By Jack Ankony, executive sports editor
The boys’ cross country team raced against rival Hersey on Sept. 22 to decide the champion of the MSL East division. Days before the race, the Knights created a video that head coach Mike Stokes described as “edgy.”
This video included the runners stomping on Orange Crush soda to represent the opposing team. According to Stokes, the video resulted in a couple angry tweets from Hersey runners, making the rivalry more intense.
Stokes explains that the meet at MacArthur middle school was filled with positive energy since Hersey brought their drumline. “Kram the Kourse” attracted more fans to the meet, too.
The Knights ended up beating the Huskies 28-27 to secure the MSL East title. Leading runners for the Knights were senior James Riordan 15:24, senior Jack O’Donnell 15:36, junior Jack Terry 15:38, senior Sean Sanaghan 15:42, senior Nicholas Serio 15:48 and sophomore Andrew Reimann 16:10.
“[Winning] was really exciting because we knew it was going to be a hard race and that they were a really good team,” O’Donnell said. “It was a lot of hard work that came to fruition.”
Currently the Knights and Huskies are ranked in the top ten of Illinois.
Over labor day weekend, Stokes took the team to MacArthur for a hard workout to prepare for this meet.
“I think it’s really important to know the course,” Stokes said. “It’s kind of like watching film for football.”
Stokes explains that doing the workout that weekend helped the team get to know which parts of the course were faster since it contains a lot of twists and turns.
“We had a really good feel for it,” O’Donnell said. “We were ready and we knew what we were doing.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Stokes believes this meet prepared the team well for more important meets like conference, sectionals and state. He thinks that the Knights will need depth from the juniors on the team in order to be successful going forward.
“It wasn’t a perfect day, but good is good,” Stokes said. “We’ll take the W; it was a little bit ugly, but I expect them to train hard and come in with a positive attitude and confidence for the rest of the season.”