After Family Christian Academy won the Division V men’s basketball title in March, freshman head coach Isaac Amedee asked his players to do one more thing: switch to a spring sport. .
It may not seem like much, but in a Class C school, it can mean the difference between whether the school can have a team or not. It can also determine the quality of a baseball or track and field team.
The Flames are looking to prove just how successful their sophomore season can be at the LHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships which begin Thursday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track and Field Stadium.
“I go there thinking that we have a chance to do well,” said Amédée. “But I know there are so many things that can and do happen in athletics competition, especially when you haven’t been in a lot of competitions.
“Last week’s regional meeting was our first meeting. I think our long jumper may have jumped four times in his life. We only have 52 kids in high school and we try to have some balance for them. Several also played baseball.
Field events begin at 1:30 p.m. and race events will follow at 5 p.m. as Class B and Class C schools compete to kick off the LHSAA’s annual three-day outdoor meet.
Amédée said Jake Freeman runs the fastest 50 yards on the team. Freeman, who is active in the school ministry program, is not a basketball player. Freeman will team up with Ericleon May and Jireh Williams in the sprints and relays. Last week also saw Williams’ first track meet.
Brothers Chance and Bryson Martin played a huge role in the Flames’ charge to an LHSAA basketball title. They will be the standard bearers on the track with Bryson Martin over 1,600/3,200 meters and Chance Martin over 800 meters.
FCA rival Jehovah-Jireh will also be among those to watch. Indeed, the teams will be in lanes next to each other for the 4×200 meter relay. JCA basketball star John-Paul Ricks has the third fastest time behind May and Freeman.
Given the circumstances, there is a tendency to think that FCA’s success is unprecedented. It’s not. During his first stint at Family Christian in 2008, the Flames were Class C finalists on the track.
“I know these kids are as tough as anyone I’ve ever been around,” Amédée said. “I’ll take them any day.”