Ocoee Middle School’s boys track team earned runner-up in the county championship three weeks ago, and seventh-grader Fletcher Charles was instrumental in helping lead the team. Charles earned three medals himself, and coach Marcus Spencer lauds him as a great student.
What got you into running track?
It was really last year. Coach Spencer and Coach Lee told us to run a lap, and after we ran a lap, I just kind of blew everybody out, and they (the coaches) were shocked. That was my first season, in sixth grade. They really push me every practice.
How did it feel to be part of a team that earned county runner-up?
It felt really good. This is my second year, and these coaches have just really pushed us, and they just tell us to never give up, or that no matter how bad it gets, keep going because you never know what might happen, so we did. We just came out and represented.
What’s your mindset going into a race?
Just win. Execute the start, and as Coach Spencer and Coach Lee said, when you’re in the back stretch, you just have to breathe and make sure you get a good start. Don’t focus on what’s behind you; just go straight ahead and make sure you keep your form.
Have you thought about what you’d like to do when you get older?
It depends, but I’d like to go professional in basketball, football or track somewhere down the road.
What other sports do you watch, and what is your team?
Basketball. It used to be the Lakers, and I still enjoy watching the Lakers, but Kobe just had that killer in there. He’s my favorite of all time.
Do you have a favorite class?
I’m going to say gym. The coaches are great. They’re always giving us speeches and (encouraging us) to push ourselves. Every time we go against each other in competition, it’s so we can get to be great, and as we get older, we can remember the memories and stuff. That’s what I always think about, and my mom, when she says, “Just be careful out there, listen to the teachers and be respectful.” So that’s what I’m trying to do.
If you could have any food you wanted in front of you, what would it be?
I’m a big gummy bear fan, I love gummy bears and how they’re so chewy. Our team also smashes pizzas; we love pizza.