Waco athletes win Methodist Children’s Home first track and field state championship

Many team members had never run track before the season started
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 12:40 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A group of high school athletes, many whom had never run track before the season started, made school history at the Methodist Children’s Home in Waco by bringing home the school’s first track and field state championship.

The Methodist Children’s Home, which is a place that helps children from difficult backgrounds, won the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship (TCAF) State Men’s Championship meet in Boyd, just outside Fort Worth.

It was a first for the school, but what makes the feat even more impressive was the fact that most of the athletes had never participated in track before.

“It’s kind of unique because the majority of the track team had never participated in any kind of championship meets or even ran track so that was a unique situation, so we had to teach them all the fundamentals but what I’ve found is that kids that have never done something that are eager to learn they are easier to coach,” said coach Darrell Williams, the school’s athletic coordinator and track coach.

Methodist Children’s Home has 88 residential youth between the Waco and Boys Ranch residential campuses. They also have 16-day students who are part of a charter school.

15 student athletes competed at the track meet, though school officials say more were part of the team, but were unable to attend due to various reasons like home visits.

The coach said, from day one, he saw potential in the kids they couldn’t see themselves, and he began to tell them they had the talent to win a state championship.

“One of our best runners, he was like ‘coach, you’re going to jinx us’ because from the start of the season I said, ‘we’re going to win state,’ that was my goal for them, and they made it their goal,” Williams said proudly.

The teams practiced day in and day out, even on weekends. “I kept telling them the only thing that can stop us is us,” Williams said.

As it became apparent the team was going to win the state championship, Williams said he became emotional. “I saw one of the kids walking by, and I said, ‘what did I tell you?’ And he ran over and gave me a hug.”

The girls team earned a fifth place finish as a team, which is impressive, Williams said, because the team has just five student athletes.

“Nobody worked harder than us, I’m pretty sure. Nobody worked harder than us,” Williams said.

The boys team only had one senior, and expectations for next year’s team are already very high.

“I told them, ‘You did it once. You know what it felt like. Now let’s do it again,” Williams said.

You can go to MCH.org for more information on the Methodist Children’s Home.