With a time of 42.65 seconds, the Sterling High School 4×100 relay team has placed first in the HISD Relays for four straight years.
Coach Dexter Addison, a Madison track alum, has been working with the program for seven years in hopes of bringing the spark back to Sterling track and field.
And it appears he’s done just that, with a “4-peat” to prove it.
“When it comes to track and you look at the history of Sterling in the eighties, between winning state championships and always being in the state meet, that’s what I remember Sterling for; being a track and field school,” Addison said.
“I ran a lot of track under coach Alvin Barnes. In my eyes, he’s a legend in HISD. I remember going to TSU Relays as a junior and running against Port Arthur Memorial, running against people like Jamal Charles. They were pretty stacked and running 3:13s. I love my district and want track and field to be back to how it was,” Addison said.
With names like Frank Brown, Anthony Brown and Vernon Moseley III, Sterling has had their share of big names to play dual sports. But like any program, recruiting has been Addison’s biggest hurdle.
“I know those kids have so much talent, but you just have to make sure they’re able to trust you and want to work hard for you,” Addison said.
Addison found that trust in Garett Green, Jeremiah Malbroue, Dekell Minor and Tyler Tillman, four football athletes who use track for conditioning during the off-season.
“Coach Addison always tells us how track can make you a better athlete, speed explosiveness, physicality, that’s why I chose to run track,” Malbroue said.
As things were looking up for the Sterling track program, tragedy struck. In January 2023, Warren White, a member of both the football and track program, had his life cut short due to gun violence.
“Warren was a good kid. He came up with SRT (Sterling Raider Track) and we live up to that,” Tillman said. “Overall, he was a good person, funny, creative. He was our fun spot on the team, he was our joy, and he made practice fun. [Practice] ain’t the same without him,” Malbroue said.
Addison believes more should be done that fits the community’s interest in efforts of keeping the youth involved.
“We need more activities. Around here, we have a lot of kids who are into trail rides and horses. But we don’t have an FFA on campus. We’ve got too many kids in the building walking around that’s not participating in something,” Addison said.
Last year, the 4×100 team ran a 42.5 at the area meet. This year they must get their timing down to at least a 40 in order to compete for a chance at state.
“We have to fix our handoffs. Fixing our handoffs will shave a lot of time off that 42. We fix those handoffs and we push these guys through the exchange zones, there is no doubt in my mind that we run a low 41, or a high 40,” Addison said.