2017 Boys High School Cross-Country Season Preview
By: JOHN CANNON
(DONNA) – Looking at the banner year that quite a few of the sports programs had at Donna High in the 2016-17 year, there’s one word that sums up their seasons: “History!”
The baseball team, golf team, tennis team and girls’ wrestling team all made history which were major accomplishments for the school.
One more team added to the historical year as the Boys Cross-Country Team clinched their first trip to the State Meet and ended up placing 8th overall.
Four seniors were key contributors to the historical season as Alejandro Castillo, Francisco Morales, Alexis Rodriguez and Jose Rangel all had stellar finishes at the district, regional and state meet.
Unfortunately, these four seniors are gone and the Redskins will have to reload entering the 2017 season.
“All four of those guys had a passion for the sport and I was fortunate to spend four years with them,” said Donna High Head Boys Cross-Country Coach Juan Davila. “They provided leadership and showed it on the course in each and every meet, especially when it came to district, regional and state.”
“Now with these four guys gone, we have to find some new guys to step up and take charge of the team.”
Davila is going to look at Eric Garza, Gerardo Ledesma and Cosme Ibarra to take the leadership role this year while trying to lead the team back to the state meet for the second straight year.
“I am going to lean on Eric, Gerardo and Cosme a lot this year,” said Davila. “In fact, the team is going to be built around them since they were a part of last year’s team that went to state.”
Garza and Ledesma enter the season as the number one and number two runners while Ibarra has the third spot locked down.
As for the fourth and fifth position, Samuel Martinez and Ozzy Madrigal seem to have a grasp on those spots.
From there, Davila said the sixth and seventh spots will be determined by some underclassmen who have been working hard to try and make the varsity team.
“I have been impressed with the younger kids who are fighting to make the varsity squad,” said Davila. “They have been working hard and want a chance to move into those final starting spots and maybe even move up higher.”
“With the experience I have and the mix of some newcomers on the team, it has built up some friendly competition and hopefully that competitive spirit will carry over to the season.”