The Statesboro Relays
When you’re in charge of a 46-year old legacy in the state’s track and field scene, the show must go on.
The Statesboro Relays had today’s original start time postponed due to the threat of heavy rain and severe weather, but the Blue Devils will still host their signature event. While there will be no competition today, 15 of the 18 schools originally scheduled to participate are still on track to come to Womack Field for Monday’s makeup date.
Some schedules have been reworked to make the competition possible — a small obstacle to overcome for such a marquee event.
In its 46 years of existence, the Statesboro Relays have played host to six future NFL players and countless legends of GHSA track and field.
“It’s definitely something we have circled on the calendar,” SHS coach Jake Collins said. “The records for this event can stand alongside some records for the entire state. I know that our kids and other teams are excited to come here each year and take part in an event that they know has such a great history.”
For the Blue Devils, Monday will be a primer for the quickly approaching postseason.
The Region 3-AAAA track meet will be held in three weeks and — with plenty of top competition in the field — Statesboro’s boys and girls will get a solid test as they prepare to qualify for sectional and state competitions.
With so many years of history already in the books, the Statesboro Relays now carry plenty of nostalgia into each year’s competition.
Statesboro junior sprinter and field athlete Alexus Hunter will carry on a legacy started by her mother and uncle at the event as she prepares to enter more times and distances into the Statesboro, and family, record books.
Even Collins has a rich history at the relays as he competed during his high school career at Statesboro. The history doesn’t end there as Collins’ father, Clark, led the Devils to six Statesboro Relays team championships as head coach.
“It’s definitely special for me to come back and coach here,” Collins, who is in his first year in charge of the track and field squad, said. “It’s a big accomplishment and honor for me, but that’s not what I’ll be thinking about. Once the events start, I’m just concerned with our team and hoping that we can have a good showing.”
Plans are still intact to host all 16 events of the meet, meaning that Monday will be action-packed for all spectators.
The Relays — given the typical large fields — typically carry on throughout an entire day, but will be sped up this time around. GHSA rules prevent competition from starting while school is in session, so Monday’s first events will begin at 3:01 p.m., as classes at Statesboro are released for the day.
“It’s unfortunate that weather got in our way for (today),” Collins said. “But I hope that Monday might draw an even bigger crowd. I’m sure that parents and friends from the schools participating will come here. It would be great for people in town to come and support us.
“This has become a really great event over the years. Monday is going to be a big day for us as we prepare for the rest of the season.”
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.