Track team unsure before season opener

With just over a week to go before the track and field season opens with a meet at Palm Bay High School on Feb. 21, athletes and coaches alike are showing signs of concern.

“Honestly, I am scared for our first meet. I do not think we are ready,” freshman Braden Shopkee said. “We are at West Shore and just aren’t very athletic people.”

Coach Tony Riopelle — who just joined the team finishing his duties as the varsity boys’ basketball head coach last week — shares Shopkee’s apprehensiveness, but also added a positive note.

“So far we don’t have a steady team,” he said. “With the coaches being gone until last week and kids still showing up one day and not showing up the next, we will really have to work to be ready for the first meet,” Riopelle said. “The throwers are going to rock since they have had a lot of specialized coaching from [Coach] Drew [Schaefer]. ”

Schaefer has had many sessions with the throwers, going over the special techniques needed in order to throw well.

“I have full confidence that they [the throwers] know what they are doing,” Schaefer said. “Field events are 90 percent technique and 10 percent strength. They just need to go out and have fun.”

No one is particularly sure how the Palm Bay meet is going to go. Freshman Noah Majeed especially because it will be his first.

“I’m nervous but excited at the same time,” Majeed said. “As long as we all go out there and do our best, I’m sure we’ll do just fine.”

By Kaley Schaefer