When you speak to the members of John F. Kennedy High School’s varsity boys’ track team, you get the sense that even when they’re unsure of themselves, they still state their feelings in a matter of fact manner.
After finishing 11th out of 73 schools in the 1600 Sprint Medley during the 38th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Relays at The Armory in Washington Heights, the runners sounded off on their personal aspirations, the team and getting better with each race. “In terms of our 4×200’s, we’re not as strong as we were last year,” said senior Stephen Obeng-Agyapong. “We’re trying to get back to that point.” He does admit, however, that the road to prosperity has been tough. “We’ve had a few players ineligible because of grades,” Obeng-Agyapong. “Hopefully we can get back on the ball.” With so many schools at the MLK relays, and up to 10 or 11 schools on the track at the same time, it was bound to get physical at some point. Senior Isaiah Vaughn seemed surprise at the level of physicality. “I was trying to get into lane 1 and somebody was there. They bumped me off,” he said putting his elbow up towards his ribs to indicate exactly how they bumped him off. Vaughn’s looking forward to the everyday progression of Kennedy’s team this year. He hopes the team hits its peak at the Bronx Borough Championships in mid-February. “We’re not winning as much (as last year),” he said. “But we’re getting better. While track is on their collective minds at moment, the runners have other things to look forward to in the following year-plus. “All of us play different sports,” said Obeng-Agyapong who’s signed on to play football for Joe Paterno at Penn State University. He’s not the only one looking to put on a helmet and shoulder pads. “I play football too,” said Vaughn. “Cornell’s visited me. (University of) Rhode Island’s visited me, but I’m still a little undecided about where I want to go.” “I’ve done all three years of varsity baseball,” said Rob Cabral, a junior. “My assistant coach is getting connections for the University of Kentucky and Boston College. I’ve been looking into those.” Senior Christian Johnson is entering his second year of varsity baseball and is hoping to parlay that into the sounds of aluminum bats at a four-year school. But his life goal is non-sports oriented. “I want to be a fireman,” he said.