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Local News and Views From Area Teams & Athletes

Cross country team opens season Saturday

Coach Lauri Spencer and her cross country team will travel to St. Marys Saturday to run in the Autumn Classic, their first meet of the season. The coach looks forward to working with several returning runners along with a few newcomers.
“Our boys’ team should be very competitive this season,” Coach Spencer said. “Six of our seven boys have previous cross country experience.” Among the six is third-year runner Kaleb Brown, a junior whom the coach referred to as the “top returning male.”
A second junior on the boys’ team is Wesley Davis, who is in his third year of XC running. Also second year runners are sophomores Logan Davis and Todd Spencer. B.J. Utt, another sophomore, is running cross country for the first time. Freshman Trenton Payne also brings experience to the team since he ran in middle school.
This year’s team has only two girls. The top female runner is Olivia Wayne, a senior with two years of experience. She will be joined by freshman Riley Skeens, who ran for the middle-school cross country team. Coach Spencer commented that the girls “have been working really hard at practice and are very supportive of each other.”
Braxton’s team and coach are excited that they will host a home meet this season.
The Braxton Invitational will be Sept. 30 at Holly Gray Park.

Coach has high expectations for high school men’s soccer team

With 11 returning players and eight talented newcomers, Eagles’ soccer coach Dan Grindo anticipates a strong season. Grindo emphasized the combination of experience and talent---from the returning players and the freshman class. “Together, this sophomore team is poised to upset any opponent that makes the mistake of underestimating it,” he commented.
Entering only the second year of BCHS men’s soccer, both the coach and team look forward to “a very promising season.” Last year’s team performed well for a first-year squad, and they intend to improve greatly.
Coach Grindo explained what he and his team need to improve. “While there is a wealth of individual talent and athleticism, the players will need to work hard on developing into a cohesive unit,” he said, adding, “As the season progresses they will continue to grow stronger. I fully believe that once this collection of players becomes a team, they will be formidable.”
Returnees include Jacob Whitney, Tim Harman, Will Skidmore, Heinrich Harman, Hunter Kniceley, Jacob Bonnett, Jadyn Stewart, Kota Kniceley, Kyler Kniceley, Mason Rollyson, and Micaiah Coffman. The first-year players are Baine Cogar, Jeff Cogar, Charles Harman, Dominic Grindo, Gavin Dennison, Nathan Whitney, Todd Craig, and Wylie Skidmore.
The Eagles’ first match is at 2 p.m. Saturday on their home field as they take on Independence. Coach Grindo noted that Braxton split games with Independence last season and said, “We’re looking forward to making a statement with our opening game,” and urged Eagles’ fans to come out to support the team.

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