Head Coach Leroy Millsap (right) embraces the state team title for the fifth straight season
There was some recent chatter about who was the top team of the 2010s. There would be none of that revealing that the Comanches had won six titles in the time span. Any spin against them winning them as a two-class school is nonsense because they had triumph twice in 2006 and 2007 under a deeper two-class system.
Coach Millsap is the captain who has total control of his ship. Nothing happens without him saying so. Nothing. It doesn't matter if you are the team manager or an emerging legend of track and field. This guy sounds like a power-hungry merchant right? Well, to the young men that he is responsible for the day in and day out that extends six-plus months out of a year, Millsap is more than a track and field coach. If you are lucky enough to spend time around him and his team, you will notice the mentor, the father-like figure that he has become. It's about love for the kids and making sure they learn life lessons at the end of the day. This is what athletics is supposed to teach us.
In breaking down this team, there was mental drama to deal with. The weather started off hot and muggy for the Friday preliminaries when the climes hit the upper 80s and high humidity. But on Saturday for the finals things took a dramatic dip to dark skies coupled by rain, thunder, and then lightening. The result of Mother Nature being upset was a 2+ hour delay in action. When order was restored, one of the most amazing track meets assumed and the athletes performed to an ability not seen in many years.
The Comanches lineup featured all four relays in which they won: 4x800, 4x100, 4x200, 4x400. The 4x1 and 4x2 set all-time state meet records with 41.12 and 1:25.83 marks respectively.
How the field events? Only the nation's best long and triple jumper Ja'mari Ward was certified to break IHSA records in the process. He did it in the long jump leaping past 25-feet. The triple jump exploits could have produced more damage in that he had already broken into the all-time USA top five earlier in the season.
The individual support cast was brilliant: Anthony McRoberts (high jump), Daniall Akins (shot put), Korrion Session (110HH/300H), Keveion Akins (100/200), Marquis Murray (110HH), Tyran Lyons (400), Chris Stanley (400). All of these exceptional athletes competed and scored here and on multiple relays except for McRoberts, Session, and Akins.
As you can see, winning came via a full team approach and that's why this group is the best was a complete team domination and the accomplishment of becoming the first team in state history to score over 100 points.