In a pre-Covid world, kids were going to school, families were going to church, and high school seniors were looking forward to their end of year senior activities. Unfortunately, as we all know, nothing is guaranteed in life and things can change in the blink of an eye. Prior to the epidemic, Senior High Track and Field athletes were looking forward to the ultimate prize at the end of the track season road. STATE. Slated to be held in Prescott on May 5, the athletes that took the biggest hit were the seniors. And for the Magazine Rattlers Sr High Track and Field team, having to miss their season was gut-wrenching.
For Magazine, Rattler track holds a lot of tradition. Three State Championships, three State Runner-Ups, 59 conference titles, 74 State Champions, and 130 All-State athletes. “This spring, the boys were coming off of a 2019 Indoor State title, third-place at Outdoor State, and a 2020 Indoor State Runner-Up title,” stated coach, Randy Bryan. “We had incredibly high expectations for the spring outdoor season. But, that did not get to happen. Since we had to forego all of our spring sports and ceremonies, I felt that I should at least in some way recognize a few seniors on this year’s track team.”
Caleb Hyatt– Caleb is the type of kid you build a team around and that is just what I did. Even in junior high, I could tell that he was special. Special in athletic ability, special in work ethic, special in the desire to be excellent and win, special in everything he attempted. He was already part of a winning team by junior high but he set the tone for the team. At District, he went back and forth with another senior this year, Xeng Yang, in the discus. Caleb finished with first-place in shot put, second to Xeng in discus, second in sprint relay, and first in mile relay to secure a close win at Conway that day!
Caleb was part of a relay team (Xeng, Tsim Neej, and Tatum Scott) that set the junior high record for the mile relay. I remember days that he and his friends would stay after having lifted, and worked in my practice from 2:20-5:00, and then work on his throws until late suppertime. During summer, he would attend football practice, then track workouts, and then throw until I had to run him off. He was just determined to be the best. Then in senior high, he just kept getting better. He won District every year. At State, he took bronze in discus his sophomore year, then gold his junior year (was projected to win his senior year), and took gold at Indoor shot his junior and senior year making him a three-time State Champion thrower topping John Williams (2X) and a host of one-time winners.
Caleb’s three All-State accolades in Track and Field place him in a tie with Travis Williams for second on the All-Time Rattler list behind Roy Carey’s four on the men’s side. (He also was All-State and two-time conference champion in football) As a leader, Caleb guided his teams to five District titles, a State third-place, a State Runner-Up, and the 2019 State title. He now joins the elite athletes to have ever walked the hallowed halls of Magazine High School. He will forever be used as an example of the way to do things, the way to work hard, and that good leadership paves the way to success. Caleb Hyatt- Rattler Pride!!
Xeng Yang– Xeng is the embodiment of being a Rattler. I could just copy and paste the first section from Caleb’s paragraph and it would describe Xeng as well. The great work ethic. The great leadership. The desire to perfect his craft which by the way, included hurdles and discus, two events in which he is not prototypical. Yet, he won. He won at the junior high level. And he won at the senior high level. He was the school’s second-ever hurdles State champion. He has been District Champion in discus and was part of our District Champion relay teams for years. He was either District Champion or Runner-Up in every hurdle event. He was part of the sprint relay team that scored at State and part of the mile relay team that took silver at State one year and bronze the next season. He took fourth at State in the 300m hurdles as well. He was All-Conference every year. He was District MVP. He was All-State. He, too, was responsible for five District titles, third-place at State, State Runner-Up, and a State Championship. Xeng will join Caleb on the Wall of Champions as one of our All-Time greats. Xeng Yang- Rattler Pride!!
Next on our list of seniors to be recognized is Jacob Hall. Jacob was a jack of all trades. He could and would do whatever the team needed and do it well! He has run distance races, mid-distance, sprints, relays of all kinds, jumps, throws, and was even working on hurdles when an injury derailed the plan. That is just who he is: Team! His accolades include being named All-State, State silver medalist, State bronze medalist, All-Conference, District Champions four times, State Runner-Up, and State Champion. Jacob Hall- Rattler Pride!!
Tsim Neej– Neej was instrumental in our team’s success. He was All-Conference and State bronze medalist. He was part of three District titles and a State Runner-Up. And he was a sprinter and part of our sprint relay and mile relay teams. Tsim Neej- Rattler Pride!! Bryce McDowell is our final senior Rattler to be recognized. He is a thrower and was part of our State Championship team and State Runner-Up team along with four District titles, and was also named to the State football All-Star team this year! Bryce McDowell- Rattler Pride!!
Senior Lady Rattlers:
Hannah Green is the first of our ladies to be honored. Hannah brought to the team a one-track mind of I am going to be our best vaulter, I am going to do what it takes to be good at vault, I am going to win State at vault, and I am going to break our school record in vault! And guess what? She accomplished all of it. By the way, she scored at State in two relays as well as competing in the 400m. She has also been All-Conference, All-State (2X), a District Champion, a State Champion, has been parts of teams that won three District titles and finished third at State. Hannah Green- Rattler Pride!!
Next is Sarai Parrish. Sarai is a six-year starter as a thrower and also a four-year cross country runner for our teams. Her teams finished either as District Champions or Runner-Up every year. She scored at Indoor State in the shot put. And she is part of a State third-place finish as well. Sarai Parrish- Rattler Pride!! We finish up this incredible list with Taryn Leslie. Taryn is a State Champion and two-time All-State athlete. She has been All-Conference, All-State twice, a District Champion, State Runner-Up in the mile relay (Hannah, Becky, Lauren), has been a part of teams that won three District titles and finished third at State. Taryn Leslie- Rattler Pride!! The Magazine Rattlers will still return an incredible group of underclassmen who are looking for a championship track season in 2021!