Editorial: Running toward success
September 25, 2012
While it’s normal for high school sports programs to endure “down” seasons due to constant turnover of team members, the MCHS cross-country program has found a way to consistently improve and compete. The editorial board wants to recognize coaches Todd Trapp and Jennifer Pressgrove for their work in producing consistent teams each year.
For coaches of high school sports teams, it can be hard to maintain success when dealing with a constant revolving door of student athletes.
And while college coaches are paid (and paid very well) to recruit top-tier players to their programs, high school coaches generally don't have a lot of control over who signs up for their sport.
Because of these circumstances, it is common for most high school sports programs to experience a "down" season every so often while the proverbial cupboard gets restocked.
When Todd Trapp lost his entire boys cross-country team to graduation last year — a team that finished sixth at state and included individual state champion Alfredo LeBron — it would have been reasonable to assume this year's boys team full of inexperienced runners wouldn't be very competitive.
But that assumption would have been wrong.
While this year's bunch of boys may not be quite as elite as last year's, they certainly have competed well so far this season while improving each week.
For Trapp and assistant coach Jennifer Pressgrove to have achieved this result while also guiding an elite girls team featuring multiple state hopefuls is outstanding, to say the least.
Both teams made Moffat County proud last weekend at the Bulldog's home meet at Loudy-Simpson Park, where the girls finished first — with Brenna Ciesco taking the top individual spot — and the boys came in second, their best finish of the season.
Cross-country is a sport that requires self-motivation and discipline, traits hard to instill in high school students. The editorial board wishes to extend a "Job Well Done" to Trapp and Pressgrove for making sure their runners possess both and are prepared week in and week out.
This isn't a fluke, either. The cross-country coaches seem to have the same effect on their student athletes each year.
Regardless of how successful the team is overall, MCHS runners almost always get better as the season progresses while developing a better understanding of their sport — which the editorial board contends is what high school athletics should be about.
And as was the case with LeBron, some cross-country athletes parlay their success running into an opportunity to go to college, which could have a positive lifelong impact.
This isn't meant as a slight to any other coach or team at MCHS. Like it was stated earlier, trying to produce consistent results for a high school sports program is difficult and less-than-stellar seasons are to be expected.
The editorial board has no doubt that the coaches of every other team at MCHS — and the entire district — work just as hard with their student athletes.
However today is about giving Kudos to Trapp and Pressgrove — and anyone else who has helped inspire the cross-country athletes at MCHS.
Thank you. You make us all very proud.