The sun was beating down on campus, but that did not damper the sense of excitement that hung in the air. It was the dawn of a new era for the Woodlawn High School cross country team. With a new coach and a group of enthusiastic young athletes, this season promised to be unlike any other.

Coach Erik Wagner, a former cross country athlete with a passion for running and coaching, had taken the reins of the Woodlawn High School cross country team. His vision is clear: to instill a love for running and cultivate a culture of dedication and perseverance among his young athletes.

Coach Wagner’s approach was a blend of experience and innovation. He understood the importance of a structured training regimen but also recognized the need to adapt it to the capabilities and needs of her young team members. His goal was to build not just competitive athletes but well-rounded individuals.

The team is entirely composed of underclassmen, many of whom have never participated in competitive running. Liam Dowdy, a sophomore, is the lone returning athlete from last year’s program. Liam will be joined this year by Tyreion Davis and Kailyn Lebrun, who are both looking to make an impact in their first year with the program.

“We have a very young team, lots of freshman and sophomores, so the main expectation is continuous hard work and improvement throughout the season,” said Coach Wagner. “We have some runners with great potential and we want to continue to build a team around them. But our team is also small, so we also want to continue to build the program.”

Building the program is the long-term goal, so Coach Wagner has invited any new students interested in running to stop by room 207 to ask questions about joining the team.