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Summer sports for Gadsden County youth – Column by Susie Morris

Especially special
A true athlete plays from the heart, but in reality, some special recognition doesn’t hurt either. A few local athletes were recognized by the Tallahassee Democrat last week with the distinction of being named All-Big Bend. Those county athletes were:

Track & Field, Girls First Team
• Hurdles: Janasia Cox, bronze medalist in 300m at state (Gadsden County High School senior)
• Jumps: Trentorria Green, 4th place in triple jump and 8th place in high jump at state (Gadsden County High School senior)

Track & Field, Boys First Team
• Sprints: Dequavious Charleston, 6th place in 100m, 7th place in 200m and 5th place in 400m (Gadsden County High School sophomore) Flag Football, Honorable Mention
• Hennekual Gunn, wide receiver/defensive back (Crossroad Academy senior)
• Tajah Mitchell, quarterback (Gadsden County High School sophomore)

Baseball, Honorable Mention
• Tripp Alford, shortstop – .481, 22 R, 12 RBI, 4 2B, 8 BB, 12 SB (Robert F. Munroe High School)

School is out, the heat is on and it’s time to relax. Unless you play high school sports.

Summer workouts are the backbone of any decent program. Gadsden County High School football coach Joey Striplin, who returned to his team at the end of spring practice, is continuing to mend while working hard.

He has about 50 players out for summer workouts. Of particular importance is the development of a new quarterback to replace senior signal-caller Dentarrius Yon. In lieu of 7 on 7 play against other schools, they are working on skills development through the weight room, agilities and drills. Munroe, also coached by a “Joseph,” is also hard at work. Coach Joe Gaddy is holding workouts for about 25 players four days a week.

The team has also played Maclay three Mondays in a row in 7 on 7 and mix that up with drillwork, the weightroom and agilities.

As Susie sees it
Our county’s under-representation in spring sports reflects a need for our county athletes to work this summer, not only on softball, baseball and tennis, but also other Florida High School Athletic Association-sponsored sports where we lack standouts. Summer is the time to work on individual skills, fundamentals and talents; whereby, season workouts are more team-oriented.

In defense of our many multi-sport athletes who play two, three and four sports, their lack of specialization does put them at a disadvantage against the year-round athlete. But give me a multi-sport giving their all for their school, season after season, back-to-back without a day off any day.

Kudos to those athletes!

By Susie Morris