Summer-time sprinting

By Kevin Eckleberry

July 8, 2014

The scorching summer sun isn’t going to slow them down.

A group of young runners are part of a new track club that was created a few months ago by Broderick Stargell, and they’ve been working hard at the Whitesville Road track this summer.

“We just started it. We kind of piggy-backed off of parks and recreation, and we got going,” said Stargell, who coaches track and field at Callaway Middle School. “The kids started really enjoying it. We’re got a lot of talent around here. We’re trying to give the kids some other avenues to go out and compete.”

The team gets together four times a week at the Whitesville Road track, and there is usually a track competition on Saturday.

“Most of the meets are in the Atlanta area, close by,” Stargell said.

Stargell said there have been between 15 to 20 boys and girls at each of the practices, and that’s a number he hopes to see continue to grow.

“We’re just trying to build it,” Stargell said. “We’ve had 15 to 20 kids here all summer. We need about 15, 20 more.”

Stargell said it was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision to make the track club a reality.

“This was not my plan for the summer. We just got it going,” Stargell said. “We’ve got a good group of kids, and a good group of parents, too.”

After several practices, the team participated in its first meet, and Stargell said that was an eye-opening moment for everyone.

“After the first track meet, after they figured out what was going on, they understood that if I want to be at the top of my age group, I’m going to have to work,” Stargell said. “And they’ve been doing it.”

Stargell’s goal is to make this a year-round endeavor, with a summer season, a cross-country season in the fall, and then an indoor season during the winter.

Stargell said he is hoping to attract more distance runners to the club.

“We need more distance runners, more middle-distance runners to complete all of the events in track and field,” Stargell said. “We just want to get kids out here, get them involved.”

OF NOTE: For more information on the track program, call Stargell at (706) 302-8185. The team practices at 6 p.m. during the week at the Whitesville Road track.