1st state title in sight, Memorial track & field ready to bring community onboard

Published 12:07 am Thursday, February 6, 2020

Coach Darrell Granger believes prospects are good this year for the Memorial boys track team to take home its first state championship trophy.

Now if only the weather will allow them to get back outdoors to practice, instead of running in the halls of the school.

The Titans will host the first Port Arthur track meet in 20 years on March 20 thanks a newly resurfaced track on campus that Granger says is nice and fast.

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“We’re really excited about hosting a track meet here because Port Arthur citizens love track,” Granger said. “Track is just as big as anything else around here. People like to come to support track, even way back when I ran when I was at Lincoln High School in the late ’80s, so that’s something that this community still enjoys.”

This year’s boys are senior-led.

Ireon Brown returns after taking a year off due to a torn ACL. Brown was an All-American as a freshman and was second in state in the 200 meters his sophomore year.

“He’s been working hard to recover and gain his speed back and he’s been doing a great job in the off-season to get prepare for this track season,” Granger said.

Several Titans football players are obliged to run track as well, which helps bring out competition among the runners, Granger said, especially if they know the football coaches are watching.

“It helps our competitive edge as a track program because you get a lot of numbers out and kids working hard,” he said. “That’s all you want to do is keep kids working and doing something that’s going to be productive.”

Tre’Vonte Caines is returning this year as well. Caines threw the shot put 51 to 52 feet last year and is already reaching those numbers this year.

“There’s no doubt in my mind this group will have the chance to bring Memorial home the first state title in track, because we’ve been runners-up twice in 2015 and 2017,” Granger said. “So this group right here will have the best shot, because I feel this group will have multiple events.”

Girls squad

Shot put thrower Maya Flax will also return to a younger girls team and will help keep the girls team rounded out, something coach Sandra Bradford said was one of her goals.

“This year we’re working a little harder in the area of field events,” Bradford said. “We want to somehow make sure that we can get field events kids back on track.

“I would just like to get a more well rounded program, and not just focus on one area. That’s my goal this year is to strengthen the entire program.”