In a highly-competitive tight race, the Wilmington High School boys track and field team finished as runnersup to Western Brown in the 2019 SBAAC American Division meet.
There was no season in 2020.
This season, Wilmington has a first-year head coach in Chris Reynolds, who will be assisted by J.D. McIntosh.
Among the athletes gone from the 2019 team are Cam Coomer, Rory Bell, Ricky Dungan, Aiden Hester, Grant Mayer, Simon Heys, Tyler Parks and Mason McIntosh.
Top returnees include regional qualifiers Brett Brooks and Carter Huffman, along with Josh Andrews, Zainne Cowin, Brandon Glass, Dre’aunte Singleton, T.J. Killen and Malik Scott.
Newcomers to note, according to Reynolds, are Remington Smith, Blaize Johnson, Isaiah Rigling. (They) have brought a lot of depth and talent to our roster,” Reynolds said. “It will really help us to balance our talent in individual and relay events.”
Reynolds said Andrews, Scott, Huffman and Ben Baylor have stepped up to be leaders of the Hurricane team.
“It’s very simple to identify a leader of any team, group,” said Reynolds. “When they speak everyone around them goes silent and they capture the full attention of everyone around them as they speak. Ben, Joshua, Malik and Carter have earned that title based on that very act in the small amount of time I’ve been around this group.”
Reynolds believes his squad, if healthy, can again contend for an American Division championship.
”This is a well-balance highly motivated team that will compete at the highest level. Not everyone on this team is here due to their passion for track and field,” said Reynolds. “In the end, we are united to improve, compete and push one another to be the best version of ourselves over the course of the season and that will cultivate confidence and hopefully a lot of success.”
Reynolds believes his task as head coach is to improve the talent on the team as well as recruit and develop younger student-athletes to ensure long-term success.
With the cancellation of last season still looming, though, Reynolds knows now is the future.
“It was heartbreaking for last year’s seniors who had high expectations and goals,” he said. “Our goal is to bring home the SBAAC league title for the seniors that missed out on their final high school season and share it with them.”