Of the 4,240 students on Fort Bragg, 10 sports are available to the two middle schools. One of the two is Albritton Middle School.
On Oct. 30 at John Daskal Stadium in Fayetteville, Albritton girls’ track and field team dominated during their repeat win.
“We have a history of winning,” said Charlene Smythe, the Albritton girls’ coach, who has been with the school for 25 years.
The defending champs of the Division III track and field event are not only the smallest of the eight competing schools with a team of 22 — making their trouncing victory the more impressive — but also the only contender with a student composition unlike others.
Kimberlee Simmons, from the Office of the Superintendent Department of Defense Education Activity-Americas, explained only Families with “assignment to permanent quarters on post and active military status” are eligible to attend Albritton, compared to their nearest competitors at Anne Chesnutt, New Century and Luther Nick Jeralds middle schools. The schools came in second, third and fourth respectively.
“It’s been a great season for us,” Smythe said.
Despite natural disasters, such as Hurricane Florence, the program, which produced back-to-back championships, ran strong. This is due in large part to the unique sisterhood that takes root in their shared bond of being military kids.
“I have girls who keep in touch even when they’re 36,” she said. “They’re always sharing and keeping in touch.”
Samara Britt, who placed first in shot put and third in discus said, “Coming in first place means a lot to me, but most of all it means my hard work and dedication paid off.”
The difficulty of her events makes her win mean all the more.
“It takes time and patience to master the sport and remain on top,” Britt said.
This is the first year that sixth grade students could compete in the event. The Albritton team scored a combined 111.5 points and placed first in four individual events. With the pressures of military life, including deployments and reassignments, competing in athletic events are a different experience for the Albritton girls compared to their competitors.
“It’s a great outlet for them, both for helping their grades but also their behavior as well,” Smythe said.
“It feels good to know I can accomplish the goals I set for myself,” Britt said.
With the final track meet of the year completed, the girls of Albritton Middle School look forward to next season in pursuit of continuing that winning tradition.