Category Archives: Sports

Girls swim team dominates at sectionals

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Megan Coffin smiles with her parents at Senior Night. 

The girls swimming and diving team won first place in  sectional finals last weekend. The 200 Medley relay team set a new sectional and school record, and Megan Coffin, 12, broke a sectional record in the 100 fly.

The team has also won the HHC for the second year in a row. The team’s biggest competition so far this season was Pendleton. Johnson said, “Our biggest competitor this year was Pendleton Heights. They beat us in a dual meet, but at the Hoosier Heritage Conference, we came out victorious.” This season, the girls were wanting to win sectionals and hopefully place at state. 

Anne Marie DeKeyser, 12, is one of the team’s strongest swimmers as a senior. Heading into sectionals, she said she will focus on her swimming by thinking of her goals as motivation. DeKeyser said, “I will maintain my focus and stamina by thinking of my goals for the season and using them to work hard every day.” 

DeKeyser has acquired a lot of knowledge from swimming, but most importantly, she has learned that effort will pay off in the long run. DeKeyser said, “The most important thing that I will take from this season is that hard work pays off later.” 

Ashley Swango, also grade 12, said her goal for this season was to bond really well with the team and be victorious in some important events. Swango said, “My goal is to have a stronger bond than ever before, as well as come out on top in both sectionals and conference.” 

The seniors have definitely made an impact on Mary Ellen Stratman, 9. She said they have taught her a lot of things this season. Stratman said, “If you put your mind to it you can do anything, I’ve learned that a lot from the seniors this year.” She said that this year, her goal was to get some PRs, personal records, and just have fun. 

Norah Johnson, also grade 9, said she has been looking forward to being on the team since she was young. Johnson said, “I am very excited to be swimming this season. It has been something I have been looking forward to since I was in the fifth grade.” She said that even though having practice before and after school does not leave a lot of time to do homework, she has learned how to effectively use class time to manage her school work. 

Kayleigh Hite, 11, is happy to be back in the pool as well. Hite said, “I am very excited to be swimming this season. I always enjoy being back in the pool with my second family.” She said the most important thing for me to take away from this season is that you have to block out the negativity and to work hard and stay focused to accomplish your goals. 

The team’s biggest competitition so far this season was Pendleton. It was a tough conference win, but the girls were able to come out on top. Johnson said, “Our biggest competitor this year was Pendleton Heights. They beat us in a dual meet, but at the Hoosier Heritage Conference, we came out victorious.” This season, the girls are wanting to win sectionals and hopefully place at state. 

The team bonded very well this season. Johnson said, “Our team has bonded during practices, but outside of practice we have team movie nights, dinners, and lock-ins. It is important to get along as a team and encourage each other to do our best.” 

 

Boys swim team prepares for post-season

by Trinity Fields/Staff Writer 

The boys swimming season is coming to an end with a strong finish. They have had a successful season so far. The boys ended up winning their 10th Hoosier Heritage Conference (HHC) title in a row, and are headed into sectionals in a few weeks. 

Travis Black, 11, swims sprint freestyle. Black talked about his goals for the season. Black said, “My goal for the end of the season is to go a sub 20 in the 50 free and break the school record in the 100 free.” Black also discussed how he prepared for the season. He said, “Preparation would have to be the preseason and going on the team training trip to Florida. I have been swimming year round for a while now. Preparation is really just showing up to preseason practices and getting excited for the season to start.” 

Black’s favorite memory of the season is: “I was at a swim meet in Shelbyville and it was their senior night. One of the kids on the Shelbyville team swam an entire 500 fly. It was amusing and everyone was cheering for him towards the end. It really showed how the sport brings people together.” 

The last thing Black talked about was what he learned from being on the team. He said, “I have learned how to manage time and wake up early in the morning. Swimming for an hour and a half before and two hours after school teaches a lot of time management. Morning practices have, over time, turned me into a morning person, and taught me that I need to set one alarm on the other side of the room so I actually get up.”

Samuel Jennings, 12, swims distance freestyle (200/500) free. Jenning’s goal for the season is, “To place top 8 at the ISHAA State Competition.” Jennings talked about his favorite part of the season. He said, “Getting to know and work with newer swimmers.” Jennings also discussed how he prepared for the season “by eating healthy and getting adequate sleep,” he said. The last thing Jennings talked about was how he wants to end the season. Jennings said, “To finish on a good note with the team. I want to leave the team being remembered as a leader and a good teammate.”

Tyler Swango, 9, swims 50 and 100 freestyle. Swango commented on what it’s like being a freshman on the swim team. He said, “Honestly being a freshman is not that bad. You don’t get judged for anything and it is fun being a part of such a great program.” 

Swango also discussed his and his team’s goals for the season. Swango said, “My goals going into the season were just to swim two individual events at varsity sectionals and meet my times, but I also ended up in the A 200 free relay so that is very exciting.” Swango continued, “Obviously one of our biggest goals was to win the Conference championship and Sectionals championship for the 10th year in a row.” 

The last thing Swango talked about is what he has learned from being on the team. He said, “I have learned that hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” Swango continued, “I have learned that you have to fight through the hard workouts to get better. That is the only reason I have made it all the way to Varsity Sectionals.” 

Tyler Osborn, 11, swims Freestyle 200 and 500 and backstroke. Osborn also discussed how he prepared for the season. He said, “I stayed in shape through exercise and I just put in hard effort throughout the time I had pre-season.” Osborn talked about his very specific goals:“My goals are to get 200 (1:54) and 100 Back (0:58).” 

Osborn’s favorite part of the season is, “Being able to train and hang out with the team.” He continued, “The team has great work ethic and overall are fun to hang around.” Osborn lastly reflected on what he has learned from being on the season. He said, “I learned with hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.” 

 

Boys basketball ready for season with new coach

by Trinity Fields and Ashton Gillam/Staff Writers

Photo Caption: Brock Wheeler, 12, passes the ball to a teammate in a game last season.

Cougar basketball is starting the season in full throttle. The freshmen team took home a hard earned first win against Knightstown. Owen Anderson and Bryce Hasty, both 9, had 11 steals combined in the 41-31 win. The junior varsity won on Dec. 9 against Indian Creek with Joey Roland, 10, leading with 16 points and Tyler Kerkhof, 9, with 10. Varsity got a win against Speedway on Dec. 14. Team members discussed their thoughts on the beginning of the season. 

Tyler Kerkhof, 9, plays on the junior varsity team. Kerkhof talked about what he is looking forward to most this season. He said, I am looking forward to building a family and winning some games this year, and I’m just really excited for it.” Kerkhof plays point guard and shooting guard. Some encouraging words from Kerkhof are, “We need to keep our heads held high and just know we got this because I think we all know we are a good team.” Kerkhof also believes that teamwork is an important key to basketball. He said, “Teamwork to me is everything. You have to have good chemistry and teamwork to be successful.”

Joey Roland, 10, plays for varsity and junior varsity. Roland said, “Playing varsity and jv can be difficult because of my age and inexperience on the court. To be successful takes a lot of time and effort.” A goal of Roland is, “I want to be able to play at a high level and get me and the team better and better every day so that the team can be successful and so we can make history.” Roland is looking forward to playing a fun sport with friends and trying to win basketball games. 

Bryce Hasty, also 9, said, “I am hoping to win almost every freshman game.” Hasty wants his teammates, including himself, to try and help the situation and to keep their heads in the games coming ahead. “I feel like it is my responsibility to hype them up,” said Hasty. Hasty plays shooting guard. Some encouraging words from Hasty are, “Try and keep their head in a game. I tell them that it’s good and to keep doing what they are doing.” 

Varsity has a little bit of a change to their coaching, getting new head coach Luke Meredith. The former assistant coach at Avon High School has been coaching for over a decade and beat out 40 other applicants for this job. Having a history of making things turn towards the right direction, he will hopefully turn us around into a winning team. Meredith said he knows the team has a ton of potential and is ready to start building a winning program. Meredith teaches English Language Arts in addition to coaching the boys varsity basketball team.  

Coach Meredith talked about what it’s like coaching the varsity team. Meredith said, “It is a unique opportunity, it’s a challenge, and I’m very blessed and appreciative to have the opportunity to be here at Greenfield Central.” 

Meredith also discussed the preparation and time he has put in towards coaching. He said, “Effort is the equalizer. Although this is my first year coaching as the head coach, I do feel like I put in a ton of time to be able to be prepared. I’m willing to put in that time, and I’m willing to sacrifice and do the things needed in order for our program and our kids to be successful. Without that experience, I feel like I can turn that into a strength by working harder” 

A phrase that Coach Meredith uses to encourage his team is, “Piece by piece, block by block, brick by brick.” Meredith continued with what he considers a good season. He said, “A good season is not winning 8, 10, 12 games, a good season is ‘Did we mold these young men?’ ‘Are they getting it done in the classroom?’ ‘Are we getting better?’ That, for me, would define a good season.”

 

Wrestlers discuss training, preparation

by Leah Olin/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Sly Blevens, 9, tries to get a hold on Braden Smith, 10, at wrestling practice.

The wrestling season can be an exciting time for everyone involved. The connections made between each team member show a mutual understanding of wrestling as a whole.  A few Cougar wrestlers expressed their thoughts on their preparation and goals for this sport.

Wrestling can be a bonding experience, but how it came into each student’s lives is all different. Matt Torres, 11, began wrestling at a young age because his older brothers did as well. Cooper Noehre, 12, was in a similar family situation. Growing up in homes where this sport was encouraged later influenced these boys into working harder to meet their goals of success rather than just wrestling for fun.

The Cougar’s wrestling coaches are head coach Josh Holden as well as coaches David Thaxton, Austin Early, Ed Hamant, and Mike Stanley. These men have been around for the athletes their entire journey. “I have learned so much from the coaches just within the last year,” Livia Quigley, 10, stated. “Coach Holden has inspired me the most always pushing me to work harder, he sets goals for me.” 

Noehre’s take on the coaches was that they are a “tremendous help to improve my wrestling all the time.” Along with Quigley, Torres talked about his life being completely different if it wasn’t for the guidance of the coaches. “Throughout practice they’re right along with us.” This not only shows the character of these helpers, but the care they take with their young charges.

Training for the season is a year-round task that each member must do in order to be prepared for the actual season. Quigley likes to take her off-season training to cardio while Noehre practices with club wrestlers. Depending on their strengths and weaknesses, they usually know what they need to work on most. “I train hard all the time,” added Torres.

Right alongside training is maintaining the right diet in order to reach the correct weight class in a healthful way. Some of the wrestlers have a natural diet which makes it easier for them to stay in shape, wrestlers such as Noehre. “I know what is healthy and what I should eat. Even when I’m cutting weight, I still eat three meals, just smaller portions,” Noehre said.

 Quigley has a similar situation in that she always has to watch what she eats even without wrestling in the picture. Torres laughed while saying, “Eggs have a lot of protein. They’re light and they fill you up!”

All three agreed that wrestling does more to you than put you in shape to fight another wrestler on a mat. Noehre said, “Wrestling teaches me to work through things when it gets hard.” Similarly Quigley added, “I’ve learned to take responsibility for my actions and hold myself accountable.”  Torres commented about all of the life lessons wrestling teaches him. “The life lessons wrestling teaches me outside of the sport is most important for me, honestly, hard work.”

The wrestlers talked about life after high school. “I love being in the fight,” Torres began. “I’ll hopefully coach after high school.” Noehre is attending Purdue University next year and plans to wrestle for the next four to five years. Quigley hopes to make it big one day and become a professional. With such big dreams, it is apparent that they have the passion.

Girls basketball talks goals for this season

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Hannah Farrell, 12, looks for an open teammate during the Richmond game this season. 

The girls varsity basketball team is  feeling positively about their season this winter. The girls have defeated Greenwood  and Richmond so far. 

Caroline Gibson, 11, said, “I am very excited for this season, not only for me, but also for the team. I enjoy being around all my teammates and it’s just a fun group; I think we can accomplish a lot.” 

Zoe Solis, also grade 11, said, “I’m always excited for the start of the season. All of the work in the offseason finally starts to pay off once the season starts. It’s awesome to get out there and see what your team can do.” 

Gibson said her goal this season is to win sectionals. She said that has always been her goal for their team. 

Addison Hill, 11, wants her team to win all of the games this year and sectionals. Hill said, “A few goals we would like to accomplish this season is having a winning season and winning sectionals.” 

Solis wants to always be there for her team. Solis said, “One goal I personally want to accomplish this season is honestly just helping my team any way I can. On the court or off the court, I want my teammates to know I have their backs at all times.” 

Gibson, Solis, and Hill all have the same competitor they want to beat this season: New Palestine. Hill said, “One of our biggest games this year is definitely going to be New Pal and if we play all out as a team, it’s a winnable game.” Gibson said all the games are going to be competitive, but she looks forward to playing New Pal the most. 

Solis says that you can manage your school work and sports at the same time if you work hard. Solis said, “It can be tricky to organize your time responsibility so that you get your work done, but if you work hard in the classroom just like you do on the court, everything will be fine.” 

The girls varsity basketball team has already started to bond very well this season, even with new girls joining the team. Hill said, “Our team this year is really close. A lot of us have been playing together for a while, and we get along so well. We’ve had a good group of freshmen come in too.” 

One of the biggest things the girls have already learned from basketball this season is having to work hard. Gibson stated, “I learn many things from basketball and from (Coach Key) but the most reinforced lesson I will always keep with me is that winning is hard, and you have to work hard on something if you really want it.” 

Solis stated, “One thing I will learn from playing basketball is that hard work prevails. High school sports teaches you a lot about the real world. The work you put in reflects on the type of person you are.” 

Solis continued, “Basketball teaches me everyday that if you’re dedicated and you work hard, good things will happen.” 

 

Sports Profile: Mundell provides leadership for team

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Brady Mundell, 12, battles for a shot at the 2018 sectional at Richmond. (Photo from Greenfield Reporter).

With the arrival of new boys basketball head coach Luke Meredith, optimism around the direction of the program is high. One of the key pieces in determining the success of Meredith’s first season will be the play of one of his top seniors, Brady Mundell.

Mundell has quite a few personal goals for this upcoming season, but one he’s focusing on in particular is to shoot better from the field. “I think everyone has personal goals, and if you don’t then you are doing yourself a disservice,” he said. “I think a big one for me this year is to shoot a higher percentage from the field. I have improved every year and look to do the same this year.” A bump in Mundell’s shooting would certainly be big for this Cougars team, and he has put in the work this offseason to hopefully achieve just that. 

Looking at his expectations for the team as a whole, Mundell said the main goal was to simply be better than they were last year. Mundell said, “I think this team is capable of scaring some people. We want to do our best in making sure that we’re a tough W at anytime for any team.” There is little doubt from anyone around the program that the Cougars have put in the work to help try and accomplish that goal. Mundell acknowledged this when he said, “I personally was in the gym as much as possible this summer, getting shots up, and then also summer workouts with the team. We’ve put in the work.” He along with the rest of the Cougars are hopeful that this time spent in the gym will translate to wins in the season.

Another positive for the Cougars program going into this season and beyond is how highly thought of first year Greenfield-Central boys basketball head coach Luke Meredith is. Mundell said this about Meredith, “I really like Coach Meredith and the energy he brings to GC basketball. He’s invested in us and the team rallies around him and tries to bring the same juice he brings every single day.” Not only does Meredith motivate his players on the court, he does the same in the classroom. Mundell backed that up, saying, “Coach Meredith has set a standard for GC basketball players. His motto is books before ball. He’s let me stay after school and get help in classes, even if it meant missing practice occasionally. I appreciate that he cares for me not only on the court, but in the classroom as well.” Based on Mundell’s comments, and others around the program, one can only assume that the future is bright with Meredith at the helm.

Others speaking about Mundell makes you realize his importance to this Cougars team. Gavin Robertson, 10, said, “Brady is a good teammate that isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. He’s a great leader and always gets on everyone to make sure they’re playing to the best of their ability.” Mundell’s teammate and brother, Caleb, said, “Brady is a great teammate, and vocal leader. He’s always making jokes, and is just fun to be around.” Hearing his teammates, and others around the program share their thoughts on Mundell, you realize how important a piece to the puzzle he is.

Being a senior, Mundell said he has seen a lot. Now on his third coach, he thinks his leadership and experience can help the young guys tremendously. He understands his time as a Cougar is coming to an end, and is thankful for being able to put on a Greenfield-Central jersey. He wants to make sure his final season is his best yet, and along with the rest of the Cougars team asks that you come out and support this season, and with the work they’ve put in this offseason, they deserve it.

Wrestler Torres Poised for Big Season

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Caption: Matthew Torres, 11, wrestles teammate Drew Bach, 9, for a varsity position at the recent wrestle-offs. 

Greenfield-Central is home to many hard working athletes; of those athletes, wrestler Matthew Torres is certainly one of them. Entering his junior season, wrestling at 145 lbs., Torres will now have the opportunity to make a name for himself on varsity after being named the Junior Varsity Most Valuable Wrestler in his sophomore season.

Torres has several goals for the upcoming season. Of these, he said, “My number one goal is to make it to the state finals and overall just to wrestle to the best of my ability in every match.” Not only does Torres have high expectations for himself, he has them for the entire team. “I truly believe that our team can send several guys to the state finals.” Torres has lots of confidence in himself and his teammates and is looking to make sure they perform at the highest level possible.

Torres hasn’t been handed anything when it comes to wrestling, and has put in loads of work to better himself as a wrestler. During the off season, Torres said he trained at a club throughout the whole summer, and competed in multiple offseason tournaments. Torres reflected on his development throughout high school, he said, “I have developed a lot as a wrestler in my time on the team. My confidence has grown, my technique has improved, and most of all my mindset has improved.” After all the offseason work Torres has put in, he is excited to put it on display this season.

You realize how good of a teammate Torres is when you hear his teammates speak about him. Logan Condrey, 11, said, “Having Matt as a teammate means the world to me. He’s the person that got me into wrestling and is just a great stand up guy on and off the mat.” Cooper Noehre, 12, said, “What impresses me most with Matt is that he’s always working hard. He’s a good teammate and supports everyone. He has fun with it, and it’s really cool to watch.” The high praise from his teammates speaks volumes to the character Torres possesses.

Torres is ecstatic for this upcoming season and can’t wait to get it started. One important thing for Torres in wrestling is how he prepares himself mentally for a meet, he said, “The main thing to mentally prepare myself is music. I always have the headphones in and the right playlist on. I also always clear my mind and enter a state of zen.” Torres told me he will be locked in this season, and wants to make it a year to remember.

We will see Torres and the rest of the Greenfield-Central wrestling team for the first time this season on November 23rd for the Elwood Tournament. Torres and the rest of the wrestling team have high expectations for this upcoming season, and ask that the GC community come to support them. Hoping that the offseason work translates to results in season, Torres is poised for a big season.

Cougars Soccer breaks records, makes it to regionals

by Leah Olin/Staff Writer

Photo: Zack Bell, controls the ball and looks for an opportunity to get to the goal. 

Greenfield’s men’s soccer team has worked hard for their achievements of the season. The team had the opportunity to play in the postseason, finishing the season with an impressive 15-1.

The first team the boys played in sectionals was Shelbyville. Defeating them seemed simple enough. The ending score was 3-0, Cougars. Jordan Philips, 12, said of the preparation, “Before every sectional game, we scout the other teams and put them into our training. We find the weakness of every team and exploit it while also respecting their strengths.” Improving the GC team is an important way to make it to the top.

Next was East Central. The ending score was 4-0, Cougars. John Halvorsen, 10, pointed out his preparation before every game. “I’m listening to music before every game. It gets me in the right mindset. I’m thinking about how I’m going to play, how that will affect my teammates.” With Halvorsen and the rest of his teammates pushing themselves until they can’t anymore, that explains how they reached as far as they had.

The third game was against Mount Vernon. The ending score was 3-0, Cougars win again.  Mount Vernon and GC go back and forth with wins. With such a local team being the competition, it is easier to keep an eye on them and what they are doing to prepare for their games. 

Regionals Part I was against Avon. The final score was 3-2, Cougars. Avon was closest competitor at that point in the season.  Going into overtime, Cougars finally beat them in a close, but victorious game. Zack Bell, 12, broke the record for  most goals in a season with 34 goals during the game.

The fifth and final game was the second part of Regionals against Zionsville. Cougars lost, 4-3. The fact the team had the opportunity to play against them in general is a great chance to prove the skill of GC players.  Phillips said, “The biggest competition in the league would be Zionsville; they are a very good and strong team. It’s hard to beat a team that’s good while having almost every player being over 6 feet tall.”

The Cougars finished the season 19-2.

In training for their big games, the Cougars put in extra practice. Another big contribution to preparing to play is the mental aspect of things. Their mental preparation consists in part of building each other up with encouragement. “What pushes me to win is my teammates,” says Caleb Mundell, 12, “just knowing that there’s thirty some guys who practice all week with one goal in mind.” Having teammates in sync contributes to the mental preparation. 

When the players remember why they started playing, it hypes them up enough to get into the attitude necessary to play to the best of their abilities and to win. “I play soccer because I love the game. I’ve played it since I was a baby and it’s always been such a beautiful game. I play for my family because they want me to succeed and push me to be better and better everyday,” Halvorsen said. As a result of this type of motivation, the Cougars played their hearts out for the game they love the most.

 

Profile: Gibson has high expectations for tennis, baseball

By Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo: Carson Gibson, 11, is up at bat against Southport in a game from last season. 

Greenfield-Central boasts several promising young athletes, and on that list, you will surely find Carson Gibson. Gibson, 11, is the shortstop for the varsity baseball team and is also a member of the varsity tennis team.

Gibson has had high expectations put on him as an athlete since day one of high school, as he played varsity baseball as a freshman. When asked about the experience, he admitted that he could feel the pressure. “When coach first had me in the starting lineup I was very nervous, but excited at the same time. Throughout my first couple games I struggled offensively but as time went on it became less of a challenge and I began to play in ways that I knew I was capable.” When Gibson put it all together, he became one of the best players in the conference, being named to the All-Hoosier Heritage Conference baseball team as a sophomore.

The GC baseball team performed at a high level this past season, winning the conference outright, but were eliminated in the regional finals by Avon. This year, Gibson believes the Cougars could take it up a notch. “This year I believe we could do something very special. With many returning starters and a deeper pitching staff I think we could shock many people and make a huge name for ourselves in the state tournament, we’ve put in lots of hard work and I think we have a very strong team.” Gibson’s play will be a huge factor towards how the Cougars fare this season, and he says his goal is to help his team in any way to make sure they make a deep run.

Gibson’s teammates gave positive feedback about the shortstop, which was not surprising. Lance McKee, 11, said, “Carson is a good teammate and a guy who is going to push you to be the best you can be. His work ethic is impressive.”

Jaden McGee, 10, had similar thoughts, “Carson is a great teammate and someone you want on your roster. He works hard for everything he has and deserves the success he’s had. He helped lead us to a sectional and conference title, and will lead us to much more soon.”
Along with baseball, Carson is also a member of the boys tennis team. After playing in junior high, Gibson decided to return to the sport as a junior.

He talked about how he felt about season. “I really enjoyed playing tennis this year, and am satisfied with how I performed considering I hadn’t played since 7th grade. Despite getting knocked out in the second round of sectionals, I feel like this year was a huge step for me and the team going into next season.” Gibson ended up as one of the key pieces for the squad this past year.

Balancing school and sports can be difficult, but Gibson has had no problem doing so, and his 3.7 GPA confirms that. “Balancing school and sports can be very tough, but staying ahead in the classroom is what is most important. I always make sure that I’m done with my schoolwork before anything else.” Gibson has shown time and time again that he is much more than just an athlete.

With less than half of his high school experience remaining, Gibson is working hard to collect many more accolades and be the best student athlete he can be. Cougars fans should be excited and grateful to have a talent like Gibson.

Kinnaman advances to Semi-State, reflects on season

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

The boys cross country team finished well, one spot away from qualifying for regionals. Four of the boys qualified individually for regionals. Connor Kinnaman, 12, qualified to run at semi-state. Matt Wickham, 10, Tyler Osborn, 11, and Jonah Fletcher, 11, were the other individual qualifiers for regional. 

 Kinnaman, one of the team’s strongest runners, said he wants to encourage his team to do their best and achieve their goals. Kinnaman, 12, said, “We’ve been through some tough circumstances this year so I want the team to be successful in these upcoming races in order to prove to them that they can always work through hardship to achieve their end goals.” 

Kinnaman has learned a lot from being on the team since his freshman year, he said. He has learned about time management and self-discipline. Kinnaman said, “(Coach Smith) entrusted me with a captain’s title my sophomore year and has continued to allow me to lead the team ever since. Through this position, and with the skills Coach taught me early in my high school career, I’ve been able to help the other runners with their troubles: academic, athletic, and personal.” 

Seth Young, also grade 12, said his goal to to have fun, and he wants to leave a mark on the team after his senior year. He wants to make sure everyone had someone to talk to if they didn’t feel a part of the team. Young has learned to never give in. Young said, “The most important thing I have learned about in being in cross country is to never give up no matter what the challenge is, and you are tougher mentally and physically pushing yourself than you think you are.” 

Micah Smith, 12, has shown determination this season. He almost always puts in the work that is needed, shows up at conditioning, and is there at every practice and meet, he said. Smith said, “You’re out there alone running three miles as hard as you can. Coach can’t run with you and yell at you to go faster. You have to make that effort. You have to commit yourself to the sport. We work every day, every week, every year.” 

Smith has also learned patience is key when you are faced with injuries. He stated, “Running is one of the most physically demanding sports there is. A sharp pain in the knee could quickly have you in the surgery room.” 

One of the team’s biggest competitors this season for the team was Mount Vernon. The boys have beaten them already a couple of times so far. This season, the boys were looking forward to being able to go to semi-state, and hopefully state. 

Through all of the challenges, goals, and work of a season, Kinnaman talked about how cross country had been like a family to him over the years; they would come together at the end of the day as a family. Kinnaman said, “One of the most interesting things about XC runners is that we bond through almost everything we do. Running miles after miles, enduring pain, and spending countless hours listening to music, stretching, lifting, and playing games outside of school all contribute to our bond as a team and as friends.”

Kinnaman continued, “One of the things that is very apparent in our team, that I’m quite proud of, is that we function a lot like a family. We argue, banter, and sometimes fight, but we simultaneously stand up for each other and protect one another from the “dangers of high school.’ ”