“Playing tag in the hotels” a form of practice and fun for boys’ track

  • boys' track 2
    Members celebrate after a big win. Photo: Ali Abdel-Maksoud
  • boys' track
    Members celebrate after a big win. Photo: Ali Abdel-Maksoud

Jericho “JJ” Sylla, is this year’s captain of the boys’ outdoor track team, selected for both his leadership and athletic ability.

The team is led by Dave Thompson, a veteran coach who has won the Coach of the Year award twice for indoor track and once for outdoor.

Sylla has been to Nationals for indoor track three times in his track career, and has been to Nationals for outdoor track twice, but this year could be the third.

Sylla has also won Masslive’s “Athlete of the Year” for indoor track out of all Western Mass athletes.

Sylla mainly runs the 4×1 and the long jump.

“I love playing tag in the hotels whenever the relay team goes to nationals,” said Sylla when asked about his favorite track memory.

When asked about his superstitions surrounding track, Sylla said, “I have to put my socks and shoes on from left to right.” Obviously this method works based on Sylla’s incredible success.

Track has been a true passion for Sylla and his love for the sport is shown and seen by his teammates.

Sprinter Edward “Eddie” Cage III commented on Sylla’s passion, saying it was inspiring for him and the rest of the team, and that’s what makes Sylla a great captain.

Cage is a track veteran of two years, and in that timespan, he has grown to love the sport.

“It’s my favorite sport, but at least two days a week, I hate it. The daily running and team lifting sessions get to you,” said Cage. “It’s my favorite sport because simplicity is key.”

“Track has taught me to work hard and never give up,” said Cage.

Track has taught these important values to many, if not every  student who has run on the team at ARHS.