Athletes and Families,
Welcome to the DYS Summer 2023 Track and Field season! We are excited to start our summer season Tuesday, May 30 at Lunsford Middle School from 6:00-7:00 pm.
**Competition athletes - please see the section below for those who are registered as competing to let us know by noon on Monday, May 29 if you will be participating in the June 3 meet.
We have several athletes rolling into this season from the spring season and others who will be starting fresh for the summer. Some of our athletes are here because they love track and field, others are here to get faster and stronger so they can excel in their other chosen sport, and for others, this will be their first experience in organized sports. No matter if you are a beginner or are a natural athlete, each participant will have the same opportunities to push themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of and will grow as a person as a result. Our only ask is to show up to practice and TRY.
Below is some initial information about when practices are scheduled and what to expect. All communications should be coming to you by email and will also be posted on the DYS Track and Field page. If you have signed up to receive text messages, you should also receive a text message with limited characters, so please always be sure to check the bulletin on the website or your email that contains the full message.
Thunder Track and Field Gear
Each registered athlete will be receiving a t-shirt and competition athletes will be issued a uniform. Please complete this Google form by Tuesday, May 30 to ensure we have proper sizing for your athlete. If you have more than one athlete registered for the team, please complete one form for each individual registered athlete.
If you'd like to purchase additional gear for your athlete, you can do so here: https://stores.inksoft.com/dulles_thunder/shop/home.
Our season will run from May 30 through July 16. We will hold practice 4 days/week. Our practice location varies and each location will present different challenges. An ideal practice will be 10 min. warm up, 20 min. bodyweight workout, 20 min. running or skills practice, with 10 min. cool down and go home.
Tuesdays from 6:00-7:00 pm at Lunsford Middle School in Chantilly
Wednesday from 6:00-7:00 pm at Lightridge High School in Aldie
Thursday from 6:00-7:00 pm at Lunsford Middle School in Chantilly
Friday from 6:00-8:00 pm at Lightridge High School in Aldie (yes, that is 2 hours)
We always start practice with a warm up lap right at 6:00. Please arrive a few minutes before the scheduled practice time to ensure your athlete is ready for warmups, and if you are dropping off your athlete, please arrive no later than the scheduled end time to ensure the coaches can leave timely as well. Check the practice area for any bags, phones, water bottles, and trash. We have the privilege of using our LCPS facilities and want to ensure we are invited back by treating each location with respect and leaving it better than we found it.
No practice will be more important than another, but the more you show the more you grow! Athletes who are serious about improving should plan to regularly attend practices no less than 3 practices a week. We will be running and throwing daily, and working on other skills (jumping and hurdles) a few times a week. The newer athletes will work on conditioning at the start of the season before starting skills practice. We encourage everyone to try everything at least once.
Schedule Changes and Updates
Our full schedule will soon be posted on the DYS Track and Field Schedule page. Please sign up for email and text notifications and check the site for any changes in schedule or practice cancellations.
What to wear and bring to practice/meets
Water/Sports Drinks: hydration is key!
Appropriate running gear: the weather is going to vary at the start of the season. T-shirts and shorts are appropriate as long as the average temperature is at least 70 degrees. When it is under 70, we encourage athletes to wear sweat pants and long sleeves. It’s ok to sweat and be hot!
Good running shoes: no vans, no basketball shoes, NO CROCS ever!
Spikes (optional): for those athletes who will be competing in meets, while not required, we do highly encourage you to purchase a pair of 3/16 inch spikes. We will not wear them regularly at practice, but they will certainly be an advantage at meets.
Throwing equipment will be available at practice and meets for our athletes’ use.
Most importantly, it is important to make sure your body is ready to run. Drinking water during your workout at practice is not enough! It is important to stay hydrated during the day and to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables from the Earth! Hydration is going to be even more important as the weather gets hotter.
Meet the Coaches: Teaching life lessons through athletics
Coach McCants is in his second season coaching DYS Thunder Track. After leaving professional football, he missed the team camaraderie. His love of sports and team, his passion for guiding, teaching, and counseling youth, and his belief that we should all get off the couch and get outside led him to his coaching and training career that he has now been doing for more than a decade.
Coaching alongside Coach McCants in the prior seasons are Coach Hudgins and Coach Dozier. Coach Hudgins, a former D1 hammer throw and shot put athlete, will be coaching our field events. Coach Hudgins has two sons competing on the team. With two athletes competing on the team, Coach Dozier coaches hurdles, supports our sprinters, and coordinates much of our communications and logistics.
What We Need from You: Volunteers and Sponsors
This program is run by volunteers and our success is dependent on your involvement and support. Thank you to those who indicated during registration that you are willing to help. Please be sure to see the coaches during the first week of practice to talk about what type of support you are able to provide this season.
For those who are registered as “competing”
A track and field “meet” is the competition – what is called in other sports, the game or match. Each meet is run differently. While there is a schedule, it is rolling and it is not uncommon for events to start up to an hour early; nor is it uncommon for a meet to get well behind schedule. Typically, athletes should plan to be at the event the whole day. We plan to participate in at least the following three meets this summer season:
June 3-4 at Prince George's Sports & Learn Complex in Landover, MD
June 17 at Tuscarora HS in Leesburg VA
July 1-2 at Prince George's Sports & Learn Complex in Landover, MD
Please note, changes to track meet schedules change frequently and we cannot guarantee these specific meets will remain on the calendar. More information to come as we get closer.
We do pay for registration per meet. Thank you in advance for letting us know as soon as possible if your athlete will not be attending any given meet.
For the more serious athletes, we also plan to participate in the following additional meets:
June 11: AAU Northern District Qualifier at Highland Springs HS in Highland Springs, VA
June 22 - 25: AAU Region 05 Qualifier at Varina High School in Henrico VA
July 15-17: 2023 International Youth Championship at Prince George's Sports & Learn Complex in Landover, MD
Please note that some of these meets may have entry qualifying standards.
Please let us know if you are currently planning to participate in these meets by filling out this Google Form. **Registration for the June 3 meet closes on the morning of Tuesday, May 30; we will be submitting registration on Monday, May 29. If you have not completed the form indicating your desired participation in this meet, your athlete will not be registered. They will still have the opportunity to participate in the other meets.**
Uniforms are included in your registration fee. Please be sure to provide your athletes uniform size here so we can order uniforms as quickly as possible.
Looking forward to seeing everyone on after the Memorial Day Holiday on Tuesday at 6:00 at Lunsford Middle School. Any questions or concerns we will be happy to answer.
Coach McCants, Coach Hudgins, and Coach Dozier