Spring Track is upon us and practice will soon begin! Last year, we had several inches of snow and a forecast that called for very cold days. This year, we haven't had many "very cold days" since the beginning of Winter and early forecasts are calling for early-March days in the 70's!
All of that seems meaningless, however, as the country is dealing with what might be the most damaging viral sickness since the great Flu Pandemic of 1918 that killed millions! At this writing, professional and college sports have been suspended and there is no end in sight! Our schedule indicates the scrimmage is already cancelled but the first Batch Meet is still on for April 1st. We'll just have to stand by and see what happens!
Let's hope for a highly successful Spring campaign! GO CHEROKEE!
As always, the Early Spring Season is a time of continuing preparation for the season and especially for the championship meets at the end of the season! Gradually improving speed, strength, endurance, and skills are the keys to success! If all goes well, it will begin with Batch Meet # 1 at Seneca on April 1st, followed by a new invitational meet at Timber Creek on April 3rd. Then, we'll return to Timber Creek for Batch Meet # 2 on April 8th; and then travel to the Moorestown Invitational on April 11th. During that time, most of the team, veterans and novices, will participate in at least several of these meets but the night of April 16th will be an especially challenging as the Distance Team welcomes the region's best distance runners to Cherokee's Distance Night and the rest of the team travels to Central Regional High School for the Eagle Relays!
OK, none of that is happening because of the "Coronavirus Plague" and we all wait, and continue training as well as we can under the circumstances, until some breakthrough happens that allows us to return to our sport! The latest from NJSIAA is that "local organizations" (meaning the South Jersey Track Coaches Association for us) will run local end-of-the-season "Sectional" tournamants if the virus has abated by then and the state lifts its restrictions. Until then, STAY SAFE! GET OUT AND TRAIN! YOU LOSE NOTHING BY TRAINING, YOU BUILD YOUR STRENGTH AND CONDITION, AND YOU HELP MAINTAIN YOUR SANITY!
Since the closure of all high school sports in New Jersey because of the pandemic, NJ.MileSplit is seeking interesting stories to tell about regional stars. On April 10th, Rich Bevensee of NJ.MileSplit, published an interview with Cherokee's Senior Tyler Jackson! Check it out at: NJ.MileSplit. It is also available on our server at Quick Questions With Tyler Jackson of Cherokee.
The editor of NJ.MileSplit, Robert Kellert, selected the pictures used with the interview but some have suggested that Tyler did because they show his victory over . . . whom? . . . the Pitman kid? . . . the Washington Township kid? Hmmmmmm. : < )
During the Caronavirus pandemic, Reuben Frank continued his reasearch efforts to identify and post the All-Time South Jersey Track and Field Records on his SJTCA Blog. Several lists included Cherokee athletes from the past and present and we've posted those lists, with some of our own research, on our SJ Records page.
While Mr. Frank is remembering all the great South Jersey Track and Field performances from the past, our photographer went back into his archives and found pictures depicting two well-known local runners from long ago in a 5K roadrace in Cherry Hill and Evesham! We all recognize the Old Man but that's Ringo Adamson in the days before he shaved his head! They fought quite a few roadrace battles through the years -- winners made some decent cash back-in-the-day -- and often exchanged 1st place honors but this one went to the guy in the front!
On Monday, May 4th, 2020, Governor Murphy announced the closing of the schools for the remainder of the year and, following that, NJSIAA announced the end of the Spring sports season! Considering all the time spent by our athletes to compete in Spring Track and Field, and the fact that it will be the last opportunity to compete on the high school level for our Seniors, it was a sad day!
We struggle to put it into perspective. Perhaps when President Carter chose to use the 1980 Olympics as a political tool against the Soviets who invaded Adghanistan, and he blocked American participation in the Olympics . . .? Nah, it's not even close. Athletes worked a lifetime to make it to the Games and they weren't put-off for a season or even a year. For many, 1980 was the last time they would qualify for the Games. At this point (as far as we know), today, it's a season and maybe next year; and it's high school, not the Olympics.
Is that treating this loss too casually? Probably, but people, even young people, are dying from the virus and putting off athletics for a season is a small price to pay for your safety, and the safety of your family and friends! Oh, yeah, it stinks . . . but you'll recover, you'll rebound, because that's what great athletes do!
Talk to the coach, or to your new college coaches, and set new goals for the future! Remember every athletic thing you do builds aerobic capacity, every bit of training sends messages to your genes that activate horomones and develop fitness! Keep stimulating the genes and they'll do the rest!
Robert Kellert, Editor of NJ.MileSplit, wrote a nice letter to the Seniors who suffered A Lost Season.
In passing, check out Paul Bowker, writing for Team USA, as he developed this parallel between the Olympians of 1980 and the Olympians of 2020 at: Would the boycott save lives? This is just one of several similar articles on the Internet.
Today, we looked back at the names of our Seniors on the Track Team Roster for 2020 and were reminded of what we lost! We won't see them compete again for Cherokee but we want to remember them for what they accomplished in the past!
Take the time now, look back through the years and see how our Seniors performed in their events! Some look pretty young, don't they?!
Soon after the Governor identified the dangers associated with the Coronavirus Pandemic, he closed the schools and ended the 2020 Spring Track season. NJ.MileSplit then bagan a series of "Salutes to Seniors" as a way to recognize the athletes who lost their last high school seasons and allow them to "tell their stories and reflect on all the great moments" they experienced.
On June 20, 2020, Robert Kellert of NJ.MileSplit posted his latest "Salute" and this time recognized Cherokee's Ethan Wechsler!
His remarks are available at NJ.MileSplit and they're copied on our server at Cherokee Cross Country & Track and Field.
Best wishes to all our athletes and especially to our graduating seniors for their work, leadership and performances over their high school careers, and we hope to see them soon on our Alums page, competing at the next level! Also, we look forward to seeing our undergraduates return even stronger next year to continue the exceptional history of Cherokee Track and Field!
GO CHEROKEE! GO CHIEFS!