Boys track returns many from 8-2 team
No matter the sport, coaches always tell players to never get complacent and to always strive for more.
That doesn't hold any truer than in track and field, which is why first-year head coach Tim Cunningham is preaching that to the Northwestern boys' track and field team.
"Athletes need to continue to work hard at their individual events and never become satisfied," he said. "Our goal is to have each athlete compete at their full potential and improve each meet."
Last year's squad did just that as it finished 2013 with an 8-2 record. Most of that squad is returning for 2014, which, according to Cunningham, brings an expectation for continued success.
Cunningham, who teaches in the Nazareth Area School District, is embarking on his first season at Northwestern after he pioneered the Blue Eagles of Nazareth for the last 14 years.
Returning upperclassmen for Cunningham on this year's squad are senior Austin Weiss (hurdles), senior Collin Furchner (distance), senior Alex Partington (throwing), senior Austin Kobordo (throwing), senior Alex Fixl (hurdles), senior Cole Miller (pole vault/sprints), junior Cam Richardson (sprints) and junior Brayden Heller (distance).
A trio of sophomores are back for another season as well. They are Harry Hall (sprints), Travis Stout (mid-distance) and Dylan Snyder (hurdles).
Even with all those individuals returning, there are still some holes that need to be filled.
"We will need to fill some gaps in the lineup but it appears we have some athletes who did not compete last year who may be able to fill those roles," Cunningham said.
Three notable newcomers that could be up for the job are junior Jay Hereba (sprints/mid-distance) and junior Frank Dangello.
Cunningham noted that the sprints will be one of the strongest areas for this year's squad, as it was in previous seasons.
The newest Tiger to the pack knows that winning is expected, but isn't too worried about achieving it.
"The wins will take care of themselves," Cunningham said. "I just want my athletes to enjoy the year as a member of our team."
Cunningham is embarking on his 24th season coaching track and field as he previously was a head coach at William Allen and an assistant at Catasauqua, in addition to his long stint at Nazareth.
Cunningham has been pushing himself every day as a coach, and it has allowed him to last for 24 years. He wants his athletes to do the same this spring in hopes it allows them to contend for a championship.