Monday, April 15, 2013

On A Huge Middle School Track Team

The first year Aurora did track there were about 75 kids on the team and we thought that was huge.  Last year it was down to 50 or so.  This year there was an amazing influx, with the numbers of boys and girls on the track team shooting up to 106.  Considering there are only about 180 kids in the whole school, that is a stunning number!  It helps that track is the only spring sport for middle schoolers.  Come high school softball, baseball, and soccer all compete with track as a spring sport and numbers dwindle dramatically (22 boys and girls on the high school team this year is considered great!).

There is a head coach for the track team, and I can assure you, she's not getting paid enough!  Two assistants help her, but when you consider all the specialization of track (throwers, jumpers, hurdlers, long-distance runners, sprinters--boys and girls), you realize that even four people are not enough for the chaos of that many middle schoolers--most who have never run track before and are complete newbies.  Talking to one of the assistant coaches, she laughingly said that she is getting used to the chaos, and reassures herself that chaos is okay.

The line-up of kids at track practice.

I answered the call for parent help, and just happened to choose the day they were handing out uniforms and preparing for the first meet.  Talk about chaos!  Practice starts with the kids running around the gym, shooting basketballs, bumping volleyballs or otherwise warming up--if they're so inclined (some are not, opting to sit on the bleachers).  When Coach Annie blows the whistle they all line up on one side of the gym and she tells them which groups are doing what.  Today the list of events for Thursday's meet in Soldotna is posted so there is an added buzz.  After the talking (no jewelry at the meetings, relay teams must all wear the same uniform, yadda, yadda), the kids get in a big circle and warm up.  Then they split into groups.

Lots of middle schoolers stretching!

The distance runners-girls were to meet at the flagpole.  From there were were to run a trail behind the school and do hill workouts--5 times up and down a pretty long hill.  I didn't know where the trail was so one of the girls led--but she didn't lead us through the woods.  Guess we took the long way around!  Of the 7 girls, three were able to do their 5 times, while the others interspersed their running with walking.  On the way back they led the way down a wet, snowy, icy trail to the school.  I was supposed to take the boys out next but we'd run out of time.

I offered to help with the chaos in the gym which was handing out the uniforms.  Yikes!  Who gets what--there weren't even close to enough uniforms and warmups for all the kids.  Some kids got part of the uniform but then we ran out.  It's not my problem, but I am so glad I am not Coach Annie!

So I did my parently duty and helped out so that kids wouldn't get cut from the team....It was chaos, and I survived, and I only have 2 more Mondays to volunteer!  Yeaaaaa!

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