The Morehouse Parish GUMBO Team (Games Uniting Mind and Body) consists of students throughout the parish who are interested in competing in track and field and have a physical, hearing or visual impairment. These are students who function independently, just as they would on their school track team. They are trained by the adapted physical education teachers, occupational therapists and their parents. Each student is classed according to their functioning ability and age. They compete against students in their respective age divisions and with the same classifications. Students can participate in this program from 5 years old until they graduate from high school. But the benefits don’t stop there. Athletes who excel in GUMBO can go on and participate in post high school athletics for individuals with disabilities, including the Paralympics. Our own Bobby Williams competed on the Bastrop High track team this year, and he went on to win first place at the Louisiana State High School track meet at Louisiana State University. We are so proud of him. Bobby has also been selected to be a member of the 2018 Louisiana Mudbug Team. He will compete with seven other students from across the state at the Endeavor Games in Edmund Oklahoma in June. This is a great honor. He will compete against future and past Paralympic athletes from across the United States and other countries around the world.
The goal of GUMBO is to provide athletic opportunities for students with disabilities while getting the families involved, and this year they really have been.
There were four regional meets held during the spring throughout the state. On May 5, our team competed at Louisiana Tech University in the GUMBO Delta Meet. Shaquille Vance, a two-time Paralympic athlete was our guest athlete. His story is powerful, and his finishes in Rio and London were strong. He is an Olympic medalist. We were honored to have him as a role model for our students. His future plans include competing in 2020 in Tokyo. Ruston’s mayor, Ronny Walker, served as the Master of Ceremonies. He was gracious and hospitable, welcoming all. Mr. Adam McGuirt, Associate Athletic Director for Louisiana Tech, made the day accessible for all. Mrs. Katrina Pates, of Bastrop, sang the "Star Spangled Banner" as the Grambling Tiger Battalion presented the colors. Students from across Louisiana competed in the event.
Our athletes, their respective school, and their results are as follows: Craymon Benton, Master Class 6, Bastrop High Graduate, 1st 20 and 60 meter, shot put and discus; Shadiamond Jackson, Senior Class 7, Bastrop High, 1st long jump, 100 meter, discus; Bobby Williams, Senior Class 8, Bastrop High, 1st discus, shot put, 100 and 200 meter, long jump; Hannah Buffington, Master Class 7, Bastrop High Graduate, 1st shot put, discus, 60 and 100 meter; William Buffington, Senior Class 7, Bastrop High, 1st discus, shot put, 100 and 200 meter, long jump; Ricky Logan, Junior Class 8, Delta, 1st in long jump, shot put, 100 metter, 200 meter; Jabez Glosson, Junior Class 6, West Ridge (former Morehouse Junior High), 1st 60, 100 and 200 meters, shot put, discus; Lundan Watson, Junior Class v4, Delta, 1st in long jump, discus, 60 and 100 meter races; Jamie Winfield, Bantam Class 8, Delta, 1st in 60 and 100 meter races, softball throw, shot put, Journei Watson, Bantam Class v4, Delta, 1st in 20, 60 and 100 meter races, long jump and softball toss; Edwin Burks, Class 11 Junior, Delta, four first place finishes and one second; Ky'Ren Johnson, Junior Class v3, Delta Magnet, 1st in 100, 200 and 400 meter races, shot put and discus; Jaelin Barthol, Junior Class 8, Beekman Charter, 1st shot put, discus, third 100 meter; Jonathan Arbet, Junior Class 11, MJH, 1st discus, 2nd long jump; Seth May, Senior Class 8, MJH, 1st discus, 2nd shot put and long jump; Katelyn Logan, Junior Class 8, MJH, 1st long jump, 200 and 400 meter, 2nd discus, 3rd shot put; Leonidous Floyd, Bantam Class 8, Pine Grove, 2nd discus, 3rd long jump and shot put; Quandarious Brandon, Junior Class 8, Pine Grove, 3rd place shot put and discus; and October Tate, Bantam 8, Head Start, 1st softball, 2nd discus and 60 meter.
Speed Stacking is a sport that has taken off throughout the United States and here in Morehouse Parish. Students trained throughout the year for the competition in three divisions – visually impaired, one hand and two hands. Students were divided into two age categories – elementary and high school. The competition was held at Louisiana Tech during the GUMBO Games on May 5. Spectators were amazed at how fast the students could stack set patterns. One student was awarded the trophy for being the secondary champion – Navaeh Davis of Morehouse Junior High. Donovan Brown, a third grade student from Delta Elementary, was awarded the elementary award and Grand Champion. His time was the fastest of all the stackers. Students are already polishing their skills for next year. Results are as follows: Elementary (one hand division) – 1st place, Jamie Winfield (Delta); Elementary (two hand division) – 1st place, Donovan Brown (Delta) and 2nd place, Jordan Williams-Mark (MJH); Secondary (one hand division) – 1st place, Bobby Williams (BHS); Secondary (visually impaired) – 1st place, Ky'Ren Johnson (Delta); Secondary (two hand division) – 1st place, Nevaeh Davis (MJH), 2nd place, Darian Williams (Delta), 3rd place, Jaelin Barthol (Beekman Charter) and 4th place, William Buffington (BHS).
Elementary Champion and Grand Champion were Donovan Brown (third grade – Delta Elementary) and Secondary Champion Navaeh Davis (sixth grade – MJH).
The top 15 athletes from GUMBO’s State Invitational held in October 2017 were invited to a Sports Clinic in January 2018 to be assessed on independence, social skills, athletic ability and maturity. From the two-day clinic, which included an overnight stay, the Louisiana Mudbug Team wass formed. Our own Bobby Williams (Bastrop High) was selected to the 2018 Mudbug Team. He will be traveling with three coaches and seven other athletes to Edmund, Oklahoma on June 7-10 at the University of Central Oklahoma to compete. Angie Culpepper, Morehouse Parish adapted physical education teacher, will be one of the Mudbug’s coaches. The games are sponsored in part by the U.S. Paralympics, so Bobby will have an opportunity to compete against the best of the best. Shaquille Vance will also be competing at the Endeavor Games. He was the guest athlete/celebrity for the 2018 GUMBO Delta Meet held in Ruston at Louisiana Tech University on May 5.