The Louisiana GUMBO (Games Uniting Mind and Body) program provides athletes with physical or visual disabilities with an opportunity to participate in track and field events at a challenging level. Each year, four regional meets are held in Shreveport, Harvey, Ball and Lafayette and students who place first, second, or third in an event are invited to the state meet held the following year at Tioga High School.
This year, Morehouse Parish had 11 students invited to the state meet. Of those, eight traveled on Oct. 12 and participated. Each athlete had family members present, including moms, dads, siblings and grandparents. The team was especially honored to have two distinguished guests and cheerleaders from Morehouse Junior High, Principal Shelia Minor and Dean of Students Comeletha Stevenson. Their arrival and support was a real source of encouragement to the athletes. Athletes finishing in first, second, or third place received either a ribbon or a medal. Medals indicate that the athlete met the standard set based on past GUMBO performances. Each Morehouse athlete received at least one medal at the state meet. Results are as follows:
• Alyssa Burnham (5 Jr,) First 100 meters, First 200 meters, First shot put, First discus
• Craymon Benton (6 Jr) Second 20 meters, Second 60 meters, Second 100 meters, Second discus,
• Alvin Higginbotham (8Sr) Third discus
Morehouse Jr High:
• Bobby Williams (8 Jr) First 100 meters, First 400 meters
Delta Jr. High:
• Jabez Glosson (6 B) First 20 meters, First 60 meters, First 100 meters, First shot put, First discus, First softball throw
• Ky’Ren Johnson (3VIB) Second 60 meter, First 100 meter, First shot put, First discus, Second softball throw
• Jordan Sykes (8 B) 60 meter, shot put, discus, soft ball throw (medals in each, but place was unknown at the time of submission)
• Ricky Martin (8B) Second 60 meter, First 100 meter
Each year GUMBO honors one young athlete at the state meet with the “Bantam of the Year” award. It is for an athlete who showed distinction at a regional meet in performance and was then nominated for the award by a coach or coaches based upon their effort and dedication to training while exhibiting positive character. This year, the recipient is Ky’Ren Johnson from Delta Elementary.
Ky’Ren was so excited to receive his plaque before the crowd. He has set goals for himself and plans to make the MUDBUG traveling team when he is old enough.