3-sport Yoakum senior back on track
EDNA - The Yoakum fans in the Hallettsville gym erupted in applause even before their District 26-3A play-in basketball game against Cuero had started.
The cheers were for Tre'Vontae Hights, who was appearing in an athletic contest for the first time since breaking his left ankle in Yoakum's Class 3A, Division II bi-district football playoff loss to Wharton in November.
Hights, a junior, was cleared for all physical activities on the day of the Cuero game and was anxious to rejoin his teammates.
"I love competing," Hights said. "I felt I could help my team, and they needed to get in the playoffs."
Hights played briefly in the Bulldogs' wins over Cuero and Gonzales and saw a little more action in their bi-district loss to Wharton.
But his time on the court served as a prelude for his first appearance back on the track.
Hights ran a leg on the sprint medley and 400-meter relays at Thursday night's Cowboy Relays at Cowboy Memorial Stadium.
"After running like this, it will be sore," Hights said. "It's getting there. I'm really out of shape right now. It's just getting my legs stronger and doing what coach (trainer Carrie) Koliba tells me."
Hights has spent a lot of time working on his rehab with Koliba since he was able to shed his cast and his left ankle was placed in a walking boot Jan. 7.
"I really had to learn to be patient," Hights said. "I wanted to get my boot off quick. After I got my boot off, I wanted to walk regular quickly. After I could walk, now I want to run and do sporting events."
Hights qualified for last year's state track and field meet in the long jump, high jump and triple jump and ran a leg on the 800-meter relay. He won the gold medal in the triple jump.
"He's been working about a month and a half on flexibility exercises with the trainer," said Yoakum track coach Kent Bode. "He's been doing a little jogging on it, and of course, he played basketball. We're going to take it real easy. It's probably going to be at least another month before he does any long jumping or anything like that."
Bode is aware Hights is anxious to resume his normal schedule but won't let him rush into any events.
"He begged all day long to high jump," Bode said. "He wanted to high jump bad. He just hadn't worked on it, and I just don't want him to hurt it anymore. He's quite an athlete, and I really think by the time we get to district, he'll be hopefully back to full board."
Hights understands it will take some time to get back into top form. But he showed a glimpse of what is to come with a 10.9-second split in the 400 relay.
"It's tough," he said. "I can't do what I want, but I understand it's a work in progress."
• Goliad won the boys and girls team titles.
• The Tigerettes were first with 185 points, Cuero was second with 101, and Rice Consolidated was fourth with 99 points.
• The Tigers were first with 128 points, El Campo was second with 127, Yoakum was third with 115, and Edna was fourth with 96.