Over the meadows and through the woods, down the hills and along the path, the Tyler Consolidated 2012 version of the Cross Country season is about to begin. Thirteen high school and 17 middle school athletes will sport Silver Knight jerseys this season, looking to compete in the endurance building competition.
Head coach of the high school team, Luke Reynolds, and head coach of the middle schoolers, Regina Reynolds, are looking forward to a year of surprises from their charges.
"Right now everybody looks to be on track, right where they are supposed to be, but I know from experience that once that first race of the season gets underway, they'll surprise me," Luke said. "They always do."
The Knight harriers have several athletes back with experience, including junior Dylan Reynolds who was the only team member to place at Regionals last year. Also returning to the team are Ryan Dalrymple, Kelly Rice, Marisa Gogan, and Stephanie Wright. Joining the team this season will be Scott Sole, Nathan Heintzman, and Dylan Romine.
"The boys team ought to be tough this year," coach Reynolds said. "They are very athletic and we look for all of them to turn in good times throughout the season."
"The girls are more difficult to gauge. Right now I'd say they are a little sluggish, but I think they'll turn it up once the competition begins."
Many of the high school athletes on the team moved up from the excellent middle school program, which again boasts high numbers year.
Making up the girls' middle school Lady Knight team will be: Megan Sole, Katie Pratt, Kassidy Starkey, Devery Nelson, Amanda Reynolds, Alexa Black, Jahnvi Duncan, Kaylee Hulin, Alexis Chambers, and McKenzie Bradfield.
The middle school boys' team will include: Dravin Nichols, Josh Frum, Eli Henthorn, Kamron Milhoan, Destrey Nelson, Tim Conrad, and P.J. Wright.
The Knights will again host their own meet at the school on Sept. 4, dubbed as, "Stormin' the Castle", where the home team, along with several other local teams will run the hilly course laid out a few years ago at Tyler Consolidated's facility.
"We've made some improvements to the course," Reynolds said. "We've changed a few things and moved some things around, but it still should be one of the more competitive courses around."
The Silver Knight cross country teams will see their first competition on Aug. 25 at the annual Autumn Classic, this year held a few miles down the road from the MOVTI Center in St. Marys.