Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year: McCarty leads Warriors to strong season

STEPHENS CITY — Sherando’s girls track and field team certainly had a standout athlete to lean on this season, but it took a team effort to achieve one of its biggest goals — a Conference 21 West crown.

STEPHENS CITY — Sherando’s girls track and field team certainly had a standout athlete to lean on this season, but it took a team effort to achieve one of its biggest goals — a Conference 21 West crown.

Sherando senior Davina Lane scored 51 points in the meet, but it took 150 to win the meet by nine points over James Wood.

“At the conference meet we had to be almost perfect and we really were,” Sherando coach Jamie McCarty said. “So that was kind of a testament to me to we were able to embrace that moment and it was not too big for any of them. I didn’t count how many it was, but we won in so many events there. We won the two-mile, we won the mile. We won the 100, 100 hurdles, the 200. It was everybody was doing their job.”

The Warriors would go on to finish fifth in the Group 4A girls state meet.

McCarty, The Northern Virginia Daily’s 2017 Girls Track Coach of the Year, said that at the beginning of the year they weren’t sure how they would do. The team had some injuries and they weren’t sure what their depth would be like.

The first-year head coach said that the team really bought into what the coaches were asking them to do.

“I think they embraced that culture of we just got to get better every day,” McCarty said. “And if we get better every day we’re going to give ourselves an opportunity to be successful when we get to the postseason.”

There’s no question that Lane led the way for the team. She finished her career with seven school records.

McCarty said Lane’s work ethic really rubbed off on the rest of the team and made them better as well.

“You watch her daily at practice, the amount of the work she puts in, some of the stuff that she does, and if you’re out there seeing that you respond,” McCarty said. “And we had a lot of kids that did. That said if she’s doing this amount of work, and coach is asking me to do this, then I shouldn’t complain. I just go about my business, get my work done.”

While it’s McCarty’s first year as head coach, he has been at Sherando for four years and was the assistant track coach for the first three years.

Lane said that she really learned to appreciate his coaching style, and she’s glad that he was her coach.

“He’s definitely one of the best coaches I’ve ever had in all of my sports,” Lane said. “Because even when I did terrible he told me what I needed to fix and then he’d be like you got it next time. He wouldn’t just come yell at me and just put me down. He definitely always lifted me up and would say something positive and then try to fix the negatives too at the same time.”

Lane scored all 30 points, winning three individual state titles, for Sherando at the Group 4A state meet. The Warriors did have several other female athletes who qualified for the state meet.

McCarty said he was happy with the season, but the goal is to keep improving the program and perform better at the biggest meets of the year.

“Winning state championships individually is great but winning team championships is just as important,” McCarty said. “I feel like this group had laid the groundwork for that. And they’ll continue to do that because we still bring back some good pieces. If that work ethic can be instilled in the next group coming up then I think we’re on the right track. And if we can get to that state competitive level that’s when I’ll consider it truly successful in where I would like it to be.”

McCarty, who took over for Tom Grim after he retired last year, said he was very happy with the coaching staff that he had to work with this season.

“I can’t say enough about my staff,” McCarty said. “My assistant coaches did a great job and if I asked them to do things they put our kids in the right position. And put them in the right places, making sure they were getting their work done. I had four great coaches that I was able to lean on and they helped me. And I don’t think we would have been successful if it wouldn’t have been for that.”