By Jacki Wood
The Maryville High cross country team will see an increase in numbers this year with high expectations for success.
“Last year, the kids showed that when they were focused and believed in each other, they can race well,” Head Coach Rodney Bade said. “I expect to see that again this year.”
Bade is returning for his third year as MHS/MMS head coach after previously coaching for nine years at MMS. He is joined by second-year assistant coach Dan Ferguson.
The coaches expect their top runners from last year to continue to finish in the top 10 at meets this season, which includes the all-conference, all-district and state qualifying meets.
Junior Lydia Mitchell placed 2nd at districts and 32nd at state, senior Josh Alvarez placed 8th at districts and 60th at state and junior Caleb Feuerbacher placed 10th at districts and 71st at state.
The team lost three girls and two boys to graduation but have added four girls and eight boys to the roster.
“Our girl numbers are increasing which is very exciting and I’m excited to see our kids get out there and compete for each other and themselves,” Bade said. “I am most excited to get our whole group back together. Many athletes participate in another sport in the spring or are busy with other activities in the summer, so I’m excited to have everyone at practice working hard and enjoying being together as a group.”
Bade said the Spoofhounds will focus on improving consistency this year, with team expectations of having a good attitude, working hard and supporting each other.
“Team goals are to qualify both the girls and boys teams for the state meet,” he said.
In addition to Mitchell, Alvarez and Caleb Feuerbacher, Bade said projected impact runners include senior Tilena Conover, juniors Becky Meyers and Laura Feuerbacher on the girls side and senior Colin Arnold, juniors Chad Sullivan and Jon Holtman and sophomore Drew Walker for the boys.
The Spoofhounds will host the Maryville Invitational on August 30 at Donaldson Westside Park to kick off the season.