The Neighborhood Scoop by Dr. Cynthia L. Toles


Once again Gadsden, Alabama, has maintained its status as the City of Champions with the help of Khamari Smith and De’Andre Riffin.  

After winning in the local elementary school track and field competition, the youngsters went on to participate in the district, state and national competitions.

Each year, Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American is held for youth across the country. This year, Hershey’s Track & Field Games Final was held on Aug. 2 in Hershey, Pa., at the Henry Hershey Field on the campus of the Milton Hershey School. 

Hershey’s Track & Field Games is the largest program of its kind in North America, providing 9-14 old boys and girls the opportunity to learn and develop the skills required to participate in basic track and field events.

It was a pleasure to interview these two G.W. Floyd Elementary School students about their experience at the national competition. Khamari Smith is an A&B Honor student and a member of the Junior Beta Club, the Little Titans youth basketball team and the Mountain Rams football team. He is a 5th grader and has been running track since the 3rd grade. Khamari runs the 100-meter dash event and is a member of 4×100 meter relay team. This year, Kharami placed 1st in the 100-meter dash at the district meet held in Anniston. He then took 1st place in the state meet held in Greenville. Khamari placed 7th in the national competition in Hershey.

This was De’Andre Riffin’s first year in the track and field competition. He is a 4th grade student at Floyd Elementary. De’Andre placed 1st in the 200-meter dash in the district and state level competition. At the national meet, De’Andre qualified for the long jump and did a superb performance, winning 2nd place with a long jump distance of seven feet and five inches.

These young boys had an opportunity to tour the campus, visit the Hershey Chocolate Factory and attend a picnic and the Bouncer House. Special thanks are extended to their parents and FES principal Nicole Chester. Special thanks and shout outs are extended to coach J. Rigby and coach Chad Clay. Khamari and De’Andre are real champions for our city!

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