Graduation hit the Panthers and Lady Panthers hard after last season. The end of the 2015 season saw the Panthers and Lady Panthers send 20 athletes to the AAA Section 2 meet and with 6 advancing to the state meet. The girls 4×800 meter relay team feel just seconds short of a state medal while Senior Aly McNulty finished 5th in the High Jump.
As a new season dawns the teams will be mostly made up of Sophomores and Freshman with 23 Juniors and Seniors.
The lone seniors on the boys team are Ben Kindred (Shot Put and Discus) and Jordan Schroeder (Distance)
The juniors for the boys team include Ben Bowman (Shot Put/ Discus), Lucas Coleman (Shot Put/ Discus), Dylon Dishman (Sprints/ High Jump), Dylon Greenwood (Sprints/ Long Jump), Brandon, Jones (Shot Put/ Discus), Ethan Pierce (Sprints), Curtis Tollett (Shot Put/ Discus), Trevor Tucker (Sprints/ Long Jump/ Triple Jump), Andrew Wright (Shot Put/ Discus), Ronnie Wyllins (Sprints/ High Jump).
The remaining team will be made up of Thomas Arnold, Tyler Breeding, Preston Buck, Payt Bussey, Xavier Findley, Jackson Hughes, Nick Moore, Matthew Noland, Jasen Seamon, Zach Stambaugh, Glenn Starr, Jacob Sweeton, Micheal VanWinkle, Austin Wattenbarger, and Cody Wyllins.
The seniors on the girls team are Lacey Melton (Long/ Triple Jump, Shot Put and Discus), Allison Padgett (discus), and Madison Wilson (Sprints/ Hurdles).
The juniors include Kassandra Ayala (Mid-Distance), Hailey Coudriet (Mid-Distance), Samantha Lorz (Sprints), Emma Smith (Sprints and Hurdles) and Rachel Surach (Distance).
The remaining team will be made of Aylssa Berry, Hannah Craft, Brooke Freitag, Alley Hale, Alexis Howard, Sienna Howe, Cheyanne Jones, Alexa Kelch, Anna Kemmer, Maggie, Kemmer, Lindy Livesay, Whitney Miller, Susan Nelson, Rebekah Noland, Lexi Proffitt, Whitney Proffitt, Erin Rassel, Caitlin Reed, Faith Robinette, Tierra Scoville, and Jacey Wiley.
“We are very excited about the youth of this team. We have used the youth on this team as an opportunity to go back and teach a lot of basic fundamentals on many of the events. As result we have improved so much from day one,” comment Coach Matt Bates, who is in his fourth season at the helm of the track and field program.
This season Coach Bates will be assisted by long time track coach Louie Delorenzo. In addition Drew Delorenzo will be assisting as well. “Louie does a fantastic job with the mid distance and distance kids and we are excited to have him back again this year. Drew works well with the sprinters and hurdlers as well.
This season the Panthers and Lady Panthers will be hosting the annual King of the Mountain Series on March 29, April 5, and April 12. In addition to those home dates SMHS will travel to Cookeville, York, Blackman, Riverdale, and Walker Valley. The season starts off at Cookeville High School with the first annual CHS Early Bird Invitational on March 19 at 10:00 AM.
“We would like to thank this years team sponsors. They include: Cumberland County Bank, KBK Designs, Ken Purvis (Crye Leike Realtor), The Chop Shop, Shelly and Amber Marshall (First Realty), Jef Proffitt Trucking, Westel Baptist Youth Group, Scott Proffitt Trucking, Gernt Insurance Group, Highland Federal, Wheeler Orthodontics, Cumberland Medical Center, Tennesse Bonding Co., and Big Boy’s Barbeque. Thanks to this group with their effort we can provide a first rate program for the student-athletes of SMHS,” concluded Bates.