Green boys cross country program on ‘steady upward curve’
|Shown are members of the Green High School boys cross country team at the Sandy Valley Invitational Sept. 21.|
|Photo courtesy of Brenda Reppa|
“I would say we’re on a very steady upward curve, and from last season we have spiked upward. I think it’s really just about the kids taking the training to heart and really putting the work in during workouts,” he said. “The team has really grown over the past two years, and it’s peaked this year. The improvement they’ve shown has just been astronomical. During my tenure, I’ve seen the program really start to take shape and grow into what I’d like to see as a very competitive regional and state team in the future.”
Green finished in third place at the Suburban League’s Super Dual meet Aug. 31, and Tober said the team is much improved since that point.
“The boys have really responded to the training much better than last year. We’re progressing very well,” he stated. “We just won a smaller invitational at Sandy Valley with a field of 18, and my top runner placed first, which was a big boost for the team moving forward.”
The runner who finished first was junior Noah Schaub.
“Noah has really grown up this year as a runner,” the coach said. “He’s really being aggressive with his races and his training. He’s focused and he’s proved himself as one of the top runners in the league. He’s moving forward, and he even has more room to improve this season and next.”
Tober said this year’s team features “a very large senior class.”
“We have 11 seniors,” he said. “I want to say that four or five of them have been there for all four years. I have five very experienced seniors, three of whom are on my varsity squad right now, and they give a lot of leadership to the program.”
The three senior leaders on the varsity team are Keith Genetin, Drew Huntsman and Matt Stang.
“As senior leaders, they really have driven the team in the right direction. With such a big team — we have 36 runners this year, which is up from 19 my first year — they’ve taken a leadership role as far as directing the team in workouts and doing out-of-program things such as team building,” Tober said. “Keith is a dual sport athlete [soccer] who really brings a lot of drive to the team. And both Matt and Drew are vocal leaders who really show their leadership in the races, as well as in practice.”
According to Tober, the varsity team also features a freshman runner who “has improved every single meet.”
“Stew Schmidt improves every time his shoes touch the grass,” the coach said. “He’s one of the top freshmen in the area, and he’s proven himself in a lot of the big meets. He placed second behind Noah Schaub at the Sandy Valley Invitational.”
This past weekend, Green placed fifth in a field of 17 teams at the Primeau Gilmour Academy Invitational.
“Noah Schaub, Stewart Schmidt and Keith Genetin were my 1-2-3,” Tober said. “We are competing in our last invitational this weekend in Medina, and then we have our championship season.”
The coach said his team has a number of goals in mind as the postseason approaches.
“My goals are to improve our place in the league championship, to move the team on to regionals and to continue to improve as a varsity group,” he said.
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