The 2012 Metamora cross country team is poised for the season behind its senior leaders.
“I always look for leadership from seniors on the team,” coach Gene Jones said. “For the boys, we have some four year members of the team who should rise to the occasion.
“Nate Scheirer, Kyle Thompson and Ryan McMorrow have been with me for all four years. Nate and Kyle have been real good in practice and Ryan is nursing an IT band injury but look for them to give the leadership needed.”
The girls team this year will also benefit from strong leadership but from a very small class.
“For the girls, I’m looking for the senior to take a big step,” Jones said of his one senior. “Ashlyn Tingle has been a four year runner and I am again looking for the others to step forward.”
Besides the seniors, the team will feature a talented underclass to round out the squad.
“We have talented juniors and sophomores on both squads with a freshman here and there to be runners as they gain experience running in high school,” Jones said.
A hallmark of a good cross country team is the ability for the members to bond and run as a pack.
“For the boys, there is a solid group of four and then there is a group of five to six that will be hungry for the other three spots at the end of the season,” Jones said. “The girls are a bit thin in that aspect and they have been having some injury problems. Once they get those resolved, I believe that they will and can have a very good season.”
When the team hits the course for the season, both the boys and girls will have different strengths.
“The strength of the boys will be in packing in the scorers in a group, a goal for them could be to have one to seven coming in the race in less than 30 seconds,” Jones said. “The girls will be spread out a bit more than that. They may have to have a couple of girls go down and get a low point by placing very high in the race.”
To have success in the season, Jones said the team will need to run to their strengths and recognize and learn their individual roles on the team.
“Last season both teams finished sixth in the Sectional meet,” Jones said. “We do not want to be left at home again this year.”
The other goals for the team are to win the conference and make it back to State.
In order for the team to accomplish those goals, the boys and girls will have to overcome early hardships.
“The injury bug has hit us early,” Jones said. “We hope to get the runners healthy and then work toward our goals. The boys are a bit further along than the girls but I see that both teams have very good potential and can be quite successful this year.”