WVHS Harriers Hope to Contend
Long-time Wyalusing Valley cross country coach Jim Schools realizes claiming a Northern Tier League title this season will be daunting tasks for his two young squads.
But he is still optimistic that both the boys’ and girls’ squads will have solid seasons.
The boys’ team finished 5-4 last year and will be without the services of Stephan Tewksbury, who claimed a PIAA medal in his senior campaign last November.
Wyalusing will be led by senior Tyler Sutton, who has just missed qualifying for the state meet the past two seasons, and junior Aaron Woodruff.
“Tyler and Aaron could very well swap being our top boy several times through the season,” Schools said of his two closely-matched runners.
Senior Mitchell Pickett, juniors Brenten Gerould and Mark Kusmierz and sophomore Dylan Bulick are the other returning lettermen.
The rest of the roster includes seniors Dominic Ciccolini and Brian Sanger, junior David Cornelius, sophomore Cody Pickett and freshmen Clint Crawford, Jordan Schools and Matt Woodruff.
In the league, Schools fully expects Northeast Bradford to continue its recent dominance.
“Northeast Bradford is not as strong as last year, but it is still the team to beat in the NTL as well as the district,” he said. Schools added that Canton also has a strong nucleus returning.
For the past several years, the word for the girls’ team was “survival.”
Low numbers made staying healthy a very high priority if the Lady Rams were to have any success.
While this year’s numbers aren’t spectacular with eight girls, all underclassmen, on the roster, there is a cushion that hasn’t existed for several years.
“I am pleased with the numbers on the team,” Schools said.
Juniors Arielle Kneller and Savannah Schools and sophomore Carlyn Edsell are the returning letter winners.
The rest of the squad includes juniors Emily Edwards, Erika Huffman and Mackenzie Martin, along with freshmen Pam Kelley and Logan Steele.
Huffman, a state track qualifier in the 800 and 1,600 runs last spring, will be a busy girl as she is also a member of the varsity volleyball team.
The rest of the newcomers have also shown promise.
Last season, the Lady Rams finished with a 4-4 mark.
This season, Schools hopes the team can be in the NTL title chase.
“It is up for grabs,” he said. “Sayre is returning a good nucleus as well as Wellsboro.”
Wyalusing opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 3, in the Cliff Robbins Invitational at Wilkes-Barre. The home slate opens on Thursday, Sept. 8, with the Lasagna Invitational meet, beginning at 4 p.m.
Matt Tavani, Karen Potter and Kathy Lutz are the assistant and volunteer coaches.