Cecilia freshman Raymond Calais is just beginning to scratch the surface of his abilities, while North Vermilion senior Chelcie Sonnier has honed her craft enough in the javelin to earn a track and field scholarship with UL’s Ragin’ Cajun women.
They were two attention-grabbing performers at Friday’s Pirate Relays hosted by Kaplan High School.
Calais won the 100 and 200-meter dashes and anchored Bulldog victories in both the 4×100 and 4×200 relays, scoring 25 points as Cecilia finished second to Erath in boys’ team competition, 131-114.
“The biggest thing I’ve been working on is my start out of the blocks,” Calais said. “I’m also trying to rip it on the curve. As I keep winning, I’m gaining a lot more confidence.”
Calais, who has been running track for three years, also shines in football and basketball.
“Football is my favorite, but you really have to work hard at it,” he said. “Track is more God-given ability. I’m starting to hit it hard now, to peak at the right time.
“I’m shooting for 10.5 or 10.6 in the 100, and 21.6 in the 200, and I’m getting closer to those times.”
Erath’s Corey Coles topped Calais with 26.5 points to earn Outstanding Track Performer and pace the EHS victory, winning the 400 and anchoring a 4×400 relay win.
“The 4×400 is a tradition at Erath,” coach Kerry Richard said. “The kids want to maintain that high level. A lot of blood and guts goes into that.”
The victory was well-timed for Erath, which is pointing toward Wednesday’s Vermilion Parish meet and district action to follow.
“I feel good about our performance, especially since the kids’ focus this week has been the junior-senior prom,” Richard said. “We’re starting to get healthy and it’s time to put the pedal to the metal.”
Kyle Zenon of Vermilion Catholic was Outstanding Field Performer with 30 points.
NVHS’s Sonnier, who won the javelin with a 129-foot throw on Friday, was second in the discus and third in the high jump to win Outstanding Field Performer. But her main focus remains the javelin, in which she was state runner-up in 2012 after placing fourth as a sophomore.
“I had been first all year (last season), then lost in the finals,” Sonnier said. “That motivated me, for sure. I’ve thrown 137-6 this year. I’m aiming for 150. There’s also the school record of 138 feet, and that motivates me, too.
“I like basketball (she averaged 21-22 points per game the last two years), but there’s something about track. The javelin just took me away. I peaked at regionals last year. It’s good to peak at the end.”
Teurlings Catholic’s Cydney Moreau scored 24 points to claim Outstanding Track Performer honors as the Lady Rebels finished second in the meet.
She was just ahead of the Abbeville one-two punch of Katina Perry (22.5 points) and Arrayia Starland (22), who helped power the Lady Cats to an impressive 126 points and the team trophy.