King & Queen Tigers win first district championship in 14 years

KING & QUEEN – Good things are happening for King and Queen Central High School athletics.

It started with the boys and girls winning a basketball game over the winter. Then the baseball team won two games this spring.

However, the biggest win of this school year occurred recently when the King and Queen boys track team won the Tidewater District Championship.

“There hasn’t been a district championship banner raised at this school in 14 years, so we were extremely excited when we won the title. The team, administration and the entire student body celebrated on [last] Tuesday when we received the results,” said Ben McCallister, the Tigers' first year coach.

McCallister said he couldn’t have done it without help from his long-time friend Ted Magala and long-time Tigers' coach Ken Briddell, but the real difference between this year’s team and the previous year's has been the dedication and hard work of every team member.

"Ted and I came from Surry together so when Principal [Antoine] Monroe asked me to coach I told him I couldn’t do it without Ted. He works with the distance runners and Kenny with the throwers," McCallister said.  "The three of us have really been able to work with the kids everyday, which is the main reason we have progressed so much this year."

Chris Edwards and Noah Hewlett have been the senior leaders of the team, but the courageous run of Patrick Tompkins helped win the title on May 3.

"Patrick pulled his hamstring while he was running his leg of the relay but he continued to run and was able to hand off the baton so we could finish the race. without his determination and heart we don’t win the district,” said Coach McCallister.

The new coach and his team are hoping for more positive results for the rest of the season, but McCallister said he is confident iif more wins don’t come this year, the wins will come next season.

"I came from a school that had been a perennial track power and that is what I want to do here," McCallister said. "Last year there were only 15 members on the team. This year we have 32. I know there are still great athletes in the hallways. I just hope that this win will get more kids out next year, so we can build a program the school can be proud of year after year and winning isn’t newsworthy but expected."