SENIOR RECOGNITION: New Madrid County Central track and field athletes reflect on careers with Eagles

In this April 17, 2018 file photo, New Madrid County Central’s Ke’von Williams lands in the long jump during the Sikeston Bulldog Invitational at Sikeston Public Schools Stadium.
David Jenkins/Standard Democrat

With the cancellation of spring athletics for the 2020 season, seniors in the Standard-Democrat coverage area cannot have final moments with their teammates.

Below is the 14th part of a series of stories on recognizing senior athletes, where they are going next, what they loved most about playing their respective sport at their school, and more.

The series continues with the New Madrid County Central track and field team. The Eagles had three seniors on the roster.

“The senior class had some very good seniors,” NMCC head track and field coach Jarett Allen said. “One new senior that was going to give track a shot this year. Of course, a lot of people know about Ke’von and his basketball career. He’s a very talented basketball player, and we had high hopes for him in the long jump. In the high jump this year, I thought he might qualify for state and maybe make some noise there. Jatori is just a great, hard-working student. Someone that you would want to have on your team. I’m going to miss all three of them. You could ask them to do something, and those three are going to do it, and no questions asked. They’re going to be coachable and going to miss them. I think these three are going to go out and do great things.”

Jatori Maxwell

Jatori Maxwell

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Band; Singing Eagles, Student Council, Beta Club, FBLA, FCA

Plans after high school… Attending the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., and majoring in psychology.

Advice for underclassmen… “You’re not going to have fun in high school unless you put yourself out there. Staying to yourself and it is going to be lame. Being in a smaller school gives us more opportunities because there’s not a lot of competition. So, if you think you want to do something, go out there and do it.”

Favorite track memory… “A guy that ran with us, we just left McDonald’s, and it was dark, so trash ended up on the floor, and we were all laughing and having a good time, so I pulled out my camera and started recording I had the flash on, and I just looked down, and his foot was inside the McDonald’s bag, and he was like, ‘Yeah, my bag for real.’”

What got you interested in track… “My cousin, when I was a freshman, said, ‘Tori, come run.’ So, I tried it, and I was good at it, so I might as well keep doing it.”

Ke’von Williams

Ke'von Williams

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Band; FBLA, Yearbook

Plans after high school… Most likely attending Lewis and Clark College in Godfrey, Ill., and majoring in zoology. He is planning to play on the basketball team as well.

Advice for underclassmen… “Don’t take high school for granted. Do all of the clubs that you can and take school seriously because you’re going to miss it whenever you leave.”

Favorite track memory… “Making it to the finals at Park Hills.”

What got you interested in track… “Tori was the one who talked me into it. I’ve always been able to jump, and they wanted me to come out and do that, so I figured that I’d try it out.”

Brett Gerecke

Brett Gerecke

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the football team; FBLA, Beta Club

Plans after high school… Attending Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Ill., and majoring in business management.

Advice for underclassmen… “Take every moment you can, because it goes by a lot faster then you actually think.”

Favorite track memory… “I almost killed somebody with the discus. I think this was my first day at practice. I like let it go and it flew out the side of my hand.”

What got you interested in track… “I really just had a bunch of coaches that always wanted me to play, and come out and throw for them. My senior year, I was like, ‘It will be the last sport I’ll be able to do,’ so I did it.”

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