This week as part of our Craw-Kan Team of the Week in the Southeast Kansas Area we take a look at the Girard High School Track and Field Team. The Trojans are traditionally one of the top teams in Southeast Kansas every single season and always a team to watch in 4A. We caught up with longtime head coach Matt Logue below.
Coach Name & School: Matt Logue Girard High School Track & Field Head Coach
Years at School: 25
Records Last Year: Girls’ CNC champs, Regional champs, Boys’ CNC runner up.
Returning Starters: Olivia Cullen, Hailey Orender, Kinley Smith, Grace Stover, Jada Valley, Kenzie Coester, Emma Kerr, Taylor Micheal, Megan Shireman, Sarah Zimmerman, Micheal Clugston, Gage Davenport, Josh Ivans, Quinn O’Rand, Trenton Smith, Sam Firman, Cormick Logue, Kaleb Franklin, Pablo Leyva, Durbie McReynolds, Hunter Ulbrich.
What has this entire cancellation of season been like for you?
The loss of a track and field season has been disappointing. As a teacher/coach you try to teach lessons like hard work works and we have had some kids work extremely hard and now without a season they don’t get to see the payoff. However, those student athletes are learning lessons about being part of something larger than themself and that the only thing in life that is constant is change. I am sure there are other valuable lessons being learned but I am very partial to the ones kids learn from competition.
What were some key things you were really looking forward to in the 2020 season?
Every season has highlights and it sounds like a cliche but all seasons are special. We are very talented this year and we had a ton of student athletes that are working hard. These athletes are also very good competitors. I am sure this season would have been special and I really wish we could do like they do in college and just red shirt them and let them come back for another year.
Who are some of those key players we should have looked out for this year?
Olivia Cullen medaled in the state as a freshman and looked to be much improved. Mackenzie Droessler was a JV thrower much of the year last year but was the 2nd best freshman in school history
Hailey Orender: Ran in the 5:40s as a freshman in the mile and has another year of base training. Serenia Short: State qualifier in the 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m and 200m as a freshman. Kinley Smith: Young triple jumper who went 33’ as a freshman Grace Stover: State qualifier in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m Kenzie Coester: State qualifier in the HJ and 4 x 800m Emma Kerr: State qualifier in the Pole vault
Megan Shireman: State qualifier 4 x 800m
Michael Clugston: State qualifier 4 x 800m
Quinn O’Rand: State qualifier 4 x 400m
Trenton Smith: State qualifier 4 x 800m
Cormick Logue: State Medalist 1600m, 3200m.
Durbie McReynolds: State Qualifier Pole Vault, 4 x 400m
I hope our seniors are looking forward to a new chapter in their lives and I wish them well. Our underclassman just need to keep working hard and hopefully we will be back to normal next year. It’s been over 70 year since the last global pandemic (if you count polio). So odds are pretty good that they will have a more normal senior year than their predecessors.
Our seniors should be looking for?
New opportunities in their lives. I have a few seniors that have an opportunity to extend their careers if they want but every athletic career comes to an end very early in life. This next stage in life is very exciting. It lays the ground work for the next 50 years. They should be asking themselves questions about who they want to be and how they are going to make a positive impact on the world.
As a teacher what has this been like with school?
Very different! I don’t really like it. My students are getting a reader digest version of education. I think we underestimate the value of an interpersonal connection in education and there just isn’t enough instructional time to do a great job. I think this experience will teach our students the value of intrinsic motivation and they are going to live in a digital world with expectations attached to the new technologies. I am ready to get back to class and I am glad this occurred during the last 7 weeks of school so that students received over 3/4s of their instruction for the year.
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