Cross Country Youth Movement


Nick Coniglio

N. Coniglio

With 15- and 16-year-old boys running against 18-year-old men, what can we expect from a young boys’ Cross Country team this season?

Still, head coach Jim Brant said he has confidence in his young team.

“These young kids are great runners,” he said. “They won state in Junior High and I expect a lot from them.”

After losing No. 1 runner L.J. Brant, somebody from the team had to step up. Who would it be?

Junior team member Thomas Yoder (pictured, right) said, “I would say Isaac Onnen will be our No. 1 runner this season.”

Coach Brant agreed, saying of Onnen, “He may be young, but he has a great work ethic and I’m excited to see what he does later on.”

The team lost eight seniors from last season: LJ Brant, Eli Elkins, the Albino brothers, Blayne Buckler, Ben Cooper and Noah Diebel. With 7 varsity spots, vacant, how does a coach replace that kind of depth and leadership?

Often new people step up as leaders. Yoder said he believes Junior Max Showalter has really stepped up as a leader. Leading not vocally, but by example. Showalter’s work ethic has really pushed the rest of the team to compete at the top of their game. In practice he’s always one of the front runners during a workout and keeps everyone in line.
Experienced coaching also helps.

The Brants have been coaching Cross Country and Track for a long time at Kings. And their teams have a reputation of normally doing well. So even with 8 seniors gone don’t assume the Knights are out of the running yet.

Thank you to Katie Heagen for the photo.

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