WHILE IT may not always be as celebrated as other sports, track and cross country athletes work just as hard – and at Coffee County Central High School, they are no less successful. Throughout the spring track season multiple athletes have broken school records, and the track teams as a whole have continued their record of excellence.
“It’s a sport that we’re highly competitive in,” head track coach Matt Rossman said. “Our cross country team – both boys and girls – went to the state championship this year for the first time in school history.”
While Rossman has many years of experience coaching basketball in Coffee County, he is relatively new to Coffee County’s track and cross country programs. He has been active in both finding competitive events and keeping up with the team’s record history, supported by assistant coaches Chris Welch and Jon and Nikki Helms.
“He’s looked back at several of the records that have been written down and has been very diligent as we’ve competed to see, you know, how our kids are stacking up against past records,” Co-Athletic Director Brad Costello said. “The track program at Coffee County has been around for a long time, so for any kid to come in and break records is an awesome achievement because there’s been some great athletes who have competed for our track teams in the past,” Costello said.
The team has not had a home meet this semester due to Rossman’s late start, but Costello said the track team has been very successful – especially against some of the stronger opponents like Murfreesboro, Riverdale, Oakland, and Stewarts Creek.
“We’re talking about some really, really good athletes and our kids are hanging right there with them,” Costello said. “It’s been a good year so far.”
“Track is often considered a smaller sport compared to sports like football and basketball,” Costello said, “and sometimes the athletes in track don’t get the recognition they deserve.” He said he hopes the athletes get the same recognition for their hard work and successes as all of the other sports.
“There’s been a lot of good athletes who have competed for Coffee County track teams in the past who’ve been very successful, and I think this year is the same – a lot of good athletes. They practice hard, they work hard, they compete hard,” Costello said. “They’ve had a lot of successes this year, so I think really more than anything they’ve just continued, kind of, the tradition that has been set by Coffee County.” GN