Marissia Potamianos and Kate Salvo
The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Boys and Girls Indoor Track teams ended their season on a high note, sending two athletes, junior Patrece Martin and senior Zach Liebmann to states. They hope that the success for both the runners and field athletes will carry into the outdoor season. However one of the things that will challenge that goal is the new coach for the fielding events.
J-D Middle School English teacher Ken Kline, form fielding coach of both the indoor and outdoor track teams, has decided to end his coaching career of 24 years because he wanted to “finally spend some more time with (his) family.” His coaching career at J-D began in the 1994-1995 school year as coach of modified football and varsity girls indoor track. He then added varsity boys track the following year. Coach Kline has a number of memories to hold on to from his many years of coaching at J-D.
“Every athlete I had was a privilege to coach,” said Coach Kline. He said that naming individuals would be impossible because there were so many wonderful kids that he watched grow and succeed throughout his many coaching seasons. During his coaching career, Coach Kline managed to “capture multiple league and sectional championships” He retires with eight league and three section titles. Not only was Coach Kline a wonderful coach, but he created a bond with his athletes that can’t be taken away. Many students expressed their gratitude towards Coach Kline and all he did to help them become better athletes and people. “He doesn’t really compare to anyone else,” said sophomore Jessica Pace. “As a team, we are really close and Coach Kline helped enforce that,” said senior Jessina Haynes.” Everyone that was coached by him agrees that he did so much for the team and athletes. Coach Kline
While it is sad to see Coach Kline leave, the team is eager to see what Michael Acchione, who has taken Coach Kline’s place, has to offer. Coach Acchione was previously a volunteer track and field coach at Solvay High School. He began track as a seventh grader and continued all throughout high school. Even though he hasn’t been at J-DHS for long, Coach Acchione said that his experience so far has been great, and the athletes and coaches work really hard everyday. “Now I just need to put all my Solvay gear away and get some J-D gear!” said Coach Acchione.
As Coach Acchione gets out his J-D gear, runners and throwers break out their rain gear. Spring may bring sunny skies, but it also brings heavy rains, which affects the athletes. This is especially a problem when it comes to the fielding events. There is nowhere to practice and this has an effect on the performances of the throwers. The first meet, a scrimmage against Solvay, was on March 31. “It was pretty rough. I think it was because of the lack of practice,” said Pace. Discus throwers were at a real disadvantage because there is no way to practice indoors. The weather created a problem for the runners as well. “The cold, windy weather made it difficult for runners to do their best,” said freshman Alexandra Street.
Although the team has undergone big changes this year, their expectations are not set any lower. They know that especially this year, the team has to pull together and support each other. “The upperclassman have been acting like coaches to our many new underclassman,” said Martin, who is a captain. Winning sectionals and being undefeated are the team’s main goals for the season, says senior Nick Street. Last year, the runners had an undefeated season and it would be nice to keep that the same, says Nick Street. “We want to get as many people qualified (for sectionals) as possible,” said Alexandra Street. “One of our goals is to just see student-athletes get better every day and compete the best they can,” said Coach Acchione. Breaking personal and school records is also something athletes are striving to achieve. “We won sectionals our indoor season, so that’s something we want to do again,” said sophomore Evan Baxter.
Their next meet is on April 11 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, with another following next Wednesday April 16 at Fulton High School.