Cumberland Valley Christian has introduced a cross country team in 2016 after popular demand from parents and school board members.
Mike Hoover, a 1973 Chambersburg graduate, has taken the reigns as head coach of the Blazers' brand new running program, which brought in nine runners for the inaugural season.
Hoover, assisted by by Tim Fisler, began recruiting runners in early August, and began training an exceptionally motivated group of athletes, according to Hoover.
"They are really motivated and excited about the program," Hoover said. "They run on their own on the weekends and are running three to five miles on their own time. It's just amazing. Coming into it I didn't know what to expect when I was hired, but I was excited to start something new."
Since the program began in late summer, the Blazers are limited to running in invitationals, and will look into running sponsored 5Ks throughout the season.
The boys team is compiled of seven runners, Noah Barnhart (sr.), Josiah Fisler (jr.), DeVon Landis (jr.), Caleb Fisler (so.), Josiah Ziebarth (so.), John Trayer (so.) and Brian Trayer (fr.).
Imani Harper (sr.) and Sofia Robinson (so.) make up the girls team.
"(The school board) wanted to get the program going along with some parents putting some pressure on them," Hoover said. "Noah (Barnhart), his mom has been talking to the school for about three years to start a cross country program. (Barnhart) is a very good runner, too. I'd like to see how he can do."
Most of the runners are multi-sport athletes at CVCS.
TOUGH TRACKS: The Mid Penn Colonial Division might have a little bit of a disadvantage simply because of the courses it uses for its events.
Golfers qualify for the Mid Penn tournament based on average scores for the season, and the Colonial’s might be a little bit high because of the difficulty of the home courses.
“I think we play some of the toughest courses compared to the other divisions,” Chambersburg coach Mark Yost said. “We almost need to play better than others because our scores might be higher.”
Yost pointed out that Whitetail Golf Resort, Greencastle Golf Club, Chambersburg Country Club and Penn National are all considered difficult, and Eagles Crossing and Waynesboro Country Club can also cause problems.
STREAKING: The James Buchanan girls tennis team has won seven straight matches including two important Mid Penn Colonial Division matchups. No. 1 singles player Rachel Martin has won eight straight matches and has allowed just 18 points to be scored against her so far. The Rockets have won three straight matches 5-0, and four total sweeping victories this season.
The Chambersburg field hockey team started the season in a big way this week, taking down State College, a projected top Commonwealth team, 2-1 on the road, then came back with a 7-0 victory over Waynesboro in a non-league game, Wednesday.
MAKING HEADWAY: The Chambersburg girls tennis team earned its first point of the season during a 4-1 loss to Mifflin County. Hope Sprecher at No. 3 singles earned a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Liz Rogers.
VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT: McConnellsburg will host the 27th annual Lady Spartan Volleyball Tournament, featuring area teams James Buchanan and Shippensburg, along with Heritage Academy and Saint James Academy.
Tournament play begins this Saturday at 9 a.m.