the 4×4 relay team competing at the close of Saturday’s events, the stakes are higher than ever.

And though he said that preparation for the big day hasn’t changed, he’s approaching the weekend from an all-new perspective.

“I’m pretty much going to do the same thing that got me to state and to sectionals,” Patton said.

“The only thing I would change is to take in the moment that this could determine the fate of me getting into a college or not, and being grateful that God got me in this situation right here with the best track team that Greenville High has ever had.

“So I’m just soaking in the moment right now and thanking the man above.”

Ty’Kief McPherson qualified for the 100 and 200-meter dash as well as the 4×4 relay at the state level, and said that his prior relationship with Dickerson, who served as his quarterback coach with the GHS football team, made the transition even easier as Dickerson entered his first year as head coach.

“It’s actually been one of my best years that I’ve had since I’ve been running track,” McPherson said.

“I’ve put in more work, and I have a better coach. I think we can go down there and win a ring.”

DaBryant Crenshaw echoed McPherson’s sentiments, adding that Dickerson’s guidance was the spark the team needed to reach new heights.

“Of course, the coach that we have is great, and he showed me the way and he pushed me to be where I am now,” Crenshaw said.

And for him, aspirations for a championship ring this weekend aren’t such lofty goals after all.

“With the work that we put in, we deserve it, and I know that all of my guys will be ready to run,” Crenshaw added.

“So yes, I think we will leave with a  championship.”