Edwin Buggage Editor-in-Chief Data News Weekly
A Record-Breaking Year
As we are concluding another school year, it’s been one for the record books for members of the Edna Karr Male Track Team. During the LSHAA 5A District 9 Meet, Ra’Hji Dennis broke a 30-year record in the boys 200-meter dash by running a time of 21.09. Also, the 4X200-meter relay team, consisting of Dennis, Bryson Osborne, II, Cameron Hardy and Kylen Lampton, broke an over 20-year record by running a time of 1:25.16. Plus, Cameron Hardy ran first in both the 100-meter and the 400-meter dash. For many that would be a banner year, but the Cougars, at the State Class A Boys State Track and Field Championships, finished second overall. There they were competitive in many of the events and placed first in the 4X200 relay.
These young men are winners both on and off the track, and are supported by coaches, family, and friends. “The guys left it all out there,” Karr Track Coach Errin Singleton stated after the meet. Osborne, II is a senior, who recently received a full scholarship to Xavier University. “As any father would be, I’m proud of Bryson. His academic and athletic achievements have exceeded my expectations and continue to wow me every day. I know the work he puts in both off and on the track. He understands that there aren’t any days off for a student athlete, and that’s the driving force behind his success,” says his father Bryson Osborne, who also thanks his father-in-law Alvin Crusto, who continues to support his grandson in his many endeavors.
Changing the Narrative: Black Men Taking Care of their Responsibility
Oftentimes the media focuses on negative images of young Black men and Black fathers, but these men are changing the narrative. Guided by strong family and community support, these young men continue to display excellence on the track and in classroom. “I’m proud of this kid’s focus! He is a good judge of character, as far as who he allows in his world and for him excelling at track and field. His work ethic is overwhelming! He’s very determined to work for what he desires to achieve in life, not just on the track but in the classroom as well,” says Robert Dennis, proud father of Ra’Hji.
Standout team member Hardy comes from a family of sprinters. His father, uncle and grandfather all competed in track and field. “I love that Camren is competing in track. It brings back so many memories of when I ran and was there supporting my sons who were also sprinters. His dad was a sprinter at St. Aug. Camren has a bright future ahead of him, at one time he was leading the state in the 100, 200 and 400 meters,” says his grandfather Wayne Hardy, Sr., of Camren carrying on the family tradition.
It takes a Village
For all these talented young men, it truly is a team effort to make them the successes they are both on and off the track. This point is summed up by Robert Dennis. “It’s more than just his mother and I that’s credited for his support. Like the elders use to say, ‘It Takes a Village!’ And he’s been blessed with that supporting team which allows him to be a 16-year-old kid, having fun while achieving his goals.”
All these young men are examples of excellence and have bright future ahead them, and because of all the love and support they receive, they are truly on the right track.