By Chuck Ballaro, Sun Correspondent
D’VONTE PRICE, CHARLOTTE
PUNTA GORDA — For a long time, Charlotte High School boys track star D’Vonte Price has been one of the best athletes on the field and this past track season was no exception as he excelled in the short distances and the long jump.
It was just the ending that left him a little disappointed.
Already a force on the football field, the senior had a stellar season in track and field as he went to the podium twice at states in the 110-meter hurdles and the 4×100 relay and earned hardware in the long jump, finishing as runner-up in districts.
His credentials made him the easy choice for The Sun’s boys track and field athlete of the year.
“I had a great career, all four years. It was a great experience. Coach (Jerry) Voss was great. He was tough, but it was all love,” Price said.
Voss said Price is another example of someone who leads by example, works hard and started to show his potential in his junior year.
“In the offseason you talk to the kids about what they can do and how they can get there. We knew that as a great football players he would have a great track season,” Voss said. “Track is about staying away from the injury bug. One little pull takes a big chunk out of the season for you.”
Price came to Charlotte High School already a star after a successful Pop Warner career, so it wasn’t so much a matter of if but when he would blossom. As a way to prepare for football, he took up track.
“I’ve always played sports. I took up track to help me stay in shape for football,” Price said. “In the beginning, I really only did the relay.”
As a member of the relay squad as a freshman, he made it to regionals, then to states as a sophomore and junior. He also reached states last season in the 110 hurdles, finishing 13th following a third-place showing at regionals.
As a senior, Price won the district and regional 110 hurdle titles and placed sixth at state. He also won the Bear Track, Booker, Charlotte, Tarpon and Wally Keller invitationals.
In the relays, his team was second at districts and regionals and sixth at state. In between, Charlotte won the Bear Track, Charlotte and Wally Keller invitationals.
Price also ran in the 200 meters, with some success, including a second-place finish at the Tarpon Invitational. He also did some discus and 300-meter hurdles sparingly throughout his career,
But in the long jump, Price was second in districts and sixth in regionals following a third in districts and 12th in regionals the year before.
Price said the problem he had was simply finding the time to practice the long jump, since hurdling is a very technical event that requires lots of practice.
“It would have to go back and forth from hurdles to the long jump. It kind of interfered with the hurdles, but it was OK,” Price said.
Voss said the long jump and sprints go hand in hand.
“The speed aspect gets him through the hurdles, but it also adapts well to the jumps. To take that speed and convert it to a jump, that’s easy. It’s perfecting it that’s hard,” Voss said.
For Price, he said it was a great season that could have been better if he had run the way he wanted to at states. He said everything that went right at regionals didn’t that day as he ended up in sixth place.
“I was too wired and couldn’t calm myself down. I couldn’t get out of the blocks fast enough,” Price said. “I was relaxed and focused at regionals.”
Price will be going to Florida International on a football scholarship, though he plans to continue his track career as well. He will major in sports medicine.
Lemon Bay • Junior
Qualified for the Class 2A state meet in the high jump and placed 13th with a jump of 1.80 meters. Followed up a second-place finish at the District 2A-11 meet with a Region 2A-3 title. Was also a region qualifier in the 400-meter dash with a fourth-place finish at districts.
Lemon Bay • Senior
Won the District 2A-11 in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.84 seconds.
Lemon Bay • Senior
Won the Region 2A-3 title in the shot put to qualify for state, where he finished 11th with a throw of 14.54 meters. Also placed second in District 2A-11 and won the shot put at the Bobcat Relays, Ram Invite and Marcus Freeman Invite.
Charlotte • Senior
Placed ninth in the shot put in Class 3A with a throw of 14.77 meters. Finished second in District 3A-11 and third in Region 3A-3 and also won the Tarpon Invitational in the event.
Port Charlotte • Junior
Won District 3A-11 and Region 3A-3 titles in the triple jump to qualify for state, where he finished ninth with a leap of 13.54 meters. Also won the triple jump at the Bear Track Invitational, Charlotte Invitational, Tarpon Invitational and Marcus Freeman Invite. Qualified for the Region 3A-3 meet in the long jump with a third-place finish in District 3A-11 and won the long jump at the Bear Track Invitational.
North Port • Sophomore
Won the Sarasota County Championship and Ram Invite in the 1600 and was also part of North Port’s 4×800 relay team that qualified for the Region 4A-2 meet with a third-place finish in District 4A-8 (8:24.74). Moody and his relay team also won the Sarasota County Championship, Marcus Freeman, Warhawk Invitational, Ram Invite and Bobcat Relays.
Port Charlotte • Sophomore
Was a Region 3A-3 qualifier in the 1600, 3200 and 4×800 relay. Placed second in the 3200 (10:24.79), third in the 1600 (4:38.91), and fourth on Port Charlotte’s 4×800 relay team (8:40.61) in District 3A-13. Also won both solo events at the Marcus Freeman Invite and won the 3200 at the Tarpon Invitational.
Charlotte • Senior
Won the District 3A-11 title in the discus and also took first place in the event at the Charlotte Quad Meet, Booker Invitational, Charlotte Invitational and Tarpon Invitational.
Charlotte • Junior
Was part of Charlotte’s 4×100 relay team that medaled in Class 3A with a sixth-place finish with a time of 42.55 seconds. Relay team also placed second in both District 3A-11 and Region 3A-3 and won the Bear Track Invitational, Charlotte Invitational and Wally Keller Invitational. Warren also won the 100 dash at the Charlotte Invitational, Tarpon Invitational and Wally Keller Invitational and was a region qualifier with a fourth-place finish at districts. Won the 200 dash at the Bear Track Invitational, Charlotte Invitational and Tarpon Invitational.
Charlotte: Daniel Frederiqie (shot put), Trevor Hohne (300 hurdles), Dalton Larson (pole vault)
Lemon Bay: Robbie Cerami (discus), Riley Ward (800, 4×800)
North Port: Daniel Gonzalez (discus), Darren Thomas (long jump)
Port Charlotte: Tariq Chase (300 hurdles, 300 dash), Jayden Edwards (triple jump), Eli Johnson (high jump)
All-Area team compiled by Jordan Kroeger