Upperclassmen and others at Hillsboro High School signed up for track this year to see what it would be like under new head coach Demetrius Cox.
“Dennis Boldt resigned from the position, and I felt like it was an opportunity for me to do something else I love to do,” Cox said. “I did track and field back in high school from my sophomore to senior year.”
Cox had assisted Boldt with track the past two seasons.
There will be a bit of crossover from the football team this year as Cox has urged players from his other sport to try track.
“I encouraged a lot who were on the football team to come out, to get better at multiple sports,” he said. “I thought it would be good for them as athletes. Not only would it help our team, but it would help them as individuals.”
Sixteen of the 34 students are returning from last year. Among them are two-time state pole vault winner Nate Nein, triple-jump state placer D’myia Cox, and 4x100 relay team member Sammie Saunders.
“A lot of guys can place in multiple events,” Cox said. “And our girls team may not seem as big, but we’ve got athletes in every spot that can contribute to good points.”
Cox wants to build skills of the team Boldt left him.
“I’m going to give great thanks to Boldt,” he said. “Those are shoes I have to follow in and pick up where he left off at.”
He emphasized how individual success for players could benefit the team as a whole.
“We want all individuals to be great and improve toward a team score,” he said. “They receive that reward as well. We try to get every athlete at state in some event, even if it’s relay or something: I want them to get in their minds that they’re good enough to run at state.”
The team’s first meet will be 4:30 p.m. Tuesday aagainst multiple schoolos at Goessel.