For many students, particularly student athletes, anxiety and isolation are things they are trying to endure in these difficult times. Southeast Bulloch junior track standout Avery Jaynes is putting a positive spin on the situation.
“It hasn’t been too difficult for me, to be honest,” Jaynes said. “It has given me more training time, and it allows me to run in the mornings when it’s a little cooler, which has been great.”
While many athletes need facilities like a batting cage, tennis courts, or a specific field to train on, Jaynes just needs a road or a trail.
“I run every day except Friday,” Jaynes said. “Usually I get up early and head over to Mill Creek park, or I will just find somewhere out in Brooklet to run.”
Jaynes’ commitment, and hard work is definitely not lost on his coaches.
“Through his own level of commitment to running Avery has become an amazing leader at Southeast Bulloch,” said Southeast Bulloch coach Laurie Pitts. “He is a prime example of a dream, and a plan put in action.”
“He works hard because he sets goals,” Pitts said. “He knows what he has to do, and he sees the results. His hard work has garnered the attention of people throughout the state. The 2019 GHSA state meet was scattered with people from other teams, and locations cheering on Southeast Bulloch, and seeing what Avery would do. He didn’t disappoint, coming in second overall.”
Jaynes continues to break school records. Last year he set the new records in the 1,600 meter run, and the 3,200 meter run. This year he already bested his 3,200 meter run time with his first sub 10 minute time.
“It has been a goal of mine to get my two-mile time under 10 minutes,” Jaynes said. “I was able to do that a few weeks ago, which was a huge accomplishment. I still hope to get my time even lower, hopefully we get a chance to continue our season.”
While coaches are not allowed to be with athletes at this time, many have tried to keep in touch with their athletes, and encourage them to try and stay in shape.
“They are very encouraging as far as us training on our own,” Jaynes said. “Coach Lattimore has talked to us a little but, but we aren’t able to use the track at Southeast Bulloch, or any of the facilities so we are kind of on our own to find places to go.”
Jaynes has spoken to some of his teammates, as well as a few student athletes who play different sports. Jaynes feels like there are a few who are optimistic about returning to action, and are continuing to try and stay in shape.
“I know some kids are using this break as just a break to rest or sit around,” Jaynes said. “There are however a lot of athletes who are still optimistic, and training. We want to be prepared to go back to our seasons, and we won’t have much time to prepare if we do.”
Jaynes is hopeful of parlaying his athletic accomplishments into a college scholarship. For most high school students it is their junior year that’s the most important, as that is the time most college coaches start making decisions regarding the following year’s class.
“I understand that this year is so important, since I am a junior,” Jaynes aid. “If we miss our region and state meets, it will be difficult. The only thing is, everyone is in the same situation, and there is not much we can do about it other than just train and hope we still get a chance this year.”
“What he has is contagious,” Pitts said. “Other runners are watching what he does, and following suit. His times will continue to drop, and he will accomplish impressive things. I’m proud to be given the opportunity to coach him.”