FORSAN — As Yogi Berra might say, it's like deja vu all over again.
When the Forsan High School boys' track contingent competes in the upcoming Class 2A state track and field meet in Austin, first-time jitters will not be in abundance.
That's because, for the most part, the same athletes will be competing in the same events on the same stage as they did at this time last year.
Junior Ty Johnson will once again try to claim gold medals in two events — the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints. And, just like last year, Johson will be part of the 400-meter relay team, along with Elgin Suazo and Brendan Roman. Forsan's only new face at the state track meet will be Kolten Self, who replaced graduated senior Mike Hill on the relay team.
The relay qualified for this year's state meet by finishing second at the Region I-2A track meet in Odessa Tuesday, while Johnson punched his ticket to Austin by winning the 200-meter run and finishing second in the 100-meter dash.
FHS track coach Gary Huckabee hopes all this familiarity breeds success.
“It should be a big advantage to us,” he said. “Anytime you go into a meet with experience and confidence, that's a plus. I think they're excited and they'll be ready to compete with anybody at the state meet.”
One thing the Buffaloes are hoping not to repeat are the mistakes that cost them dearly at last year's state meet. A dropped baton in the relay and false starts on Johnson's part in the individual events led to disqualifications instead of dreamed-of medals.
Huckabee wants his team to remember last year's errors, but not dwell on them.
“We may talk about it a little bit,” he said. “In a relay, a dropped baton is something that can happen at anytime, and it happened at the absolute worst time for us … This year, I just want their focus to be as simple as possible. When they're getting ready to run, I'll just tell them to look at their marks and hit their marks, and everything else will be automatic.”
And Huckabee's not worried about Johnson getting the big-stage jitters again.
“Ty will give you everything he's got,” Huckabee said. “He's a great athlete, and I'm proud of his performance (at the regional meet). That was nothing new for Ty, though. He's a great kid who likes to compete.”
The state track meet will be held May 12-13 in Austin.