Tigers prepare for CC season
The Green Forest Tigers come into the 2017 season looking to win their fourth consecutive Class 3A cross country state championship. Things won't be easy for the Tigers, though as they lose the likes of Gabriel Ramos, Rhett Williamson, David Nelson and Jose Lozano.
"It will be a challenge," Green Forest coach Bradley James said. "We might have a junior high runner running with the senior high this year because we are so young."
Patrick Hunter, who finished second overall at the Class 3A state championship year, will be a senior this year. The Lady Tigers finished second at the Class 3A state championship last year. Karina Maravillas, Lucy Rios and Viannei Rangel all return.
James said this is the first week the Tigers have practiced for a full week. At this point, James said he is ready for them to start getting in a rhythm.
"You have had practices three or four days a week and this is the first week where we have had all five," James said. "The kids are working around summer schedules and vacations. We are getting our work in. We are just ready for a routine."
The weather has been great to run in and appears as if it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. James said the team needs to take advantage of this while it lasts.
"The weather, it's good, especially for junior high," James said. "The junior high comes in the morning too and they don't have that heat to worry about in the afternoon."
James said these early practices have been devoted to running as much as possible.
"You aren't really focused on time and splits," James said. "It's about getting your legs out there and putting in the work. When you do that, you get better."
Green Forest's first race of the year is on Saturday, Sept. 2, at Shiloh Christian in Springdale. James said between now and then, he hopes to see his team get stronger.
"They will continue to build mileage in their legs and when school starts we will add a lot of our weight stuff like pulling sleds," James said. "We are going to gain some more strength and then at our first speed workout, we will see where we all our. I just want them to put down a good time and be successful at it."