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Thibodaux girls on pace for banner season


Joycelyn Daggs (left) and Joya Tardieff have helped the Thibodaux Lady Tigers win each of their track meets this season. (Photo by Photos by Addie Gibbons/Correspondent)


Winning is nothing new for this season's Thibodaux High girls track and field team.

The Lady Tigers are a perfect 5-for-5 on the season after posting wins in the THS Invitational, Tarpon Relays, Gator Relays, Lafourche Parish Relays and Terrier Relays. They have also won four straight parish titles.

For senior Joycelyn Daggs, she wouldn't have it any other way.

"The way the season is going is the way we predicted it," said Daggs, who competes in the long jump, triple jump and 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. "We have been practicing hard this year, and it is resulting in us winning all of our meets. All of that hard work is paying off for us. Winning all of our track meets is motivating us to work even harder at every meet."

The Lady Tigers have done more than win every meet. They have dominated the competition, winning all five meets by an average of 57.9 points.

Thibodaux coach Doug Haydel said a strong core of seniors — Daggs, Joya Tardieff, Chelise Brown and Emily Brown — have helped the Lady Tigers thrive on the track this season.

"They are working hard to achieve their goals, and they believe in themselves," he said. "The seniors really give us some support. They pick up the younger girls and work real well with them."

Haydel said overall team balance has been a major contributor in Thibodaux's success this season. The Lady Tigers have been able to score in nearly every event in the field and on the track in all five meets.

Tardieff, who competes in the 200-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and 800-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams, said the entire team feeds on one another's success.

"It's so much fun watching all of our girls compete," she said. "The girls in the field go out there and give us a big lead, and we have to do our part on the track to keep it going. We do what we have to do as a team to keep us on the right track."

Brown said after the Lady Tigers work hard to build a lead in the field, it's only natural for the track performers to work hard to close out the win.

"Everybody is working hard, and everybody is doing what they can to get better," said Brown, who competes in the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams and in the 200-meter dash. "The girls in the field do well, and they motivate us to do well on the track. We want to finish first in every track meet, and we help each other achieve that goal."

Sophomore Samaisia Coleman, who competes in the shot put, discus and javelin, said the field performers are only doing their job to help the Lady Tigers continue their winning ways.

"We try our best to do what we can in the field and leave it to out runners to go out and do what they do best," she said. "Everybody does their job, and it usually results in a successful meet."

Haydel said that's the kind of attitude that has helped the Lady Tigers thrive and boost the their overall team confidence.

"In the field, we have been fortunate where we have been able to score double in a lot of the events," he said. "They just give us the confidence and the scoring we need to take it on the track. We are strong in the field, and we can run pretty decent too."

Although winning every regular-season meet is a top priority, the Lady Tigers' No. 1 goal remains the same — repeating as the District 7-5A champion — and they want to go further from there. Last season was Thibodaux's first district title in five years.

Tardieff said the players will continue to push themselves to make that goal — a possibly more — a reality.

"Last year, we wanted to win the district meet, and we accomplished that goal," she said. "This year, we want to take it a step further by winning regionals and get our entire team to state. We are working hard and motivating each other, and we are having fun doing it.

"We have to do it as a team. If we don't, it's not going to be right."

Tardieff is not the only Thibodaux athlete that believes the team can accomplish more this season.

"We want to make it to state and place in state," Brown said. "Our ultimate goal is getting to state. We not only want to place in state, we want to win it."