In his eight years as head coach of the San Elizario High School track and field team, Michael Warfield had never had as successful and challenging a season as he did this year. Two of his student athletes sophomore Michael Johnson and senior Daniel Calderon qualified for state competition. Warfield, who was recently named the All City Boys’ Track and Field Coach, also welcomed a new daughter Mila Sophia in February.
Johnson who was selected to the All City Boys Track First Team earned a silver medal in the 800 meters at state. All City Second Team honoree, Calderon finished a respectable seventh in the 400 meters. The two boys made history for San Elizario High School by winning their events at the regional track meet and advancing to state competition. The last time that a runner from San Elizario High School had medalled at state was back in 1977; Johnson’s second place finish in Austin ended that dry spell.
The successes of the San Elizario High School Eagles extend into the girls side as well where sophomore Julia Hernandez broke the school record in the 100-meter dash and the relay teams turned in outstanding results in area competition. Warfield was not surprised how well his team consisting of 30 boys and 18 girls performed this season stating that he had seen them improve by leaps and bounds.
“The number one requirement for being a coach is that you have to believe in the kids because if you don’t they know and I believed in my heart that we had the individuals that could win at regionals,” Warfield said.
According to Warfield, the accomplishments of the Eagles on the track are due to the preparation that students at the middle school received from some of his former runners. Also important was the dedication of a core group of coaches that included Ana Luna, Sergio Jasso and Cesar Morales, all teachers at San Elizario High School. Without their support, Warfield stated that it would have been difficult to keep the promises that he made to the students because it was challenging for him to split his time between family and coaching after the birth of his daughter.
The San Elizario High School track and field program has come a long way since 2005 when it was inherited by Warfield with only three boys and one girl, not even enough members for a relay team. Although he expects even more triumphs for the Eagle runners next year, his focus remains on being a great educator first.
“We have a goal in mind in the classroom and being a coach is an extension of the classroom. I wouldn’t want to teach or coach anywhere else because these kids give everything they’ve got,” Warfield stated.
Warfield teaches professional and dual credit communications courses at San Elizario High School and has also served as assistant coach for the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams.