Monroe Central track has significant increase in numbers


Times Leader Sports Editor

WOODSFIELD — The Monroe Central track program has battled low numbers the last several seasons.

Head coach Derick Shirley, who is beginning his 13th season at the helm, is very excited for this spring as he has 11 boys and seven girls out for the team, both of which are significant increases from 2021.

“We feature 14 athletes who are new to high school track and field,” Shirley said. “Half of them are in ninth grade. I am tremendously excited about the future of our program.”


The lone senior on the team is Jake Swisher, who will enter the high jump and sprints.

Two juniors are Connell McBurney (middle distance, hurdles) and Terry Price (sprints).

A trio of sophomores includes Dalton Phillips (sprints, long jump), Eric Blair (middle distance) and Trenten Cooper (sprints, long jump).

The freshmen include Evan Knowlton (jumps, sprints, hurdles), Finnegan Ogden (throws), Sam Comstock (throws), Kelby Collums (middle distance) and Blake Jennewein (sprints, relays).


Nary a senior is on the team, so the leadership duties will fall to juniors Jadyn Stewart (middle distance, long jump), Kadelan Griffith (sprints, long jump) and Nichelle Hall (sprints).

Sophomores are Riley Bettinger (sprints, middle distance) and Savannah Cecil (sprints). Two freshmen out for the sport are Abigail Kinney (throws, middle distance) and Allison Fletcher (throws).

“The returning athletes have established a team-first culture that the newcomers have followed, flourishing in its inclusiveness. Each practice brings a new opportunity for them to grow as an athlete, welcoming each task, eager to sharpen their skills.”

Shirley’s coaching staff includes Marshall Mozena.


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