SMITHVILLE — With the COVID-19 pandemic causing uncertainty about when schools and sports will resume, Smithville boys track and field head coach Alex Moore plans on sticking to the facts when telling his team what to expect for its spring season.
Despite talks of keeping schools closed through the rest of the school year, he said the facts right now are that schools are set to resume April 27 and that the Missouri State High School Activities Association has not changed the schedule for the spring sports championships.
Moore is still encouraging his student-athletes to work out from home with the hopes that this team will be able to resume its season this year.
“We need to train now just as hard individually and at home … as you would if we were meeting together for practice each day after school,” Moore said. “Because as things sit right now, there’s going to be a district competition that will qualify you for sectionals and state.”
The coach said it will be interesting if the track season returns this year without competition prior to the conference meet.
“We really don’t know who we have after graduating a large senior class last year,” he said.
That group included a 4x800-meter relay team that took 12th place and was led by then-senior Luke Termorshuizen, who also placed third in the 1600 meter.
Moore said he got a little preview of what his long distance runners would look like as his cross-country team finished seventh overall at state just one season after graduating their primary runners from a third-place finish in 2018.
Senior thrower Cody McKimens is the top returner for the Warriors after he finished in eighth place in discus at sectionals and sixth place in shot put at districts.
McKimens said he entered this season with high expectations after he started training in November with more one-on-one instruction than in years past.
“I was really planning on doing big things,” McKimens said. “So I’m very disappointed that I can’t really perform this year.”
McKimens was able to borrow equipment so he’s able to get in some throws, finding one part of the yard where his parents are less concerned about a shot put causing divots.
But Moore is concerned that other athletes in technique-focused events who don’t have access to equipment and proper facilities will have a tough time being prepared for events on short notice.
“Unless kids own the implements themselves and have someone to coach them and help with technique, those events are going to fall apart the quickest,” Moore said.