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Panther track is total team effort
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Liberty County boys track coach Keith McGee admits not having Josh McNair will make it more difficult for the Panthers to win meets this season. McNair, who won the Class AAA state championship in discus the past two seasons was a lock at first place in every meet. McNair graduated last May and is now competing at Kennesaw State University.
Nevertheless, McGee has the utmost confidence in his team and is relying on Donny Kates, Roderick Jones and Demetrius Stinson to spark the team with points.
The trio is expected to compete in five events at each meet.
Kates’ events include the 100, 200, 400 relay, 1600 relay and triple jump. Jones will compete in the 100, 200, 400, 400 relay and the high jump. Stinson’s events include the 200, 400, 400 relay, 1600 relay and triple jump.
The Panthers had a decent showing in last weekend’s Camden Relays, finishing eighth out of 18 teams.
Freshman Aaron Bennett placed third in the discus, while sophomore Trier Bennett placed fourth.
Discus pro Steve White, who coached McNair, is working with Aaron and Trier along with helping Jasmine Scott, who finished second.
Also, helping coach the track team is James McArthur, who coaches the distance runners.
“I’m hoping they will come around and win us some points,” McGee said. “We haven’t had any points from distance runners in a long time.”
That changed in March 10’s Camden meet when Valencia Scott finished third in the mile, helping to propel the girls to a sixth place finish.
1999 LCHS graduate Emery Vickers has returned to his alma mater to help develop the current crop of track athletes. While a Panther, Vickers ran under the legendary Bill Brock and most recently ran at Troy College.
“He is a brilliant young man,” McGee said. “He has no weakness. He coaches the sprinters, relays and jumpers. He’s all over. He’s the brains of the outfit.”
Laura Means coaches the girls track team and the boys hurdlers. She said she is excited about the year and hopeful. However, she knows it will be difficult because last year’s team graduated several seniors.
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