September 7, 2012
Trojans ready for debut at Kamikaze Challenge
Homer Central cross country squads will be off and running for the 2012 season on Saturday, and the Trojans will again be back in the OHSL Freedom Division after spending the 2011 season in the Liberty Division.
The Trojans open up at the Jordan-Elbridge Kamikaze Challenge tomorrow, those races to begin at 10 a.m.
Jim Baldwin is back for his seventh year as head coach. Both the boys (1-7 record) and the girls (2-6) lost some talented runners to graduation. The boys will have depth while the girls will look to compete with just seven girls.
“The boys’ team is the largest I have ever had the pleasure of coaching,’ Baldwin said. “We have 20 athletes this season.”
There are 11 returning runners, but Luke Tesoriero is the only returning senior. The juniors include Chase Davis, Liam George, Freidrich Handelmann, Kory Platt and Josh Sands with sophomores Jackson Dowdle, Vincent Harris, Tyler Hatfield, Bill McLaughlin and Scott Walter all back.
The Trojans have nine new runners joining the team for the 2012 season. The new faces are junior Griffin Langhans and freshmen Jack Bancroft, Mike Morse, Brenton Newcomb, David Perfetti, Joe Settineri, Tim Swenson, Evan Ulrich and Kenian Ulrich.
“We are a pretty young team, but I believe that we have a solid foundation to build,” Baldwin said. “It will be interesting to see who our top seven varsity runners will be based on race times. There are several freshman and sophomore runners who have the potential of being in the top seven. Therefore the competition between our runners should be interesting.”
HOMER GIRLS should be pretty solid even though there are just seven runners. Abbey Gray and Jenelle Pedersen graduated leaving behind a core group of runners. “The team has a great mixture of experience and youth,” Baldwin stated.
Senior Nikea Ulrich is back and running better than ever. Junior Jade Auchmoody looks to make a return trip to the state meet in November.
The newer runners consist of sophomores Grace Gugerty and Erica Stevens, who both had great track seasons and look to make the transition to cross country, plus a trio of freshmen — McKayla Crawford, Kennedy George and Mary Keefe.
The Homer cross country teams will race in the Freedom Division against Cortland, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fulton, Jamesville-DeWitt and Mexico.
“It has been a couple of seasons since we ran against the Freedom Division teams so I am unsure of how strong our competition will be this season,” Baldwin said. “Historically the J-D girls are very good not having lost a dual meet in almost 20 years. Cortland boys will be a good team this year and is well coached by Ron Reed. Coach (Jason) Graves and I are looking forward to this opportunity to determine how strong our athletes are this season.”
Modified coaches will be Paula Jones and Tammy Stokoe.
Homer will continue to run its home contests at Lime Hollow Nature Center on McLean Road.
“The trails look fantastic and the course looks great,” Baldwin stated. “We really love competing and training there, as Lime Hollow is truly one of our community’s treasures and has to be visited to be fully appreciated.”
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