Joe Derisma stood in one end zone of the stadium at Harllee Stadium while athletes whose summer will conclude with the AAU Junior Olympic Games stretched around him. They did lunges, high steps and everything runners usually do to get ready for a practice or race. Derisma just observed.
To Derisma’s side was Andre Hendriex, Derisma’s lone assistant coach at No Limit Athletics Track Club. He’s a personal trainer by trade who pops over to Palmetto High School or Blackstone Park across the street to work with Derisma and the athletes at No Limit Athletics. This part of practice is his — an opportunity to provide his expertise for one of Manatee County’s Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) track and field programs.
“That’s one thing that makes it a lot different than a lot of track teams,” Derisma said. “It’s not just the running part.”
In only its second season, the No Limit Track Club had 19 athletes qualify for the AAU Junior Olympics next week in Houston. Derisma and his athletes will leaving for Texas on Saturday to spend the following week competing. Allen Vil, Aloni Vil, Chauncey Kennon, Da’lani Miller, Dezmen Mobley, Elijah Price, Jacobey Mobley and Karen Lyvers headline the field for No Limit as athletes who have qualified in three events apiece.
No Limit formed last season as an offshoot of Florida Express, another area AAU track and field program. Derisma had been a coach for the Express, but left before the start of last season to specifically work with his two children. The plan was to run unattached. Quickly, though, some other runners from the Express left to continue working with Derisma.
No Limit wound up with seven athletes during its inaugural season and sent four to last year’s AAU Junior Olympics. By the start of this year, No Limit was up to 30 members and Derisma expects the program to continue growing into 2017.
“A lot of people are starting to hear about us,” Derisma said, “and not only hear about us, but see us at the meets, see the results that we’re getting.”
Derisma specifically credits Hendriex for a lot of the club’s early growth. Hendriex’s affiliation with No Limit came a bit more serendipitously. He had been working with one athlete, whose mother told Hendriex about the program. The former Tiger runner came out to one practice and was on board immediately.
“It was his genuine desire for the kids to really advance as far as their athleticism goes,” Hendriex said.
Before Derisma began coaching track and field six years ago, he was a star runner during his adolescence and early adulthood. The North Babylon, N.Y., native ran in high school and in the military after graduating. He enrolled at Morrisville State College, a Division III program in New York, where he resumed his track career. He had plenty of time to build his own philosophies and ideas about the sport.
No Limit became Derisma’s outlet to share his outlook. He remembers being young and lifting weights for football then going out to track practice. Some of his teammates thought one workout per day was enough. His partnership with Hendriex fits his ideology, and he’s turning it into profound success.
“We keep them physically fit and incorporate all that,” Derisma said, “and it’s making tremendous gains with the kids.”
AAU Junior Olympics
When: Friday-Aug. 5
Where: Turner Stadium, Humble High School, Humble, Texas