DANVILLE — The road to success Danville Blue Devils track and field team will be well-paved this season — literally.
“First of all, we got our track newly asphalted,” said Danville track and field coach Matt Proper. “It had been cinder since they put it in, back in the early 90s. That’s a big help. In the last couple of years, we got a new high jump, a new long jump runway and a new shot put pit. So, having those facilities really helps out. With all this rain, we wouldn’t have been able to get out there and practice until April, because it would be so muddy and soft. This year, we’ve been out there, running and jumping, since Day 1.”
For Proper’s long jumpers like seniors Landon Magers, Colton Moore and Katie Addair; juniors Andy Hammons and Emmy Lamb; along with underclassmen like Marshall Magers, Ryan Stutz and Kaylin Rex, this was not the only good news. The balmy March weather has been a blessing. This year, they can take advantage of the early, warm spring.
Other things have started bearing fruit for Proper, who is in his fourth season as coach. Roster numbers are pretty good this year — 20 boys and 15 girls. Best of all, the middle school program that Proper started at Danville has turned out young athletes that are making an impact. It’s the difference between having a track team and running a track program. Sophomores like miler Jordan Frank and Kyle Hawk as well as hurdler Ben Stutz are making a difference.
“A lot of our returners are young — sophomores and juniors,” said Proper, “but they’ve been doing this the last four years that I have been here. Even though they are sophomores, it’s their fourth year, which is big for us because, we haven’t had that before.”