Fairfield’s boys Varsity Cross Country team is prepared to continue the tradition of success that Head Coach Raymond Friend has established in his time with the program.
Friend talked about the team and what he expects to see from them during the 2018 Cross Country season.
“They have come in in shape, they love to run together, they do activities together and they are such a tight knot team. A lot of people don’t understand that Cross Country is a team sport and you can’t just have one or two guys run well you have to have seven guys run well. I think this team can really reach that because of how well they train together and push each other,” said Friend.
Friend is excited to see what the team can do in 2018, “Right now we are probably not the best team that we have ever had here but I think we could be.”
The Lions have four seniors on the team this season with Bennett Hodson, Brandtson Duffie, Riley Friend and Austin Setty returning for their senior seasons. Friend gushed about their leadership and how they have embraced that role this season.
“They are doing the little things like being good teammates, sitting with the younger guys at lunch and really encouraging those younger guys. They were young at one time too and they had people that did that for them. It’s nice to see them step up to be a leader as well,” Friend told The Times-Gazette.
The Lions team will travel all over the state to compete in meets this season and Friend says that happens for two reasons, “One of the biggest reasons we do that is just for fun. We want to have fun and that’s how you get people involved in your program. It is kind of a culture that you build and then the younger guys want to be in the top seven and they want to go on those trips. In the process when you get away from this area you do see better competition. It’s not that this area doesn’t have good competition, they do, but you get to see different, you get to run against different people.”
The Lions will host the Highland County Cross Country Championship on September 18 and Friend talked about how much he enjoys seeing everyone come out and support the team. Friend also talked about the enjoyment he gets from seeing younger kids compete in the one mile kids race.
“We love to have the community involvement. One of my favorite races of the year is the one mile kids race we have at the Highland County Championship. Last year I think we had over 100 kids participate and those kids start to see that this is fun and something they could do. The community is so supportive here and I can’t thank them enough,” said Friend.
There are some young runners on the Lions team that will be relied on this season to help the team achieve their highest level of success.
“I have some young kids that we are really counting on to step up this year that have not been in the top seven previously. Looking forward to see what they can do to help out that really tough senior class,” Friend said.
The Lady Lions of Fairfield will be trying to continue their growth as a team in 2018.
Kesia McCoy returns as the head coach this season and the team will have two seniors and four juniors that will be relied on to lead the team in 2018.
Junior Ciara Colwell is the top returning runner for the Lady Lions after qualifying for the state meet in 2017.
Colwell will be expected to push the other runners on the team to improve their times as the season progresses.
Sophomore Morgan Richmond enters her second year on the team and will be expected to make significant improvement in 2018.
Freshman Makenna Colwell is one of several young runners that the Lady Lions will be looking at to run well this season to solidify the top seven runners on the squad.
September 18 – Fairfield will host the other four Highland County Cross Country teams for the Highland County Championships.
October 13 – Fairfield will end their regular season with a trip to Ripley for the Southern Hills Athletic Conference meet.
The Lions will continue to dominate the local Cross Country scene in 2018. Expect to see multiple Lions’ runners at the state meet again in 2018.
The Lady Lions have a strong core of returning runners that will propel them to new heights in 2018. Expect to see Colwell at the state meet again this year along with one or two other Lady Lions.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.