New Coach brings new energy to girls’ track program

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 28, 2019

Heading into his first year, Picayune girls’ track coach Lorenzo Breland is looking to bring the program back to what it was when he attended the school more than 15 years ago.

First item on the to-do list is to increase the number of girls in the program. Breland plans to do that by getting the word out in the student body. He said that many students don’t understand track, and because of that they may not give it a chance.

“I just want to get attendance up,” Breland said.

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“There are a lot of talented ladies in the school that can help us and get out there to compete.”

The athletes at Picayune Memorial High School for the most part aren’t pigeon holed into one sport, and these multitalented athletes are where Breland is looking to draw more competitors during his first year in charge.

“I’m looking at basketball, soccer and softball and the athletes that are already participating there to get them interested in track,” Breland said. Breland will have a young squad at his disposal this upcoming year with the majority of the athletes being sophomores and freshmen. Breland said the fact the squad is young is good news because he sees it as a way to build a solid foundation for the program so he can coach the young women during all four years of their high school career.

“I want to start with them and the young ladies that are already the team and put them in the best position to be successful.”

Once he has his talent picked, Breland said there will be an evaluation process to determine which events best suit each athlete’s talents.

Some may become sprinters, others long distance runners and some will move to the field portion of the sport. For Breland, who also is the defensive line coach for the varsity football team, returning to his alma mater as a coach who can influence other young athletes is a dream come true.

“Its just a blessing to be back,” Breland said.

“People who knew me, I now have the opportunity to coach their kids and grandkids and give back to the next generation.”

Giving back is something Breland prioritizes. He does this by teaching athletes skills that will benefit them not only now on the track, but also in the future. Main among these are discipline and preparation.

“Are you willing to go the extra mile, spend more time in the weight room?” Breland said.

“Put in the work, the hours, the sweat, and the discipline becomes preparation.”

Breland said he’s looking forward to working with the young track athletes at Picayune, and that he can’t wait to get the program rolling.

“I just want to make them competitive to get them to understand what it takes to be competitive,” Breland said.