“This group of seniors has been very special to me and my assistant coaches — Travis Glasscox, David Socha, and Dewey Lewis. We had our first ever Alabama High School State Champion, Richard Payne in the 400m dash at the 2020 1A-3A indoor championships. He was the first student athlete in any sport at Southeastern to win at state. He is a hard worker, great leader, and will be sorely missed.
“We also had some returning senior athletes – Mason Golden, Austin Hood, Dalton Huffstutler, Kaleigh Murphree, and Sarah Wortham – who were showing impressive improvement over the past year. Many of them were state finalists last year and were ready to compete once again. We had first-year senior-athletes – Collin Blakenship, Morgan Hill, Liceli Hernandez, and Vanesa Guiterrez – who were on track to have great seasons as well.
“This group will be hard to replace due to their hard work and effort they have put forth in getting our program back into the state finals. This team will certainly miss our seniors, but those up-and-coming student-athletes will be able to compete at high levels as well.
“While I was saddened to hear about our season ending so abruptly, I do think it was the right call to protect our student-athletes, their families, and classmates. At the end of the day, the health, safety, and well-being of our kids is the most important part of being a teacher and coach. We knew we had a special season coming up, and it is one of those seasons that ends with an asterisk instead of a high note.
“There is no way to thank the seniors enough for their commitment and ownership of making our track program as successful as it is. We plan on celebrating them and their achievements this fall. Most of my seventh graders through juniors are multi-sport athletes and are training and staying in shape for the planned reopening to normalcy.
“With summer workouts still being discussed by the AHSAA, many of them have taken it upon themselves to stay fit and train without coaches or practices. That to me shows true dedication, and I am looking forward to the future of our program and the chance to return to the track again next year.”
– Coach Josh Taylor