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Hattiesburg Flyers track team headed to Junior Olympics

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Kids from all over the Pine Belt are preparing to take their talents to the AAU Junior Olympics in Humble, Texas.

Not only are these kids smart, but they are very fast, lending to their name, the “Hattiesburg Flyers.”

The track team is practicing to get ready to bring all of their speed and agility to the Junior Olympics.

Brendin Hannah, an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Petal Upper Elementary School, is in his first year on the team, but he’s very confident.

“I like beating people, it’s like fun to beat people,” Bendin said. “I don’t want to brag, but it’s just, you know, fun.”

While Brendin is excited about the competition, his teammate, Liylah Orange, a sixth-grader at Oak Grove Middle School, said she is just excited to watch her skills on the track grow.

“I was excited to get the experience and not only that, but to develop me as an athlete,” Liylah said. “I want to be the next fastest woman in the world.”

Their coach, Jamal Porter, has been with the program for about six years. He said they did not get to go last year because of COVID-19, so this year, the kids are more focused than ever.

“This year, we’ve got a lot to prove,” Porter said. “Last year, as I said, we didn’t get to go. We were good and ready. We had a lot of athletes come out to participate last year. They came back this year with a little taste of vengeance and wanted to prove something to themselves as well as others.”

Coach Charles Green has been with the program for 24 years, and he said although this is not the first year the kids are going, it is also a great achievement whenever they go.

“You have kids from all over the country coming there to compete,” Green said. “Everybody doesn’t get to go to the Junior Olympics. So to have the opportunity to go, that’s big for the kids.”

The Hattiesburg Flyers leave for Texas on Aug. 1, but they can use your help getting there.

If you’d like to donate or be a sponsor, contact hattiesburgflyers@outlook.com.

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