E.A. Sports Today

Anniston track lands major grant

Community Foundation grant will allow Bulldogs to make improvements of their track

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The Anniston High School track teams received a big shot in the arm Friday when the program was awarded a $45,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama.

Bulldogs coach Lisa Howard said the funding would go a long way toward helping the program make needed improvements to its facilities, particularly in the area of its field events.

“The kids a super-duper excited – and so are the parents,” Howard said. “This grant is not for uniforms, fees and stuff like that, this is for helping to reconstruct the track. There’s a lot of work that has to be done to our track. We just got a long jump and triple jump pit and that really helped a lot. Imagine what they can do when they have a high jump mat or pole vault mat.

“My pledge is just to continue to coach down the path of excellence of these kids. Now, after we get that equipment, we can have kids in other than running events … to let them have what everyone else has.”

Howard’s program was one of two sports-related programs among the nearly 20 groups receiving more than $200,000 in grants from the Community Foundation Friday. The Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrians Program of Talladega also was awarded a grant.

The track team’s grant was awarded from the Stringfellow Health Fund. It was the second largest grant awarded Friday.

“They wrote an excellent grant application,” Jennifer Maddox, foundation president and CEO, said. “Clearly this is a project that has needed to be done for some time so we were happy to see the application.”

The Bulldogs’ application was written by coaches Robert Smith and Lewis Harris, retired Anniston High School teacher Rebecca Brown and Nancy Grace of the Anniston Runners Club.

Howard said program leaders would meet next week to discuss the best use of the funding. She planned to announce the grant at Anniston’s athletics banquet later Friday evening.

With the help of the new jumping areas, Carsheuna Curry swept the high jump, triple jump and long jump at this year’s Calhoun County Track Meet. She also won the long jump and finished third in the triple jump at the State Meet. Tae Miller qualified in the boys long jump.

“Everybody is not going to be a distance runner or a sprinter, but somebody could be a pole vaulter, a high jumper or long jumper or triple jumper,” Howard said. “I just want them to get a shot at everything possible. Now, we’re going to be able to have the facilities to help us do that.”

People interested in more information on the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama and its programs can find it on its Facebook page or its website – www.yourcommunityfirst.org.

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