By ALEX SPONSELLER The Bishop Hendricken cross country team will be starting its season this weekend and seeks to take home a state title after coming up just short last year to rival La Salle. Things will be different considering the COVID-19 pandemic,
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Bishop Hendricken cross country team will be starting its season this weekend and seeks to take home a state title after coming up just short last year to rival La Salle.
Things will be different considering the COVID-19 pandemic, between a shorter schedule, tweaks on race day, as well as daily housekeeping measures. However, the Hawks are simply happy to be able to have a season and to try to reclaim their title.
“I think coaches, athletes and their parents are happy that there is going to be some sort of season. We’re at the point now where we are just going to make the most of whatever it is. Even if that means we have to wear a mask, we’re going to make the most of what it is. I feel for those kids playing football, volleyball, those kids that don’t get a season. We’re very grateful,” said Hendricken coach Daniel Brennan.
Coach Jim Doyle is also not concerned about the regulations and has been happy with his team’s focus each day.
“It’s not a problem, we’re already used to it. We’re just so appreciative to have the opportunity to have a season. We expected these things, having to social distance, do temperature checks, keep the masks on, so we’re hoping to do that and have a great season,” said Doyle. “They’ve come to realize that it is what it is, and these guys really appreciate being able to have a season. They know that it could be worse, they know that they’re fortunate. Who knows what is going to happen for indoor track, so we’ll have to take it week by week.”
The Hawks return a handful of seniors, including All-State runner Evan Reynolds who is slated to be their top performer this fall. Hendricken will also be relying on some underclassmen to step up and make an impact.
“We have Evan Reynolds of course, seniors like Ryan Dyer and Dawson Reynolds who have worked hard over the past four years. We also have a group of sophomores that have been really pleasant, guys like Keegan Tierney, Troy Silvestri, Andrew Frezza and Alex Sjoblom, those guys have worked very hard especially since quarantine began. Juniors Wilson Jablonski, Josh Breard and Evan McGregor have also been doing an excellent job. We also have a wild card in freshman Will Olsen who had a great summer,” said Brennan.
As things are set to get underway Saturday, Reynolds already has his sights set on the state meet and looks forward to getting another chance to compete against the rival Rams.
“The way I feel about it, is that I am glad that we get the opportunity to race. That’s something that I know a lot of states can’t do, and that’s really unfortunate because they train so hard in the summer. Our coaches have been letting us know about all the information, and in terms of the competition and rules, there won’t be much change. We are racing the same schools like La Salle, so I’m happy to be able to see how we do against them,” said Reynolds.
Dyer is also excited to be back in action and to have an opportunity to get back on top.
“Getting used to (the new rules) is a little tough, but in a few weeks we’ll be used to it and everything will be fine. We’re really just focused on the state championship,” said Dyer. “All of our guys are in great shape, and coming off of a second-place finish last year we want to show that that is not going to be a recurring thing. We’re going to go out there and try to bring it back.”