With such notable names as Blake Jarrell, Bryce Jarrell and Austin Garrett graduating, Ravenswood boys track and field head coach Todd Murray knew the 2020 season would be a challenge.
It’s a challenge he was looking forward to this spring.
But as we know, it’s one Murray never truly got a chance to meet head on.
The challenge for the longest time for Murray was just keeping up the spirits of those athletes out for the sport this spring at Ravenswood. Murray set out to keep them positive and motivated as COVID-19 placed the season in a delay.
The virus ultimately brought the campaign to an end before it ever got underway.
“I knew we wouldn’t be the team we were last year,” said Murray, who also serves as Ravenswood’s head boys soccer coach. “We just really never got a chance to do much (before stoppage of practices occurred).”
Murray was in hopes, like all coaches, that some type of season would unfold. But it just was not meant to be.
He entered the season with the Jarrells and Garrett no longer around.
The three were key to Ravenswood placing third as a team last year in the Class A State Meet with 64 points. Doddridge took the title with 84.33 points with Magnolia a very close second at 82.
At last year’s state event in Charleston, Blake Jarrell scored 26 ½ points to earn the prestigious High Point Award.
Blake Jarrell won the 1600 meters, was second in the 800 and placed third in the 3200. He was also part of the 4x800 meter relay team that finished second.
Bryce Jarrell was second in the 3200 meters and finished third in both the 1600 and 800. He, too, was a member of the 4x8 squad to finish his senior meet with 22 ½ points.
Garrett placed fourth in the 200 and fifth in the 400. He just missed scoring in the 100 by placing seventh and was on a 4x4 team that was just two spots from scoring with a finish of eighth.
The Jarrells were in their first season at Glenville State College when the coronavirus shut down the season on the collegiate level.
Colton Clark and Noah Freeman also graduated. They were members of the 4x4 and 4x8 units.
Murray was pleased to welcome back this season Deshone Cooper, a senior, who placed third last year in the high jump at last year’s State Meet.
He also qualified in the 1600, 3200 last year and was a member of the shuttle hurdle relay team that earned a spot in the State Meet.
“He was going to run the mile (1600) and two-mile (3200) again this season,” said Murray.
Junior Joe Chambers returned this season. Chambers was part of last year's shuttle team at the State Meet.
Freshman Cade Curfman displayed potential early on. “He showed a good work ethic in a short amount of time,” Murray said. “You’ll be hearing about him in the future.”
Another freshman, sprinter Brandon Haynes, flashed potential. “He’s real coachable. He’s a real strong runner,” Murray said. “It’s a shame we didn’t have any meets to see where he stood.”
Murray was going to have several throwers this season competing in the shot put and discus. They were seniors Nathan Moore, Zack Graham and Nikki Nicholson.
Mason Butler, one of Murray’s soccer players, was out and expected to do sprints and relays.
Two other freshmen – Darion Davis and Logan Moore – were out and working as sprinters.
Senior John Wagoner and Reese Nichols, a freshman, were competing for positions on the 2020 team.
Murray hates to see the seniors lose their final season.
He will hope the underclassmen return next season with others joining forces.