Hornets coach embraces challenge

In his second year of coaching track and field, Medora’s Jason Booker serves a new role.

Last year, in his inaugural coaching season, Booker acted as an assistant. When the job opened up to head the program for the 2015 season, Booker’s name was first on the list.

One of the toughest challenges for Booker and the Hornets this season is competing with bigger schools.

Medora, the second-smallest public school in the state, fields five boys and two girls on the team.

“I just tell them to have fun,” Booker said. “With a school this size, you’re not going to win sectional, regional or state as a team. If you’re not going to have fun, you’re not going to do well.

“I have a small group, but they all want to do it. It makes my job a lot easier. We have five boys and two girls.”

The track and field team doesn’t have an actual track — they practice by running on the streets and at the baseball field in Medora.

“Competing against the larger schools is tough,” Booker said. “Not necessarily just the people, but the equipment and everything they’ve got that we as a small school doesn’t have. It’s really hard to do everything you need to do running on the streets.”

While they may have a small team, Booker emphasizes that his athletes put in the work.

“I over-run them,” Booker said. “If they’re going to run a 3,200 in a meet, they will run a 3,600 in practice. That way, once they get to that 100 meters, they’re not worn out, they still have a half-mile to go. Every meet, they’ve gotten better, so it seems to be working right now.”

The Hornets’ biggest goals are seeing improvement.

“I bring up every meet that they need to at least beat last year’s time in order to be competitive,” Booker said. “It’s a goal for them to get better than they were.”

Booker, a Medora graduate of 1995, has enjoyed returning to the school in a different role. This past winter, Booker also headed the boys junior high basketball team.

“I played all the sports I could in high school and loved it,” Booker said. “I thought that I could help the kids a little bit with what I know. It’s fun, but it’s a big surprise how different it isn’t from 20 years ago. It’s a new building, but it’s the same size to me.”

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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.