Second annual Raven Invitational, sponsored by Zaxby's, was a track bonanza
If it tastes great, you come back for seconds! After a successful inaurgural experience in 2022, Zaxby's has re-newed its commitment to be a part of the Raven track and field program's marque event. The Georgia-based fast-food chicken restaurant chain, with a franchise about one mile from Alonso's campus, re-affirmed its sponsorship agreement with the Raven Invitational for 2023 meet. The track and field meet, scheduled for March 18 at Alonso and expected to feature over 20 area high schools teams and over 1000 athletes, will again be called the Raven Invitational, sponsored by Zaxbys.
"It is once again our absolute pleasure to continue our partnership with Alonso High school's track and field program," said Zaxby's representative Dontavius Barney, District Manager. "We are proud to be able to sponsor such a great group of athletes. We have a firm belief in supporting those that support us, as well as creating and mantaining the bond that we share with our community."
Twice cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, the first ever Raven Invitational, sponsored by Zaxby's, was the first major track and field invitational held on Alonso's new rubber track surface. Last year's meet featured 21 teams from Hillsborough and surrounding counties. Now, with the 2023 less than a month away, Zaxby's renewed support could not be more timely. The sponsorship commitment will provide the needed resources to repeat and build on last year's first class event.
"We are extremely grateful for the continued support and generous sponsorship commitment made by Zaxby's," said Ravens coach Roger Mills. "The 2022 experience was wonderful. But to come back for a second year is a massive commitment to our school, our track and field athletes, and to our Alonso community as a whole."
When school resumes on Jan. 8, 2023, the Ravens Track and Field program will amp up its pre-season conditioning program with four workouts scheduled for each week, Monday-Thursday from 4:00 to 5:30 pm (Jan 9 - Jan 26). The four conditioning sessions per week will provide ample opportunity for conditioning and fitness development.This is a tentative schedule and is subject to change with regard to weather related setbacks and other school activities. See Track page for further details.
Compression Shorts: The Ravens wear solid navy compression shorts or running shorts as our uniform, no stripes, no alternative color. Brand doesn't manner. See samples below.
Supervision: While athletes are strongly urged to workout during the break, NO ONE can be on campus working out without the supervision of the coaching staff. NO ONE can be on campus using the facilites on their own. That is an insurance violation and can lead to severe penalities.
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork: ALL athletes must be cleared for track and field on the County's athletic clearance portal. Click here County Athletic Forms to access the county's website that outlines all needed documents. If you have already been cleared for one sport, but have not added track to your list, you have to go back into your Athletic Clearance account and add track and field. For example, being cleared for volleyball or football, doesn't mean you are cleared for track and field.
Enrollment/Residential Doc: One document that seems to be giving trouble is the Enrollment/Residential document. The PDF below is that document. Complete it and upload into your account.
OTHER SPORTS: Many athletes are multi-sport athletes, which is strongly promoted by our school. So, we share athletes. If you are in an active sport - like soccer, wrestling or basketball - you are excused from workouts until your season completed. That sport is in season and is your priority. Win the state title, and then join us. If not, you are expected to be at our workouts. If you play baseball, softball, lacrosse, flag or tennis, we will do everything in our power to work with your other coach. Keep in mind, an athlete who does not practice with the track and field program, cannot compete in track and field.
Team Camps: Typically, we attend meets and create a team camp as a base of operations. We will be adjusting the “team camp” scenario and announce those details to the team in the coming weeks. We may divide the team into specific groups and insist that the groups stay together for the purpose of contact tracing. Team camps are for members of the team. Not friends, not family.
Feeling Sick: The minute you are not feeling well, or suspect you are off your game, isolate yourself from your teammates, notify your parents, and then either Coach Mills immediately. The identity of a sick student-athlete is confidential, but it is the responsible thing to do to prevent outbreak. If a member of your family has been exposed, you are to immediately isolate yourself and notify the school and the coaches.
Regular Season Practice schedule: The 2023 season official gets underway on Mon. Jan. 30. From that point on, practices are no longer voluntary, but mandatory. What that means is that EVERY athlete who is a part of our program is expected to attend practices, ALL PRACTICES. Obviously, we make accommodations for dual sport athletes, severe academic setbacks, Covid absenses and emergency situations. For the most part, we practice EVERY DAY after school from 4-5:30 pm. Athletes involved in other Alonso sports teams in season are given special accomodations, up to a point.
MORNING PRACTICES: To facilitate social distancing, and to ease the heavy crowding that occurs on our game and practice field, the track program will be practicing in the mornings BEFORE school on select dates, with select athletes. For instance, the distance runners may have an early morning session twice a week, since they are accustomed to 6 am practice times. On those days, we will practice from 6:00 to 7:35 am, and then you will be done for the day.
PARENT ZOOM MEETING TBA: We are going to schedule a parent meeting via Zoom before the start of competition. We will notify the student athletes when we have an exact date and time, but it likely will be on a Friday evening.
Transportation: Unfortunately, the County does not provide buses for invitationals and meets outside the county. So, for the most part, we are on our own. Parents are responsible for getting athletes to the meets. DO NOT WAIT until the morning of a meet to try to arrange a ride. Note, we have a meet in Lakeland, in Kissimmee, in Gainesville and in Palm Harbor.
Team Fee: To accommodate for entry fees, snacks/refreshments provided during the meets, end-of-year awards and a team shirt, all members of the team are asked to pay a $75 team fee. The fee for siblings is $100.
Spread the word: If you have any friends interested in track and field, encourage them to join. See the direct link below to access the County paperwork needed.
Click here for link to County Athletic Paperwork
Do you want to be honored on the new Raven Nation Wall of Fame? Do you want a plaque denoting your contribution to athletics at Alonso High School to be a permanent part of our athletic history and facility? Then, get in line. Order forms for the new Raven Nation Monument plaques are now available (PDF form above). Spots will be distributed on a first come first serve basis. Order forms are available at the athletic office, through Booster Club members and from all Alonso head coaches. The plaques cost $150 and is a way of giving back to the Raven Nation. One of the primary goals of the venture fund is to raise funds for a new rubber track.
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