This fall, Benjamin Carson High School fielded teams for soccer and cross country – the first variety sports teams since BCHS opened in 2011.
The cross country teams were led by ROTC Instructor Doug Williams and Science instructor Kwesi Matthews, who built a program from scratch.
“It was really hard because we didn’t actually know what would happen, we were told we approved for sports only when we returned to school,” Matthews said. “Most other programs were already running. So it was challenging because we had to start it when school started but things fell into order.”
For a school with an enrollment of approximately 200 students, the BCHS cross country team was able to compete in four meets and included a boys and girls team.
The runners included seniors Alhassan Algehaim, Damien Banks, Iziah Binion, Julian Taylor, and Marshawn Whitchard; juniors Maria Brewer, Damiere Caldwell, Raleigh Green, Aehmorah Jones, and Deanna Retland; sophomores Lauryn Barlow, Aaliyah Joiner, Cherish Maddox, and Michael Redmond; and freshmen Damauri Caldwell, Amore Hudson, Myonna Johnson and Israel Simpson.
“Seeing the kids compete and challenge themselves,” Matthews said. “For the first time students were running cross country and seeing them not only finish a race but finish top 10.”
Junior Damier Caldwell said: “Cross Country taught me a lot about running and life. You need to keep your own pace and be consistent.”
The team enjoyed success and was crowned as the Champions of the PSL Blue Division.
“Being the top team in the city was very rewarding, starting from scratch to being a top team in the city was mind blowing,” Matthews said.
The BCHS school community was excited of the early success and hope to build a strong tradition of cross-country runners.
“I am so proud of all our teams,” principal Dr. Sean Lively said.