Congratulations in order for west side prep tracksters

Tryve Brackin

Back in the spring of 1977, my first covering Iberville Parish prep track and field, White Castle High’s boys accomplished a feat not since matched or overcame.

That Bulldog team qualified in each of the 18 events held at LSU, running away with the Class 2-A state title. The Castlemen continued to excel for a few additional trips to Bernie Moore Stadium and the school’s program has been the highest achieving over the years passed.

Plaquemine High long has turned in steady performances and state event champs, while St. John High registered a best third place at state in the Plaquemine Catholic school’s history during its glory years of four trips to the state championship runner-up honors, two in football and two in baseball. Meanwhile, the PHS and White Castle girls have been very productive in state track, especially in recent years.

Overall, however, with the sole accomplishments of the PHS Lady Green Devils and a few WCHS girls in recent trips to the state meet, track and field has dipped in production on the higher level of accomplishment in the Parish. That said, there were some shinning lights coming forth from a handful of talented lady sprinters and the efforts of a pair of East Iberville High Bulldogs at the recent state meet competition.

Plaquemine High’s girls continued to lead the way with an eighth-place finish in Class 4-A, while East Iberville’s boys closed out with a top finish of tenth place in Class 1-A. However, WCHS girls were tenth in 1-A girls.

The results came about due to the tremendous efforts of a handful of Parish track standouts.

PHS’ Aldrianna Dupree and WCHS’ Ariel Bell proved to be the best sprinters in their classifications this spring, while EIHS’ Anthony Davis became a state champ in the 110-meter hurdles.

Dupree registered outstanding times of 11.77 in the 100 meters and 24.41 in the 200 to take 4-A event championships. Bell recorded the same event championships in 1-A with an 11.94 to win the 100 meters and 25.13 to capture the 200 meters.

Bell has been running in high school track since the eighth grade. I retired five years ago from the POST SOUTH and yet I watched, wrote, and photographed Ariel before leaving the profession.

Meanwhile, youngster Anthony Davis excelled for the tenth place EI Tigers, winning the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 15.6, quite impressive for Class 1-A level. He added a fifth place in the 300-meter hurdles, while teammate Lyndell Joseph, perhaps the best all-sport athlete at East Iberville this school year, posted a fifth place finish in the 1-A long jump event.

Two more Parish girls turned in noteworthy finishes to lead their school teams. Destiny Jackson of EIHS was fourth in the 100 meters with a 13.07and St. John High’s Annie McLin registered a fifth place in the 100 meter hurdles and sixth in the 300 meter hurdles.

The accomplishments of Davis, Dupree, and Bell certainly were outstanding. However, neighboring west side girl track programs at Class 3-A Brusly High and Class 1-A Ascension Catholic of Donaldsonville deserve recognition from the POST SOUTH. 

Brusly turned back recent 3-A track power and district rival West Feliciana to win the classification state team title. Brusly’s girls were balanced overall in scoring points. Leading the way, however, was the duel threat of sprinters Taylor Shaw and Ta’la Spates. Shaw won the 100 meters in a time of 11.88, while teammate Spates was second in the event with a time of 12.03. Spates also took part on the winning Lady Panther 4x200 relay team, which ran an impressive 1:40.86.

Like Brusly, ACHS’s girls were impressive with overall balanced scoring on the track, the pits, and the throwing arenas. They battled to the finish to edge out a strong Haynesville High team 63 points to 62 for the north La. girls.

The 2016-17 prep season is over for Parish athletes. The top accomplishment in Iberville was White Castle High’s boys winning the Class 1-A Public state basketball title, the school’s unprecedented seventh state crown in five decades. Meanwhile, the PHS Green Devil football and boy hoop clubs continued to win district crowns and make runs into the state Public playoffs. And St. John continued to be the leader on Parish baseball diamonds since the 1970s. I cannot help but believe this will all translate into even better track and field efforts across the board as competition continues into the 2020s. But, first, the Parish public and private school systems must continue to stress EDUCATION first and foremost.