Jordan track coach Russell Scott said he laid out a clear path for the Red Jackets athletes to follow through the long regular season into the region, sectionals, and state meets. With Scott’s leadership, the Jordan athletes were able to make the most of their chances to shine.
Scott’s boys carried strong outings at region and sectionals into the state meet in Albany. At the Class 2A meet’s end, the Red Jackets were fifth, the best finish among all Muscogee County teams in their respective classes.
Due to his team’s standout performances on the big stage, Scott has been selected as the 2017 All-Bi-City Boys Track Coach of the Year. This is the third time Scott has been named Coach of the Year and the second time for the boys team.
“The kids did real well,” Scott said. “I was definitely pleased with them. When you really start looking at the state meet, I know from past experiences that only your best kids are going to score points. When we started looking at the numbers compared to people around the state, we knew we were going to be somewhere around the general vicinity as far as being able to place.”
Scott explained his strategy in preparing his athletes to end on a high note. He said the beginning of the season includes a lot of weight training and cardio work, but the plan changes around the time of the region meet. At that point, the emphasis is more on refining technique, which includes watching film to drive home the key points in each athlete’s execution.
Jordan’s boys took fifth overall and won two state championships courtesy D’Andre Snead, who was named the All-Bi-City Boys Track Athlete of the Year. As important as Snead’s showings were for the team, there were some surprise surges from other Red Jackets that helped the cause.
“Tyler Simmons was No. 15 (of 16 in the triple jump), and he came in sixth,” Scott said. “Those were unexpected points. We did pretty good in the high jump and all our running events. They didn’t disappoint. The events we did not make into the finals, it wasn’t a disappointment because there was a lot of stiff competition there.”
Scott has been Jordan’s track coach for 20 years, and his experience was valuable as the team reached the homestretch of the season. Scott explained he was specific in the goals for the athletes in an effort for them to understand what they needed to do to make things happen.
“Everything I kept telling them was starting to come true each week,” Scott said. “I’d say, ‘Now, going into this region meet, if you guys do this and this, we’ll end up here.’ That come true. Then sectionals came around, and from doing the homework, I said, ‘This is what we’re up against.’ Their expectations were high, but they were realistic. When state came, it just fell in order.”
In the end, Jordan had four male athletes compete in the finals of seven events. The Red Jackets tallied 30 points, just one shy of Temple for fourth place.
The finish was one Scott was proud of, but the beauty of the situation at Jordan is there may be even more success on the horizon. Snead, who won the 110 and 300 hurdles, was the lone senior among the Red Jackets who placed.
With more years to work with athletes such as rising juniors Simmons and Emmanuel Mann, Scott says everyone should stay tuned for what’s up next.
“I think for at least the next couple of years we’ll be in pretty good shape,” Scott said. “The word is I have some decent freshmen coming in, and the earlier I get them and the earlier I expose them to my way of working, the better we’ll be in the long run.
“I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years, definitely.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports