Logan Duplechien admits that senior-laden teams sometimes lose interest during their final year of high school competition.
This year’s Cecilia track and field team isn’t one of those teams.
“We are a very veteran team,” Duplechien said. “I have seen it before where some seniors may lose interest. It speaks volumes about our program that our guys haven’t done that. These kids have been all in since the beginning of their careers.”
The Bulldogs look to put another feather in their cap at Friday’s annual Oil City Relays at Lafayette High. Field events start at 3:15 p.m. while running events begin at 5:15 p.m.
With a veteran team that includes defending Oil City Relays 100-meter champion Raymond Calais, Cecilia enters the Oil City Relays having started the season with a pair of strong showings. The boys took first at the Bulldog Relays and the Crawfish Relays, while the girls placed third at both.
Cecilia is also the defending Oil City Relays boys team champions, having edged host Lafayette High 99-93 last year.
“The kids are always excited to compete in this event,” Duplechien said. “There is lot of good competition here. The Relays are an event early on in the season that allows you to see where you are at with your program. It is the best of the best.”
Despite being the defending champion, Duplechien isn’t focused on taking home the title again but instead is looking for his team to build off the experience of competing against nearly 20 other teams from Acadiana.
“It would be great to win, but I just want our kids to get some good experience against quality completion,” Duplechien said. “Hopefully that will carry over to rest of the year.”
St. Thomas More coach Kevin Castille said he knows all about the experience of competing in the Oil City Relays.
Not only has the longtime Cougars coach brought his team to the event for more than a decade, he competed in it as well in the late 1990s. Castille is now hoping the level of the competition his young girls team will face Friday will help pave the way for success, not only this year but years to come.
“The potential for our team in the next few years is very high,” Castille said. “We have a really good freshman class, but our girls are young. This meet is a good experience for them. The objective is always to go out there and compete and have fun.”