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Spring Sports Previews: Coach Ivie prepares 2013 Cougars to contintue school State streak

By Thomas Sellers Jr.munford-cougars

Munford Head Track Coach Bernard Ivie always features the Class 3A State Track Meet on his schedule.

And he seems to always send at least one representative from Munford High School in his first 11 years.

Entering year 12, Ivie said there are several candidates to join the likes of former Cougars like Buck Wakefield, Dominga Smith, Evan Sisung and Crystal Williams to reach Murfreesboro.

And another Munford legend who reached State twice is related to one of the Cougars top hopefuls in 2013. Matt Gray finished second in the State Shot Put behind current NFL player Dontari Poe.

“Tyler Gray can get us back there,” Ivie said. “He’s worked hard in the weight room all year. I’m really looking for him to be back in the Shot. And I would not be surprised if he ends up there in the Discus.”

Matt had been working with his little brother on his form and strategy. The younger Gray has been in the weight room with football and now track building his strength for his field events.

Another field athlete to watch out for at Munford is Kane Robinson in the high jump. He just missed out reaching State last year hitting 6-foot, 1 inch at Sectionals.

On the girls’ side Xandria Somerville has emeraged as a hopeful for State.

“In the girls Somerville could possibly make it in the High Hurdles, 300m Hurdles or Triple Jump,” Ivie said. “She’s worked real hard in the offseason.

“Megan Wade does the Penthalon for us,” he continued. “She has a chance there. She has a chance in all of her events. She’s only a sophomore and is a really hard worker.”

Ivie said some of the wildcards are his distance runners, a 4x800m relay team and some of the basketball players about to join his team.

From Missouri to Munford, Ivie has been coaching track for 40 years, taught his sons Conrad and Cole and guided a State champion in Williams. The veteran coach said the 2013 will be a challenge to continue the State streak but he said the most important thing is treating each athlete on his team like a star.

“We’re a very young team this year,” he acknowledged. “I have four senior boys and at the moment two senior girls. So, were going to be a very, very young team. So it might be a year of struggles for us teamwise. But like I told them, we don’t have to have a lot of first place. We can still have a lot of thirds and seconds and fourths and still win a meet.

“Here at Munford we coach a team,” Ivie concluded. “We don’t just pick out the individuals we think who are going to State and coach them. We think that tracks contributes so much to our school, so we coach them all.”

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