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Centerville High T&F surges into another season

Centerville High T&F surges into another season
Courtesy: Matt Somerlot

Matt Somerlot - Head Coach of CHS T&F

CENTERVILLE, Ohio — I have been connected to the Centerville High School (CHS) track and field program since 1974, when my family moved to Centerville. My dad was head coach of CHS boys’ and girls’ track from 1975-81. My mom took over as head girls’ coach from 1982-98, while my dad stayed in charge of the boys. When my mom was named as a coach of the U.S. Olympic team in 2000, she had to step down; so my dad took over in 1999. When he retired in 2000, I became head coach of the boys’ team. I’ve been in charge of both programs since 2015, and it’s been amazing to be the caretaker of these programs. We are currently celebrating our 78th boys’ and 47th girls’ seasons.

Participation in sports provides opportunities for athletes to grow physically, mentally and socially. It is my responsibility as a coach to provide the atmosphere that will enable this growth to take place.

Many coaches use their sport as a vehicle to enrich the lives and futures of their athletes. Their greatest reward is not the outcome of winning, but rather the process of training and competition that positively affects the personal development of young athletes. It is with these thoughts in mind that I try to be the best coach, mentor and role model I can be for our athletes.

We build our schedule around being a very young team and having more relay meets than invitationals. This allows us to build a winning culture, cultivate teamwork and ease kids into the level of competition that we compete at by season’s end.

We try to travel to Columbus twice a year, to see the teams/individuals that we will need to beat at the state meet. That level of competition, combined with our conference and local competition, serves our program well.

A new track was installed in summer 2021, which has been a game changer for us. The kids love it. It’s raised our training and has helped cut back on injuries, for sure!

Competition is an important part of athletics, but it should never be a requirement for a young person to participate in a sport. I encourage all interested young people to join our program and to experience the positive growth that can come from that participation. Our team is made up of competitors, who will get the best training available to succeed in competitive situations, and participants, who will get the best training available to enjoy and grow from their sporting experience. I hope that our participants will one day be our competitors.

I want our teams to win our meets, but I have a much broader sense of the term “success.” It is that term that I work toward as a coach. When athletes and teams train hard to develop their abilities, give their best in competition and practice, and show the will to push themselves beyond their self-imposed limits, they are successful. We strive for this success and have fun doing it every day.

Notable Athletes

Boys

  • Quinn Anderson, senior—800 meters (state qualifier); 4×800 indoor relay, winter (All State)
  • Connor Boring, senior; Tyler Job, senior; and Lucas Melzer, sophomore—4×800 indoor relay, winter (All State)
  • Cameron Gay—shot put (No. 1 in state)

Girls

  • Aliciana Ilias, senior; and Mckenna Thompson, senior (All State, indoor)—discus, hammer throw (state level)
  • Victoria Kuol, junior—shot put, hammer throw (state qualifier)
  • Zoe Lamb, senior—pole vault (state level), relay
  • Mia Robillard, junior—distance (All State honors, indoor and outdoor), cross-country (state title)

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