First year track coach Kris Harmon describes his Bartlett boys thinclads as short on experience but long on talent.
Harmon, who coaches at perennial power Houston the last three seasons, has grown the Panther contingent from eight athletes a year ago to 52 donning cleats this spring.
Assisted by longtime track mentor Jim Frost returning Bartlett assistant Keith Gibbs, Harmon says his boys may be novices when it comes to track but should be okay by May.
“We are young and clueless (about track) but athletic,” Harmon said. “The majority of the team has bought into what we are trying to accomplish and there is a real sense of excitement around the track.”
Only two sprinters, Tony Jackson and Kelvin Crawford, and one thrower, Nigel Yancey, return from a season ago. Yet they are surrounded by enough numbers to allow the Panthers to fill out a full event roster this spring.
Middle distances are expected to be the Panthers strength with strong relay tandems in the 4×400, 4×800 and 4×200.
“We’ll take our lumps early but I think we’re going to be good in the springs, hurdles and jumps,” Harmon said. “We have athletes, we just have to teach them track.”
Football standouts Robert Wingo, Josh Hall and Demarious Cason are joined by basketball athlete Desmond Howard, reflecting the athletic status Harmon says dominates his squad.
Houston, White Station, Central and Southland are expected to hold down their tradition spots at the top of the region standings.