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Coaches Spotlight- Jamie Abrams

April 25, 2014
Lamar County Trojans

Coaches Spotlight- Jamie Abrams

                                     Coaches Spotlight-  Jamie Abrams


1- Congrats on having a great regular season. When did you first become interested in Track and Field?  
Thanks, our athletes have done a tremendous job this year.  I became interested in track and field when I started coaching the sport.  The school where I was coaching didn’t have a track coach, so I ended up helping with it.  
2- Did you compete in HS or College as an athlete? or another Sport?   
Not participating in track and field in high school is one of my greatest athletic regrets.  I played football at the University of Arkansas, Monticello and Minnesota State University, Mankato.
3- Describe your journey from novice Coach to your Head Coaching position now
I started coaching at East Paulding High School when a coaching friend of mine took the head track job.  The following year I moved to South Paulding High School where myself and JR Neal, who is now the AD at East Paulding, started the track program over there.  When I left South, I went to Alabama and started a track and field program because they had never had one.  After a brief stint at Dublin, I ended up here at Lamar County.
4- How important is it to have the full support of the AD and resources available to succeed?
Support and resources are extremely important.  Support is more important in my opinion.  We have great support here at Lamar County.  Our Superintendent, Dr. Bill Truby shows up regularly at track meets.  Our Principal, Derick Austin, and AD, Calvin Scandrett, both have sons on the team, so they are very attentive to what is going on within the track program and would be even if their sons were not running.  We also have great community support when we host meets.  A couple of local businesses, Shane’s Rib Shack, Slices Pizzeria, United Bank, and the Kiwanis Club of Barnesville all sponsor meets for us.  
5- What are some of the challenges in building a successful program?
The biggest challenge for us at a small school is there are 4 sports going on at one time.  We don’t have a large student population, so the athletes get spread thin in the spring.  
6- Do you have a supportive Track Booster Club?
We have a good support system for our track team.  We have volunteers who run the concession stand and clerk for us.  We are able to get the same support we would get from the booster club without actually having a booster club.
7- Has Middle Track the past few years in your feeder schools helped contribute to the HS program's success?
I do believe Middle School track helps us at the High School level.  It helps introduce athletes to the sport and helps identify potential athletes.  I have been in places without Middle School track and I would say there is a definite advantage to having it in the Middle School.  Athletes can learn skills as 6th and 7th graders that other programs are having to teach to 9th graders.
8- What are your program's Goals every season? County/Region title, State Championship?
Obviously each year we start with the goal of winning Region.  After Region, our focus turns to Sectionals and trying to qualify enough potential points to be able to have a chance to win the State Championship. 
9- Assess your team's Region meet and the opporunities faced at Sectionals to advance. 
We were able to win the Region Meet by almost 40 points and we were able to advance 11 athletes in the field, both 4x1 teams, a 4x4 team, and 9 athletes on the track.  Our goal now is to get as many of those athletes as possible into the State Meet.  
10- What advancements should the GHSA make to bring our Sport on par with the 'other' 47 states ?
I would like to see a Decathlon/Heptathlon combined with a meet where all of the State Champs get together and crown an overall champion in each event.  Lamar County would be the perfect location to host such an event since we are located in Middle Georgia, if I’m allowed to put in a plug for our school.

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