The Start of a New Year: Boys Cross Country


Finley Gay

The team posing before a practice.

As the new season starts, boys cross country is being driven by new leadership and young blood. With the two seniors

Senior Liam Gay sprinting during the final meters of the race. (Finley Gay)

as co-captains and a solid team, boys cross country is ready to have a great season.

In addition to the new leadership, there have been a lot of fresh faces. There are four freshmen this season along with a returning sophomore and junior. Freshman Carson Dubes compares it to running for LJHS.

“It’s definitely different. You have more of a competition with yourself to go out and beat the other guys. It’s a different atmosphere,” Dubes said.

Because of the competitive atmosphere, the team has also formed a tight bond with each other.

“I really like how there’s a brotherhood that we kind of create. It’s really nice to have those guys to rely on,” Dubes said.

The more seasoned members of the team agree with this sentiment.

“It’s very lighthearted and fun. Lots of teasing and joking around. There’s also an air of respect with the team, no serious insults or competition,” senior co-captain Liam Gay said.

Along with Gay, Ian Snoeberger, who helps lead the team as co-captain, shares his thoughts.

“It doesn’t really feel that different in all honesty. It’s more of a title than

Freshman Carson Dubes pushing through the midpoint of the race. (Finley Gay)

anything; you’re still all part of the same team and basically a family. You’re still all equals,” Snoeberger said.

In a co-captain position, there’s also some responsibility that comes with it.

“In a sense, yes, there’s some responsibility. Because I’m a senior, the freshmen look up to me to help them know the courses, tips for running each one,” Snoeberger said.

The coach of any team sport is arguably the most important figure. They mold the team and watch them grow over the season.

“Having a close community of friends that understand the sport is a great help. The more a team enjoys the sport, the better they are likely to perform. You hope that the athletes learn to love the activity and stay healthy and active outside of competition and beyond school,” coach Cole Jackson said.

This is Jackson’s third season as head coach. He also speaks on how COVID affected the team.

“It definitely added more frustrations and limitations. We had several runners last year who missed important meets because of quarantine or sickness, and it wound up costing them a chance to advance to bigger competitions,” Jackson said.

With cross country, every meet counts, and missing even one due to quarantines can be a detriment. There is a light at

Senior Ian Snoeberger keeping his pace at around the 2 mile mark.

the end of the tunnel though.

“We’ve already had to deal with a couple athletes being quarantined this season, but for the most part our runners are vaccinated, wearing masks, and following the guidelines we need to be following,” Jackson said.

Junior Payton Herr and sophomore Ben Favors have consistently been at the top of the group this season. Their most recent meet was on September 11th at Indiana Wesleyan.

“The Wildcat Classic is a great meet. It is flat and fast, the competition is strong, and so it’s a great place to run a fast time. Our team had a lot of individual PR’s and it is going to help set us up for success in some of the more important competitions later in the season,” Jackson concluded.

The team’s next meet is on September 18 at New Prairie, starting at 9:00 AM. Make sure to support them before the season ends.