It’s been a year of athletic resurgence at McCamey.
After breakthrough performances on the gridiron and hardwood, the Badgers have taken to the track to make their mark in another sport.
The track and field season still hasn’t reached its district meet, but McCamey has a much bigger goal on its mind.
“These kids want to be in Austin,” Badgers’ head track and field coach Terry Murphey said about his teams’ goal of competing at the state meet. “We’re really working for that.”
Before McCamey can make the jump to the biggest meet in the state, it needs to go through the regional meet. That’s why they competed at the 74th annual West Texas Relays Friday at Ratliff Stadium.
The Region I-2A meet takes place the last weekend of April at Ratliff and Murphey wants the Badgers to get used to the venue.
“We know that when we ran here last year, it was little bit of big stage for us,” Murphey said.
“The kids had never experienced that and so we wanted to get them used to it.”
A lot has changed since last year’s regional meet though. Fred Staugh was just hired as the school’s new athletic director and head football coach.
From his first day, he set new expectations at McCamey and surrounded himself with coaches, like Murphey, that also bought into each athlete’s untapped potential.
It started in the fall when McCamey suffered one regular-season loss to Iraan and won a district championship. The Badgers also won a playoff game before ending their season in the area round.
McCamey also won a district title on the basketball court and won three playoff games before losing in the regional semifinals to state finalist Stinnett West Texas.
Now McCamey is looking to bring that success year-round.
“It’s been like an ongoing process,” McCamey senior Andre Tone said. “From the first day coach (Staugh) got here, he set the tone where he wanted it, after that, we seniors just built it up and everyone decided to follow.”
While a lot of the Badgers focus during the fall and winter has gone to one sport respectively, the spring gives athletes a chance to do a few sports.
Several of the Badgers’ track athletes are also playing basketball, having to switch from one sport to another quite often.
“Football kind of set the tone for everybody,” McCamey junior Gunner Adams said. “We’re trying to carry that over to the other sports.
“We want to win in everything we do, no matter what it is. In the past we had the determination just the winning wasn’t there. We didn’t know how to win, we didn’t know we were capable of winning, we didn’t know what we were capable of until we actually started putting forth the effort and the work.”
Murphey was quick to point out that the Badgers’ work ethic is what’s made the athletic program have success this year.
“They’ve done everything they’ve been asked to do,” Murphey said. “Coach Staugh came in and he established a standard of working hard and outworking people and the kids have responded to that. They responded to that in football and basketball and track. They just keep doing it in everything they do.”
Murphey added that he’d be shocked if multiple Badgers didn’t at least make it back to Odessa in late April.