Grim had Warriors boys peaking at right time

Tom Grim

STEPHENS CITY — Every coach wants to see their athletes peak at the right time. Things don’t always work out that way, but for Sherando boys track coach Tom Grim that’s exactly the way things happened for his team this season.

The Warriors had several guys put up their best times, throws or jumps in the postseason, including a few at the Group 4A North state meet.

Grim said they try to help the athletes make that happen at the end of the season, by making sure they get some rest.

“The last two weeks we go in, we have some good workouts but you also have to get plenty of rest. They have to have fresh legs to [be at their best],” Grim said. ” … They’re in school all day and then they come out here and practice and they’ve got homework at night — that’s a grind for them. So you get them out and give them a little chance to rest and all of the sudden — bingo — they take off and they have some good times or good distances or whatever it is because they’re rested.”

As a team, Sherando finished sixth in the Group 4A state meet with 32 points. The Warriors had some strong performances from several athletes.

Sherando senior Trent McCarty overcame an early-season shoulder injury and won the state title in the discus and finished fifth in the shot put.

“He was consistent all year long. He never really dropped off big time in the discus,” Grim said. ” … [After he was healthy] you saw him start to climb again. I was just so happy for him to be able to go out there and be able to do that. He’ll always be state champ — never be able to take that away from him.”

The Warriors also strong state performances from Trevor Whiteside (second in the 800), Jacquari Hayes (fifth in the triple jump) and Thomas Shea (eighth in the 3,200).

Both Hayes and Shea were seeded towards the bottom of the finalists list, and produced their best when it counted the most. Whiteside and Shea helped lead the Warriors’ 4×800 team to a school record and a fourth-place finish at the state meet.

Grim, the Northern Virginia Daily’s 2015 Boys Track Coach of the Year, said going into the season he actually thought the girls team would do better than the boys team.

“Things just started falling into place for the guys,” Grim said. “It caught me by surprise — it really did.”

One of the things that helps Grim and Sherando’s team is the assistant coaches. Grim has a solid group of coaches that help out and provide some good leadership to the athletes.

Tim Combs, Jamie McCarty, Sean Meehan and Tim Ritter are Grim’s assistants, and he said they all did a great job this season.

He said it also helps that most of them have been with him for a while.

“We didn’t have a lot of turnover, so they know what they’re going to get when they’re running distance,” Grim said. “They know what they’re going to get when they’re a sprinter. They know what they’re going to get when they’re a jumper. We lost [former throws coach] Mike Marsh. We were lucky we got Tim [Combs]. We had somebody very qualified to step right in there who did an amazing job. That’s going to help too, because those kids know he’s coached a state champion right off the bat. That’s tough to do.

“It says a lot to have a stable coaching staff to be able to keep something going.”

With a young squad on both the boys and girls team, Grim said he is optimistic about next year’s track teams and where the program is right now.

Grim said even more importantly than the on-the-track success, he loves coaching because he enjoys being around the kids and trying to get them to work together towards a goal.

“It just keeps you young, being around these kids,” Grim said. “It’s something new every year. There’s always a new set of challenges. You have a different set of kids who have a whole new different outlook each year. It’s constant adaption, trying to get everybody working in one direction.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com