Hostile weather is doing its best to dampen the spirits of spring athletes, but Enterprise High School track and field coach, Dan Moody, is doing his best to raise some sunshine among his troops.
The coach said no meets are canceled as of yet, but a couple of girls who planned to attend a meet in Bend had to cancel their appearance.
“We’re not going to go,” he said. “They’re not ready because we’re so far behind because of the snow. The south, southwest side of the track is a mudhole,” he said.
Moody said he has 42 or 43 track hopefuls, which he said was down 10 or 12 from last year. Still, the coach was pleased with the numbers. Wallowa High School sent six members to the team.
The squad houses 19 seniors, five of whom are exchange students. The team lost several key participants to graduation last year.
“It’s still quite a few home kids,” Moody said. “It’ll be quite a change next year, losing so many kids.”
“Experience is the difference between this year’s squad and last year’s,” according to Moody. Several of the upperclassmen are inexperienced and the girl’s squad has a number of freshmen and more athletes overall. The boys added a single freshman.
“You gotta do what you gotta do,” he said. We’re running behind, but we’re going to get caught up,”he said.
One of the major changes to the squad this year is a lack of experienced participants in the field events.
“Especially the throwing events,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids there, but I’m unsure of where we’ll be at.”
The squad is on firmer footing with running.
“On our distance boys and girls, I think we’re going to be strong there,” he said. “We should also be strong in sprints.” He also noted that the team is in a different league, with more competition.
“”We’ve got eight teams we’re competing against, and we only had five before,” he said. “It’s going to be different competing that way.” He added that results of a recent Hermiston meet show that exceptional times are already being posted.
Moody said he was unable to even give a current report on some of last year’s star athletes because of the weather.
“It’s hard to tell from just running around the blocks, and things like that,” he said. “We’re doing things differently with our distance runners. We’re trying to get them to work on a foundation right now. I’d like to be doing interval stuff, but we can’t get on our track.”
The squad’s first meet will be the Friday after spring break. On April 5 the squad will travel to the Carnival of Speed meet in Milton-Freewater at McLoughlin High School.
“A lot of our local teams will be there,” he said.
Although Moody didn’t commit to many projections about the squad as a whole or individual athletes, he did make one thing clear: Athletes would compete at state.
“We always take kids to state,” he said. That’s inevitable. We have too many kids that have potential.”