Track stars keep full schedules

By Kevin Wilson

For the past few months, high school has been “like a full-time job” for senior Bobby Reed.
By morning, he’s a member of Floyd High School’s track team. By late afternoon, he’s part of the resurgent Bronco baseball team. In between, he’s a student.
“I figured this is my senior year,” said Reed, who also participates in Future Farmers of America events across the state. “I might as well get as much as I can in.”
Reed is one of three Broncos that spent the spring in both track and baseball. Reed and junior Chance Chenault have done both sports all season, while senior David Capps came to track midway through the season.
It’s been a grind, but hard work seems to be its own reward for the Broncos that did both sports.
“We’d get home from a baseball game one day,” Chenault said, “go to a track meet the next day, go to an FFA event the next day.
“It was quite a bit. Between going to track meets and playing baseball games, I’ve been to my second period class only 10 times (during the season). It’s tough to balance school and both of those. It’s tough, but don’t get me wrong — I enjoy it.”
It’s been a enjoyable process for the coaches involved as well. Both Mark Poynor and Jeff Gillespie are in their first year at Floyd, so they weren’t used to some other standard. For the players, playing both sports would have been impossible should either coach be biased against a two-sport athlete during the same three-month period.
“If we were, we wouldn’t have had baseball,” Gillespie said. “Here were a bunch of kids that wanted to start baseball back up. We were all for it.”
Gillespie said there has been no showings of fatigue from any of his athletes. Reed has already qualified in five events — javelin, 100-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and a 400-meter relay with Chenault.
“With those two, they want to do it,” Gillespie said. “You have to want to do it to do it. there hasn’t been any drop off.”
Poynor has some experience with doing two spring sports in the same season. When the Portales High baseball team did not qualify for the 1984 state tournament, Poynor — along with baseball teammates Tony Pena and Chad Payne — joined Roy Ornales and qualified for state in the 400 relay in the final track meet of the regular season.
However, Poynor didn’t do two sports at once, and he admires his athletes that much more because of it.
“The ones that are willing to do that, I have so much respect for them,” Poynor said. “They’re willing to put in double time for both.”
Chenault, who describes himself as “six-foot-nothing” and 160 pound, played shortstop, catcher and pitcher. Reed, who lists himself at 6-foot, 165 pounds, was a catcher and a third baseman for Floyd.
The baseball team ended its season last week with a 4-11 record. It wasn’t where Poynor wanted to be, but he noted the team had not fielded a baseball team in three seasons.
“I just hate to see the year end in a way because I love watching them compete,” Poynor said. “They’ve got more heart than any other kids I’ve been around. They really do.”
The Floyd schedule also helped the athletes do double-duty. Area high schools have one school period dedicated to athletics. While most schools schedule seventh period for athletics, FHS uses first period.
Now that baseball’s back in Floyd, the first period becomes a way for the athletes to have two practices without compromising either sport — even if it means they’re at school from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“It makes it easier because you can come in early,” Gillespie said. “(You) start at 7:30 to get condition and lifting. Then after school, it’s nothing but baseball. I think it’s nothing but a bonus.”
With one year down for baseball, the experiment seems to have been a success. Capps and Reed are both set to graduate, and Reed plans to try to walk on with the football team at Eastern New Mexico University.
Chenault still has another year left at Floyd, and he has no plans to change his hectic schedule.
“I won’t quit,” Chenault said. “I never do. I never seem to have time to stop.”