They didn’t win any banners, titles or championships, yet, the undergrads that represented Johnston High School in Rhode Island Interscholastic League indoor track will go down as history makers.
“This was our first year having a coed team at JHS,” Louis DiMaio, a popular faculty member who served as the team’s head coach, offered. “I’d call it a success overall, given the truly dedicated group we started with that was made up almost entirely of underclassmen.”
For people who don’t follow the often grueling sport of track and field, it’s often a lonely and sometimes disappointed brand of athletic competition that doesn’t draw large cheering crowds like the ones featured on nationwide television networks such as ESPN.
However, at JHS DiMaio said “I’m very, very proud of our efforts this (indoor) season. Obviously, we are looking forward to the outdoor season and are always looking for new talent who are independently motivated hard workers who can find a home on the growing track teams.”
There are, though, as DiMaio concurred, many college scholarships offered by colleges and universities that compete at various NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) levels.
Perhaps that’s where prolific Panthers like Brynn Roche are a perfect example of what a schoolboy or schoolgirl can accomplish in track and field.
“We had one athlete who excelled,” DiMaio went on while praising Roche for her seasonal laurels. “She’s only a freshman, yet gained All-Division, All-Class and placed first at the Junior Varsity state meet in the high jump.”
DiMaio’s dynamos, as someone nicknamed the upstart and growing JHS indoor track and field team, also featured five medal winning Panthers. They are: Carlos Fragoso, Sean Young, Frank Heredia, Brynn Roche and Lala Olagundoye.
Moreover, as several supporters of the coed indoor track and field team wanted it known, “this could be the beginning of something special at JHS. Lou (DiMaio) makes it fun and offers endless encouragement to each and every team member as if they were state champions. The future of coed indoor track and field is indeed very, very promising.”
While there’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams for boys and girls at JHS, the Johnston Parks and Recreation Department will soon begin offering outdoor track and field that holds its practices and weekly meets at the state of the art Mayor Joseph M. Polisena Football Stadium-Track Complex located adjacent to the school.
For more information on that program, that is scheduled to begin in late April, people should call the Rec Office at (401) 272-3460. For JHS students who’d like to test their mettle in the spring sport, they should contact DiMaio or Athletic Director Keith Cory.