Have you ever tried to shoot a basketball after months of not being around one? Or tried to ace a test you haven’t learned about in a year? For the Junior Jay Track and Field team, this is reality.
With Covid- 19 shutting down the 2020 spring sports season, many athletes have not practiced in over a year. Aiming for another successful season, the Junior Jays hope to shake the rust off and finish where they left off.
With two weeks of great weather for early March, track teams around the Metro have been able to be outside and get lots done.
Coach Ralph Setter, the head Shotput and Discus coach for the Junior Jays, has high expectations for the field team this year after having last year off due to Covid- 19.
“Practice has gone good so far”, Setter said. “We had two weeks of good weather which is pretty unique for March and the start of practice, so we got a lot done.”
The senior throwers who haven’t thrown in nearly two years now work even harder to make up lost time. For seniors like Keyshawn Pettis, the process of getting back into the groove is easier said than done.
“Throwing practice has been good so far, it has had its ups and downs so far, but that’s what you expect with every sport”, Pettis said.
Most seniors were very excited about their junior season in 2020, which was taken away from them. Brayden Hill wants to beat his goals he set for himself during the 2020 season.
“Practice hasn’t been too bad,” Hill said. “It hasn’t been too difficult but it hasn’t been easy either. My favorite part is when we actually throw and my least favorite is the warm up.”
Many freshmen who were returning to Track and Field or those who were new to the sport had their opportunity cut short during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic.
“We have a lot of young guys out for the first time who missed last year because of COVID. I think we are doing well considering we haven’t thrown basically in two years. Last year we only had like 8 practices,” Setter said.
Qualifying for state shotput and discus after a year of not practicing is by no means easy, but practicing and setting goals for yourself is the only way to improve.
“ I hope we have 2-3 guys qualify for state. I think Keyshawn Pettis, Joe Kieney, and Matt Nanfito have a chance to have a really good year and qualify,” Setter said.” I hope they can place in most meets. After that I am looking to develop our younger guys for a run at state next year and the following year. We have a lot of potential to do well in both throwing events.”
Keyshawn Pettis has high expectations for his senior season.
“My goal for this season is to go to state and place. If I get back on track to where I was two years ago I should at least be able to qualify for state, so I think this season will go well,” Pettis said.