Coaches, teams compete for bragging rights at BREC event

It’s hard for Chauncey Moore to stop coaching.

Whether it’s imploring his Belaire High School boys basketball team to play better defense or giving his athletes tips on how to properly carry a multicolored plastic Easter egg with a small wooden spoon, he does not stop.

“Wrist up, not your hand up,” Moore told members of the basketball team Saturday at the inaugural Coaches Challenge at BREC’s Olympia Stadium after they had a few drops during the egg and spoon relay.

He arched his arm up and bent his wrist, like he was carrying a serving tray, to show them what he meant.

“You hold it down, it’s going to fall,” he said.

Moore and his group joined with athletes and coaches from Scotlandville, Southern Lab, Glen Oaks, McKinley, Scotlandville and Broadmoor high schools to compete in field day events — an egg and spoon relay, wheelbarrow race, water balloon toss, tug of war and obstacle course. At stake were bragging rights and money for their athletic departments.

The event was meant to foster team-building and encourage relationships between the prep coaches and BREC, while giving the athletes a chance to compete with their coaches in fun competitions, said Antaria Curry, BREC’s recreation manager.

The events selected for Saturday’s competition were chosen because they would not be too physically taxing for coaches, who were expected to compete in every contest. Some coaches threw their assistants into the mix and sat in the shade, cheering the teams on.

“This is a recreational, health-and-fitness type of event, but it benefits everyone involved,” Curry said.

In the end, the group of football players and coaches from Glen Oaks High took the top spot, winning the $500 gift card from Red Stick Sports.

Defensive line coach Charlie Brooks said the coaching staff hopes to use the money for some practice equipment with the season about to start.

Brooks said they raise money throughout the year for the program, but it’s still hard to meet all their financial needs, so the money will be put to good use.

Members of the Scotlandville High baseball team came in second, and the Southern Lab volleyball team, mixed with some football players, took third.

Scotlandville’s head baseball coach Darren Clark said they will buy some new bats for the upcoming season with their $250 gift card, while Southern Lab’s volleyball coach Allisa Hale said she is not sure what she will use the $100 gift card for but said she wanted to get something nice for the team.

“I’m just glad they had fun,” Hale said after getting her gift card. “But there was no doubt in my mind we would make top three.”

Curry said they hope to make it an annual event and integrate more team-specific sports, such as throwing and running events, in the future.

“Just to see the response this year was really awesome,” Curry said.

The teams were involved athletes from different sports, including basketball, volleyball, football, baseball and cross-country. One team included cheerleaders.

Many of the coaches noted the team-building aspect of the games.

“We’re still building that teamwork concept that will help during the season,” Moore said. “This is a competition. Have fun, but it’s still a competition.”

And the players caught on to the idea of building team chemistry.

Asha Mayweather, a 17-year-old senior volleyball player at McKinley, said the games taught her not to get mad at a teammate who makes a costly mistake.

“We got a chance to really bond with our teammates,” Mayweather said.

The highlight of the day for many was a tug-of-war battle between boys of Scotlandville and the mostly female Southern Lab team, which the boys narrowly won.

Follow Ryan Broussard on Twitter, @ryanmbroussard.