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Sherwood’s Archers on track with 2012 goals


Sherwood Middle School has a rich legacy and is traditionally strong in a wide range arts and athletics.

 Sherwood Archers Track Team

by Andre ‘Coach’ Mitchell
Special to the Tri-State Defender

Sherwood Middle School has a rich legacy and is traditionally strong in a wide range arts and athletics. Throughout the years, Sherwood students have helped to build upon a storied program where being exceptional is the standard.

The student athletes who make up this year’s Archers track and field team are determined to maintain the high standard. They have the challenge of defending the state championship title.

 Sherwood Track Coaches: (left to right) Gayltan Bolen, Edison Ezell, Laura Byrnes

The New Tri-State Defender dropped in on the Archers and found them hard at work preparing for an upcoming meet at Fairground Stadium. Sherwood’s Coach Gayltan Bolen has been instructing and molding young rookies into runners for the past sevens years at Sherwood. She possesses a keen passion for the sport, stemming from her days as a track participant in high school and college.

 “I strive to help young people become more physically fit and help build their confidence and self esteem,” said Bolen. “Coaching track allows me to do both simultaneously.”

The team has a host of newcomers and so far they collectively seem to be group willingly to take care of business inside the classroom as well, she said.

Support goes a long way, said Bolen, who believes that when students and parents come out to the track meets and show support, it does something for the heart and mind.

“I think peer support helps to elevate self esteem in our students, especially at track meets,” she said.

Coach Edison Ezell has been lending his skills and insight to the track program at Sherwood since 2004. He said many of the students are multi-talented youngsters who are involved in a host of extracurricular activities, such as choir and volleyball.

Asked what he wants the student-athletes to learn most this season, Ezell, said, “To always put forth the effort to achieve their goals and remember that nothing beats failure, except a try!”

He credits Sherwood’s administration for establishing a working relationship with students who participate in school-related functions and/or teams.

“We don’t have the level of problems with our students because of our administration, coaches and teachers, we work well with our students and are better able to teach them because we make an extra effort to reach them,” he said.

First year coach Laura Byrnes brings a wealth of running experience, having coached Cross Country prior to coming to Sherwood. The key lesson she hopes track team members will learn is that discipline should be factored into everything.

“Discipline is 80 percent mental and 20 percent skill,” Byrnes said. “If our students can train their brains to be strong, it will help them in everything they do.”


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