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Runnin’ & jumpin’ like the wind


Ronnie Perry Sr. & Ronnie Perry Jr. The best of what Memphis and Shelby County has to offer in middle school track & field was on display during the MIAA City Championships last week.

by Andre Mitchell
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

The best of what Memphis and Shelby County has to offer in middle school track & field was on display during the MIAA City Championships last week (April 27) and The New Tri-State Defender was there and determined to get up close and personal.

Ridgeway’s eighth-grade, standout, Ronnie Perry, took the top spot in the boy’s 200 meter dash, with a time of 23.78 seconds, and the long jump, with a leap of 20 feet and one inch.

Tri-State Defender: As a student-athlete, what do you aspire to achieve most of all in school and your sport?

Ronnie Perry: I aspire to graduate from high school and attend college, maybe USC (University of Southern California). I plan to major in business and own a restaurant one day.

TSD: What do you find most challenging?

RP: Keeping everything balanced. Currently, I carry a 3.9 GPA and understand that I must balance my schoolwork, chores and sports. Although I play several sports (football being my favorite), I am a student first and an athlete second.

TSD: Who’s your most influential role model?

RP: (laughs) My dad, Ronnie Sr., and (when it comes to football), Sam Craft (rising senior at Craigmont High School). I’ve watched him since I was a little kid; I admire the way he carries himself, plays football, basketball and takes care of his business in the classroom.

TSD: Where do you plan to attend high school?

RP: I’m undecided at the moment, but I’m considering East, Ridgeway, Whitehaven and a few others, but those schools are at the top of my list.

• • •


Fairview Middle School’s track & field team did well enough to take home the top honors in the girl’s 4x200 meter relay, with a time of: 1:51.47, while the boy’s team did the same in the 4x100 meter relay, with a time of: 46.61

 
 Coach Jessica Ball, multi-medal winners Jala Allen & DeQuan Dallas, along with Coach Kendrick Wade

Two of their stellar student-athletes are Jala Allen & DeQuan Dallas.

Tri-State Defender: (J. Allen) as a student-athlete, what do you aspire to achieve most of all in school and your sport?

Jala Allen: I aspire to make it all the way to state and win!

TSD: What do you find most challenging?

J.A.:  Getting better, so I try to work harder every day, stay focused and out of trouble.

TSD: Who’s your most influential role model?

J.A.: My mom, Sandra Allen. She encourages me to do my best in everything I set out to do.

TSD: How does participating in sports, help you in the classroom?

J.A.: It helps because in track or any sport, you have to be disciplined and focused, just like the classroom, so it’s like practice in a way. Participating in track helps me to prepare for class and class helps me to prepare for college and life after college.

• • •


TSD: (D. Dallas) as a student-athlete, what do you aspire to achieve most of all in school and your sport?

DeQuan Dallas: Excellence in my class work comes first, then my extracurricular activities.

TSD: What do you find most challenging?

D.D.:  Trying to out-perform my competition.

TSD: Who’s your most influential role model?

D.D.: My great uncle, he was a former track star, and seeing what he accomplished motivates me to do my absolute best.

TSD: What role does education play when it comes to participating in sports?

D.D.: It plays a major role because education is what will help me to learn anything – period! I would like to play football professionally and maybe join the military (Army) when I get older. It will take education to do those things.”

• • •


Fairview track & field coach, Kendrick Wade, is in his second year.

TSD: (Coach Wade) as a coach, what has it been like at the helm the past two years?

Coach Kendrick Wade: The success that I’ve had at Fairview has been a product of hard work, dedication, perseverance and belief in us all from the principal, AD, coaches, parents and our student-athletes.

TSD: What has been most challenging thus far?

Coach Wade: Changing the culture of the students, period! For the past 10-12 years, Fairview hasn’t been very strong in sports, so getting rid of that “losing mentality” was instrumental. It was a great challenge, but it has changed for the better, so it was 100 percent worth it.

TSD: In working with young student-athletes, what do you try to get them to understand most?

Coach Wade: I preach to my kids daily about always being respectful and always working hard. Good character traits are good to have and can take you a long way in life.”

TSD: Who is your most influential role model?

Coach Wade: My mother has always been my most influential role model.

TSD: What words of encouragement do you have for any student-athletes and our readers?

Coach Wade: It doesn’t matter where you are; it’s more about who you are and where you want to go in life.

 

 

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