Racing into the banquet and out of the season


Nati Duron

The cross country team celebrated their success on November 9 at their annual banquet. Coaches honored the athletes with awards to show respect for their success.

Nati Duron, Photographer

With the cross country (XC) season coming to a close, the team celebrated with their annual banquet on Thursday, November 9. Friends and families gathered around tables at Kennesaw First Baptist Church, and the athletes swelled with pride when they received awards for their outstanding performance.

To start off the night, Coach John Huff gave a speech recognizing the mothers who provided food and support this season. He also mentioned his satisfaction and honor of getting to coach the XC team.

“It’s an honor to have this job as a coach of this team. I’ve worked with the program for a lot of years and to be able to be in charge of this as head coach, it’s humbling. It’s such a huge honor and I can’t imagine not coaching for running,” Coach Huff said.

The first participation award announced commemorated the junior varsity team. This award reflects on the students who participated in races, meets, and practices while racing with passion.

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The junior varsity (JV) team lined up to accept their awards of participation.The athletes victoriously beat their personal records. The JV team members plan to join varsity next season in hopes of attending the state championships.

The awards announced include: Certificate of Participation, letters for varsity jackets, Scholar Athletes, Most Improved, Rookie of the Year, Warrior Spirit, State Team Medals, Coaches, Most Valuable Runner, Seniors, and Four Year Seniors.

Awarding the varsity team for reaching their goal to attend State Championships, Coach Huff handed out medals to the varsity athletes. Each runner came together on the stage to capture a photo to remember their success.

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The varsity team gathered together to accept their medals for racing at the state championships. Only varsity athletes attend championships. For seniors, the event meant a great deal as their last state championships. First year juniors and sophomores caught their first taste of a huge competition.

For the seniors involved in cross country all throughout their four years of high school, the coaches awarded them with an embroidered name blanket.

“If you’ve done this sport for four years, you’ve really accomplished something. It is not an easy task,” Coach Reagan said.

The night concluded with seniors giving their final, heartfelt speeches.  

“I just want to say thanks to all my coaches, I didn’t run for four years but for the three years I ran, even when I broke my foot sophomore year, you guys were still patient with me as I recovered. Thank you to the other seniors on the team for running with me and being good teammates. Thanks to [all my friends] over here, you guys are great teammates, but better friends,’” senior Jackson Gullman said.

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Seniors who ran all four years of high school lined up to accept their embroidered blankets. Receiving this award created a sentimental moment between the athletes and coaches.

The cross country banquet honored all athletes and their astounding successes throughout the 2017-2018 season.

“I’ve been coming to these banquets for 13 years. First as a parent, and now as a coach, and I’m just as proud as being coach as I was a parent,” Coach Sue Jackson said.

As the seniors said their goodbyes, upcoming sophomores and juniors plan to greet the next XC season with just as much vitality.