2012 Preview: St. Croix Central boys cross country a force again this yearIt seems like every year the St. Croix Central boys suffer major losses through graduation.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
It seems like every year the St. Croix Central boys suffer major losses through graduation.
And every year, the Panthers come back just as strong, if not stronger, than the year before.
Central coach Bill Emery put the responsibility on the team leaders to get the work done over the summer so the team would be ready for the season. Seniors Andrew Skala, Brett Briggs and Nathan Bringgold took the duties to heart and the Panthers are again looking like a formidable team.
Skala is the captain of the boys team and Emery said he has handled all the administrative duties for the team. Bringgold was given the responsibility of pulling the boys together to practice during the summer and he was successful in that role.
Briggs may have been dealt the most important role, to be in charge of the team’s attitude toward the season.
“I told him he’s in charge of the spirit of the team. You can see that he’s taken it seriously,” Emery said.
Briggs led by example. He’s worked hard to become the lead runner for the Panthers. In Central’s home invitational last Thursday, Briggs produced the best finish of his career, placing sixth overall.
Those three seniors lead the team, but the boys have younger members who are working their way up the ranks. Sophomore Jordan Bringgold, freshman Nathan Madlung, junior Logan Nelson, senior Tyler Johnson, sophomore Max Kaul, freshman Michael Hanson and sophomore Nick Hammond show that there is excellent depth within the Panther roster.
The Panthers compete in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference, which is filled with talented runners. Colfax always carries the mantle of conference favorites.
“We’re not out of the mix, but that’s a pretty strong team,” Emery said. “Maybe we can do something about it.”
Emery said six of his boys have set goals to get their times under 18 minutes this season. He said if five of them could do that “it would be a helluva year.”
Central’s girls are a young group trying to get established. Emery said the girls team didn’t put in the miles the boys did this summer, so the girls will have to work hard during the season to achieve their goals.
Junior Courtney Kramer and sophomore Lauren Moll return as the Panthers’ top runners from last season. Hope Hoolihan, Ella Scott, Abbie Webb and McKenzy Johnson also return to the varsity lineup.
Emery said, if the girls work hard, they can have a successful season.
“The talent on the team makes them a contender,” Emery said. He said the girls are part of a strong conference. Spring Valley, led by returning D-SC champion Breanna Colbenson, is an outstanding team and Colfax also brings back several talented girls.