By Anthony Cardellini ’17
The cross country team said they are focusing heavily on hard work and preparation to achieve maximum success in the 2014 season.
“A good work ethic, pushing yourself, trying to challenge yourself … It’s difficult to do,” said varsity assistant coach Mr. Matt Williams ’07. “But I think that carries over to lots of different aspects of life.”
It’s a goal of the team to match or improve upon last year’s ninth place at state, and Mr. Williams said he thinks they can do that through “just growing and training hard.”
He added that top five at state is certainly possible “if everyone stays healthy, if everyone improves, if everyone puts the work in.”
A past Brophy cross country runner, Mr. Williams said one of the top advantages of this year’s team is young talent.
“That’s really exciting to see as a coach— really young talent that’s really, really good,” Mr. Williams said.
This young talent comes in the form of freshman and sophomores, as fellow coach Mr. Steve Smith ’96 said.
“There’s a lot of great sophomores who are on the precipice of joining varsity,” Mr. Smith said.
He also added that certain players are ready to take the spotlight and be leaders on the team, specifically sophomore varsity member Luke Mason ’17.
“I think this is the beginning of the legend of Luke Mason,” Mr. Smith said.
Mason was a member of varsity cross country last year.
He said he thinks that the key to a successful season is the example set by the top runners.
“I believe the face of the team really comes from the overall attitude from the top 10 guys and their work rate and mindset at workouts,” Mason said in an email to The Roundup.
He stressed the importance of endurance and hard work as one of the key things the team needs to focus on.
“I think the team as a whole needs to learn how to push themselves to the point of pain in our races, and stay mentally tough through the rest of the race,” Mason said.
He cited fellow runners Luke Mailliard ’15, Gabe Morrison ’17, Drew Burns ’18 and Jered Davidson ’17 as people who have grown and are making “smarter choices” while working particularly hard at practices.
Mason also said that there are “many more dedicated runners across all classes, which shows promise for future years.”
Mr. Williams added that “across the board, we’ve had improvements.”
There is one thing, though, that Mr. Smith said everyone should know for the upcoming season.
“We’re going all the way to state,” he said.