It was a remarkable year for the Wadena-Deer Creek track and field teams. The Wolverines captured a pair of state championships in two relay races, along with a pair of state medalists. The Wolverines were honored as well for their work on and off the track when head coach Marc Reynolds was named the Park Region Conference and Section 6A Track and Field Coach of the Year.
Reynolds, who took the program over in 2014, saw his boys team win the Park Region Conference title for the first time since the mid-1970's. He also oversaw a program that sent eight athletes to the Class A Championships.
Reynolds has overseen the growth of a program that was fighting to qualify kids to the section meet to placing at the section meet, to qualifying for state and now winning medals consistently at the Class A Championships.
"Everything Marc does, he does it for the kids," said Wadena-DC Activities Director Norm Gallant. "He's brought kids into the program and puts them into a position to be successful. He's great with details and promotes a positive environment. We are really blessed to have Marc leading our track program."
Reynolds said it was great to be honored by his peers, but was quick to credit the effort of the athletes in receiving the awards. He said last year's success was a stepping point for the program.
"The kids had a good mentality coming into the year after the success we had from the previous season," Reynolds said. "There was a lot of high hopes that we could go in and win the conference and compete again in the section true team meet. A lot of kids really working hard all year to try and achieve those things."
Reynolds said he doesn't think about the awards and it's not set as a goal, but said it feels good when the coaches vote on those awards and get recognized for it.
"It feels like you are doing good things for the program and that you are doing good things for the kids," Reynolds said. "The bottom line part of it is that it comes down to the kids. They are buying into what the team and the program is trying to do. That's the biggest thing. When they are doing what they are asking, are willing to try new things to help out the team and try somethings that are uncomfortable for them, is how we are able to have success, especially as a team."
Behind every good coach, like Reynolds, are good assistants who help him and the athletes excel. Those WDC track & field assistants are Terry Olson, John Crandall, Amy Mehl and Travis Collins. Reynolds is quick to credit his staff and the community in helping develop the track and field team into one of the premier programs.
"That's not me and something I have done, it's a program thing. All of the coaches are a part of that and all the kids are a part of that," Reynolds said. "The kids are doing what they are asked and the coaches are trying new things. My assistants are just as responsible for winning the conference and the section true team as I am. To me, it's nothing like I won it. We won that as a team. Those kids did what is asked of them, pushing themselves and buying into what we are selling. It all goes back to that kind of attitude."
Reynolds said the biggest thing is the kids buying into what they are putting out there. He said the kids are willing to do that, which is the rewarding part for him.