State Track Champs 1956-1964

Imagine the excitement in the heart of any teenager able to cheer and shout the words “we are the State Track Champs!” For a team to experience that once is great, but for a school to claim that title for nine consecutive years is truly great. From 1956 until 1964, each Erath High School Track Team walked away with the title, State Track (Class “B”) Champions. It was a crown that each member was proud to claim then, and it is a memory that still burns bright in their hearts today.

1953 marked the beginning of track and field at Erath High School. Strong and fast from the beginning of the Erath High Track and Field era, these boys made their mark. Minor problems arose at the beginning. Money for instance posed a problem. Proper athletic chose could not be afforded, so plain white “ked” tennis shoes were worn instead of the traditional and more expensive track shots, but nothing held these athletes back.

During the late 1950’s, Erath track teams dominated the work of track in field in the Class B state events. Part of their success was due to Coach Robert Segura Sr. a champion himself in the sport, he was named “Outstanding Athlete” in New Orleans in his high school days. He was selected to participate in the Olympics, but because of WW II, the Olympics were canceled. (1940 and 1944 Olympics were both canceled due to WW II).

Though unable to fulfill his Olympic dream, Mr. Segura utilized his track expertise by serving Erath High School’s first track and field coach.

The first year Erath competed in track competitions was in 1954. In 1955, the Erath High Track Team was state runner up, losing first place by only ¼ of a point. In the years spanning from 1956 through 1964, Erath High went on to win as state Class B Champions for nine consecutive years. The school set a record that has never been matched since that time.

Coach Bob Segura was said to have a gift of knowing where to place his athletes to score points. He would sometimes arrive at a track meet and enter a runner in an event in which a student had never competed in. Although the runner would not win first place, he sometimes placed second or third, thus scoring more points for the team. For his accomplishments, Coach Segura was inducted into the Louisiana Coaches Hall of Fame in 1981.

His final year of coaching was 1964. He then moved into his tenure of principal at Erath High.

Erath High School was known statewide for its track team, coach, and well built stadium with a cinder track. The cinder track was built in 1953, by the Vermilion Parish School Board. At that time, it was the only high school in the area that could boast of having a cinder track. Only the University of Southwestern Louisiana could rival the EHS track at that time.

For nine consecutive years, the Erath High School Track Team held the State Title in Class B, which is still a record today. It is an extraordinary feat that is still part of each of those athletes today. Whether sharing stories with their children, grandchildren or members of the community, the pride emerges in their eyes when anyone speaks of those State Titles today.

Like a light in a lighthouse, this memory burns as a triumphant moment in the history of this small town. Through dedication and hard work, these determined athletes and their strong willed coach, focused on a dream in their hearts. As excited teenagers, each team member for nine years arrived at the Louisiana State Meet with hope in their heart and were able to leave shouting the words… “We are the State Champs!”

 

Erath High School

808 S. Broadway Street

Erath, LA 70533

Phone - 337-937-8451

Fax - 337-937-5109

 

Website URL http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/ehs

 

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