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4-14-2022 Lessons from the Rings - District Edition

“It is easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows like a song. But the man worthwhile is the one who can smile, when everything goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is troubled, and it always comes with years, and the smiles that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through the tears.”  

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox 

As we began the District competition on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, this quote summarized the season for me to this point. This year I had throwers who worked hard every day and others. I wondered if I would see them at practice. This year, on the boys’ side, there is hope for the successes of those returning next year and continuing to Area. On the girls' side, the program seems to be in a lull. Although we had district champions in every Junior Varsity event and one Varsity district champion and three advancing to Area much will not improve without a change in the work ethics. 

The Junior Varsity girls threw shot first and Rose Scotello won the shot put with a 31’6” throw. This would have placed her 6th in the Varsity Meet. This throw was also the 7th best throw by athletes I have coached since ’09. However, this was her first year throwing for Lytle and I wanted to give her the confidence to enter the rings next year with a championship mentality. Also, she came after the deep run by the basketball team and was balancing softball and track and she only got time in the rings in the morning. Marianne Hutton was another thrower who came from the basketball team. She asked me the Monday after the Regional Championship for the girls if it was too late to throw even if it was only Junior Varsity. She said, “I would like to throw, if it is not too late. I had fun last year and would like to throw again even if it is only Junior Varsity.” Where Rose likes shot better, Marianne favors the discus. Marianne placed 4th in Shot and yesterday, April 13, 2022, won the discus competition with a final throw of 83’1”. She was beaming as she came to the Varsity shot put ring to tell me of her success. I could have thrown Marianne in the Varsity discus ring but she would have only thrown three throws because 85’ was the mark needed to throw in finals. Rose threw a 4th place throw of 67’3.5”. Katherine Scotello rounded out the three Junior Varsity girls throwing. I had trained the throwers to the District standard of placing in the top 8 and then getting three more throws. I will be glad to be rid of this District due to the way they treat throwing competitions at District level competitions. Last year they began the Varsity discus by pinning and not measuring. This year they didn’t do prelims or finals for throwers of jumpers in Junior Varsity. Rose finished as the 8th best shot putter in the competition but was robbed of getting three more throws. Her final discus throw was also her best of the day at 56’9”. The girls added 28 points to the District Champion team totals. I appreciate their teammate Anabella Lopez writing down the measures for the discus competition. 

The Junior Varsity boys had my Fab Five Freshmen. They grew this year and are ready to step in as Varsity competitors in the future. The shot put was thrown on Tuesday and William Davalos, affectionately known as Willy, went in as the favorite. To be the favorite is one thing but to come out on top is another. William’s best throw was 38’. This won the Meet and scored 10 points for the team. His toss would have placed him 9th in the Varsity competition. He will be able to step into Varsity next year and make gains with work. Jairo Martinez is the only boy competing in both the shot and discus. He seems to favor the discus but his toss of 33’ placed him 3rd in the Meet. This was his personal record and he bested many of the throwers who had beat him earlier in the season. Giovanni Davalos also threw shot put and threw a Personal Record of over 30’ which was his goal for the Meet. Jairo Martinez felt the pressure of winning the discus competition. His victory would sweep all four boys discus competitions this year. His second throw of 101’ won the Meet and boys in Lytle rule the discus rings. Andres Arredondo threw 80’ and placed him 9th and Ajay Frausto, who placed 2nd as an 8th Grade boy in discus last year, only managed a 75’11” throw this go around. I really appreciate Ajay’s mom recording the distances for the boys. Joanna was in my first 2nd Grade class in ’92 and now I have instructed her son and her daughter in my Lead Worthy class in 7th gGrade. The Junior Varsity boys added 26 points to the Junior Varsity team total. 

April Bodie was my only representative in Varsity girls’ discus. April is the Tech operator for the Regional qualifying One Act Play, so she has been very inconsistent in her morning practices. She is the 7th Grade record holder for discus with a 71’8” throw and she threw 83’ as an 8th Grader, however, she works more on the shot put. She threw a Personal Record in the discus ring to place 5th with 89’1”. This is her first medal in District in the discus. I was glad she medaled but I was also glad that she didn’t advance because of the lack of work in the discus. I knew her strength was shot. She is the 7th place thrower in the Region from last year but last year was last year. She and Sarah Ytuarte were my two Varsity shot putters. April came in as one of the top four throwers in the District but what would she throw was the question. Her first press was only 27’. I had already raised issues about the running of the shot put ring and she scratched her second throw and I was afraid that my questioning the officials caused the scratch. How would football coaches react to an official who admitted they didn’t really know what they were doing? April’s third throw, however, was her best throw of the four years as a Varsity thrower. 33’9.5”. This placed her 2nd going into the finals. She had one girl from Dilley throw past her in the finals but she advanced to Area for the second year in a row at 3rd. Sarah Ytuarte is my hardest working thrower in the school. Yes, she has weaknesses but she finished this year throwing 26’5”. As she walked away from the rings she said, “I have one more year.” The Varsity girls added 8 points to the team total. 

The Varsity boys began in the discus ring but I will start with the shot put news. Two of my three boys made the finals. Hector Amaya threw a best of 35’6” but his second throw was scratched. It was not an enjoyable experience in the rings for me. I have a problem with adults who are put in areas of responsibility being inept. Mario Diaz and Austin Dubose advanced to the finals. Austin made it in by 3 inches. Mario was sitting on the bubble at 4th which advances to Area. Last year, Robey Harold was in the same position and a boy from Karnes City bested him. This year the same situation and Mario remained in 4th and advanced to Area with a toss of 41’5.5”. The highlight of the rings was Austin’s final throw. He was in 8th place and on his last throw he hit 40’6” which moved him to medal in 6th. Rather good for throwing in “Hey Guy” shoes. “Coach, do these throwing shoes make you better?” Austin asked during the competition. These points belong to Coach Escamilla as he got them to come out in March.  

Finally, the Varsity discus. Alex Medina, Cort Haltom and Nathaniel Miller all reached the finals. Nathaniel ended up 8th with a nice toss of 111’1”. Cort Haltom finished 6th with a toss of 115’ and Alex Medina won the Meet by 10 feet with a good fifth throw of 129’6”. Alex and Cort were both Regional qualifiers last year. Cort welds in the afternoon so he came to morning practice about 10 times this season for about 30 minutes per session. I hope Cort keeps his 6th place medal and every time he sees it, he is reminded of the importance of work. Alex continues to the Area Meet with his attempt to make the Regional Meet for his second year. 

Finally, I would like to say goodbye to Cort. He leaves the throwing rings as the third best discus thrower I have coached. He is the first boy to score a point in the Regional Meet by placing 6th last year. He is the first Area Champion. People may ask why I just didn’t cut him for not being at practice. That crossed my mind but there was too much we had travelled together to give up on someone. I read his STAAR tests in 8th Grade. I walked through the good times and tough times with him. If I had people quit on me when I hadn’t done the job I was to do, there is no telling where I had ended up. I want Cort and all my throwers to know it is not about the rings but about life. We throw for a brief period but it is important to know you have someone who has your back and lifts you in prayer every day. On to Area and an Easter blessing for you. 

“The Lord Bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”  

- “The Blessing” by Kari Jobe 

Hadley Foster