For Immediate Release

July 2, 2015

Contact: Tammy Sharp

Public Information Director

City of Leesville Recognizes Leesville Track Club

LEESVILLE, LA.-- Leesville Mayor Rick Allen, members of the Leesville City Council and staff and other local  officials met on Tuesday, June 30 at the Leesville High School Track to recognize the Leesville Track Club for their excellence.


"Of the 40 members, aged 6-18, of the Leesville Track Club, 16 have qualified for the Junior Olympics in Virginia Beach, VA. They will compete July 28-August 7, 2015. The Leesville Track Club, a non-profit organization, is a memb

Row 1 (L-R): Keeton Johnson, Taj Jackson, Chaundra Fils, Autumn Thomas, Gregory Wright, Oyango Moore. Row 2 (L-R): Timothy Littleton, Keon Johnson, Crandell Turner, Amariana Crain, Byron Celestine, Carson Hicks, Quinton Crain, Troy Jackson. Row 3 (L-R): Jessamine Benoit, Alaisjah Hoy, Troyvon Jackson, Brandon Celestine, Curtis Colbert Caleb Gallashaw, Mayor Rick Allen. Row 4 (L-R): Willie Mae Kennedy, Alice Guess, Rev. Joseph Garner, Joshua Coleman, Richard Karamatic, Lizzy Littleton, Brianna Harperhoward, Tony Shapkoff, Dante Gallashaw, McKenzie Jackson, Lorenzo Garner, Sheriff Sam Craft, Oliver Cook

er of the Southern region of the Amatuer Atheletic Unit," said Coach Lorenzo Garner, club vice president. Coaches Oliver Cook and Troy Jackson, club president, were also on hand.


"Anytime a group of young people excel we want to come out and congratulate you," said Mayor Allen. "We're extremely proud of what you've d

one. We are going to be praying for you to do your very best while you're gone to compete."


Also In attendance were council members.

"I'd just like to congratulate you and say keep up the hard work," said Tony Shapkoff (District 4).

Alice Guess, Councilwoman-at-large said, "Congrats, job well 

done. You are representing Leesville. It's awesome,"

Councilwoman Willie Mae Kennedy said, "Hats off to Lorenzo Garner and his help for doing such a fine job with you all."

Keeton Johnson, 8, attended the Junior Olympics in 2014, winning a bronze medal. He also set a new record during the trails, clocking the 1500 meter at 26 seconds faster than the previous record holder. He will be traveling with the Leesville Track Club later this month to compete in the 2015 Junior Olympics in Virginia Beach, VA.


Also in attendance was City Administrator Richard Karamatic, who said, "What you've done is hard work and it will pay off - even in he classroom."


Sheriff Sam Craft thanked the children for their representation of the parish. "Thank you for representing our community in such  a positive manner. Stay focused, not just in the next few weeks, but throughout your  life."


Reverend Joseph Garner of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Leesville encouraged the children with scripture, quoting Philippian 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. "We are here because we are proud of you. I have always believed that whatever you do, do your best. Strive for excellence. God will reward excellence," he added.

To view or use photos from the event, click here.



The City of Leesville, the best hometown in the world, is a historic yet visionary community. As the parish seat of Vernon Parish, where Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center are located, the City of Leesville is home to military families, retired veterans and a growing and strongly patriotic citizenry that provides the basis of a well-rounded and work-ready workforce.   


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