IR students balance success through the spring
Until four years ago, many of Indian River High School’s student athletes didn’t have the spring athletic options they were looking for.
But with the addition of the track and field program for the past three seasons, and the introduction of a junior varsity lacrosse team this year, several individuals are getting more than enough springtime workouts, juggling both of the newly added sports, and finding considerable success.
Among the two stealing the spotlight are junior Jalen Griffin and sophomore Tim Roberts. Griffin earned 10 goals this year for Indian River’s junior varsity lacrosse program, while Roberts netted five goals, and was a contributing factor, picking up nine assists on the year. The sport, which is expected to be introduced as a varsity program next year at Indian River, has fared well, yielding an 8-2 record this year as a JV program.
Both Griffin and Roberts have also qualified for the Delaware Track and Field tournament in their respective events — Griffin, earning an automatic qualification in the 100-meter and preliminaries in the 200, while Roberts qualified in the high jump and made preliminaries in both the long- and triple-jump.
Finding time to juggle the two spring sports on top of classes doesn’t always come easy, as Griffin noted, but hard work will always pay off.
“If you can dedicate the time,” he said, “you can be successful. I didn’t run track in 10th grade, but I came back out this year. Everybody really helps out one another. In lacrosse, we call ourselves the Tribe, and when we’re out there, it’s really like a big family.”
Prior to joining the lacrosse team this year, Griffin had no prior experience with the sport.
“It was really rewarding to qualify for states on the track and to also have a good season in lacrosse,” said Roberts, who had only played pick-up games of lacrosse before joining the JV team this year. “It’s been a fun season. Everyone works hard at it and plays well together.”
Through the rest of the school year, Griffin also contributed to the varsity wrestling and football programs, while Roberts was a presence on the football season, too. Elling was a force in the water, as a member of the school’s swim team, as well.
Junior Kees Elling and sophomore Kenyatta Duncan were among the others who balanced their time between the track and the lacrosse field this past spring season.
“Having kids spread their responsibilities between two sports in the same season, and find this much success, shows that with good time management, things can get accomplished. Academically, these kids are pretty good, too. They’re competing at great levels while keeping their grades up, and that’s helping to make them well-rounded athletes.”