Fort Bend Marshall reached the state championship game last season. The Buffs fell to Aledo in the title game to go 15-1 on the year. With weapons like Devon Achane and Malik Hornsby on defense and a healthy Avery Helm back on defense, this group of Buffs are primed for another run.
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HOUSTON – Fort Bend Marshall track coach Lloyd Banks admitted he has been checking the weather quite a bit of late.
With the UIL State Track and Field Meet starting on Friday and weather in Texas being quite testy the last couple of weeks with strong thunderstorms hitting different parts of the state, Banks has been checking a lot.
“Today or the last two weeks,” Banks said with a laugh when asked about how much he’s checked the weather. “Today I’ve checked the app at least 20 times.”
To fit six classifications of state track athletes preparing to compete in the next two days, with that comes a rather tight schedule.
Class 1A, 3A and 5A are set to compete on Friday and then 2A, 4A and 6A to run Saturday that is a lot of events and athletes to get through their events.
With the impending severe weather in the Austin area this weekend there is the chance of lengthy weather delays and schedule changes.
“Biggest thing is managing the kids time,” Banks said. “When they’re going to warm-up, how much are they hydrating, make sure they are moving around a little bit.”
Before Fort Banks Marshall leaves for Milke A Myers Stadium on Friday, the team will eat a rather large meal. After that it will just be snacks the rest of the way until they are done.
They have a plan in place in case of a weather delay, Banks said referring to 2013 when they had to experience a few of those at the state meet but knows everyone will have to go through it just like his team will.
“We just have to run fast and turn left,” Banks said. “Make sure we get the stick around and just do what we’re ready to do. I think the kids are mentally tough enough to handle it and this is just one of the things they must go through. I think they’ll be ready.”
Last year, while chasing its third team title in four years, Fort Bend Marshall was facing adversity not on the track. There were rumors that Fort Bend ISD could be looking to close the school and disperse the students to other campuses.
This year, Mother Nature seems to be the obstacle trying to get in the way of the Buffs’ runs at a fourth title in five years.
“It is crazy, it is never normal,” Banks said. “That’s the norm is that it’s never normal. We deal with all of it, it is what it is. Because we always have adverse situations that’s one of the things that’s made the kids so strong too. They’re always fighting something. We’re used to it.
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“At the end day we’ve got to get it done. Period.”
Fort Bend Marshall does bring the fastest 4x100 and 4x200-meter relay teams in country to the University of Texas on Friday, which puts them as a favorite to win the Class 5A boys team title again.
If the Buffs pull it off, it will be the fourth title in the last five seasons.
“It’s monumental,” Banks said. “This is a crazy thing that they are a part of. I told them to embrace it. It’s very hard to cherish it while they’re in it. Right now, they just have their warrior hats on. They just want to go.”