Sunday, December 9, 2018

A Change of Seasons

With the end of the Cross Country season and the beginning of our Indoor Track & Field season, I've been busy with many things, including decorating three trees in advance of the Christmas season.

But, before we get too deep into winter we will be celebrating this past year's Cross Country season with our year-end "banquet" at WHRHS this Thursday, December 16, at 6:00.  We will meet in the cafeteria for a sumptuous repast (verbosity requires preparation) and then we'll head to the PAC for a video and awards presentation.  We hope to see ALL our athletes there. Coincidentally, I didn't see any teams with conflicting games! Please spread the word along with my apologies for short notice.  Setting up these things with school personnel can be a lengthy process . . .

Monday, November 19, 2018

SIGNED UP YET??????????????????????????????


I HOPE TO SEE OUR XC KIDS THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Just happened to be driving by WHRHS at 2:30 and was VERY happy to see a group of our XC athletes, along with a wrestler, soccer player and field hockey player, getting those miles in.  EXCELLENT!!!)

Friday, November 16, 2018

50 Degrees and Partially Sunny

That's the long range forecast - no excuses!
Need to work off your Thanksgiving dinner? The third annual W-H Panther Prowl will be held Saturday, Nov. 24  on the Whitman-Hanson home Cross Country Course. The fundraiser for the Whitman Hanson Track and Cross Country has a 10 a.m. start for 5K off-road race. 
Preregister online at 
or register on race day starting at 9 a.m.A bargain at any price but entry fee is only $20.00 ($10.00 for WH XC athletes and youngsters!!!)

Thursday, November 15, 2018

For those who want to get a head start on August, 2019 . . .

Can't get Cross Country out of my mind.  There is a reason for that.  The All-State Meet is running on Sunday, so the season is not yet over.  And while we may have been shut out (along with other Patriot League teams save Hanover Boys and Hingham Girls) we can look forward to returning 17 of our top 20 Boys and adding some experienced girls to replace our Seniors in 2019.  AND we still have our year-end event at a time and date TBD.  I'm actually prepared for it already.  The awards (some of which are shown below)  have been purchased and I've made a commitment to do little, if any, speaking.  (Insert that stupid buzz sound I make here.)

Awards you may ultimately toss
One of the few I chose to keep (cool guitar!)

But the more important matter at hand is preparation for the 2019 edition of XC.  That, kiddos, starts today.  No, I don't want you going out for a long run.  In fact, many of you are in the middle of the week I suggested you take off.  And I recommend each of you take an entire week off before resuming running.  But, like me, you can continue to think and plan for the future.  One of the things I will be asking you to do, starting November 26, is to get in the weight room.  I will be putting a plan in place for you to follow over the next 9 months or so.  The plan consists of a three day rotation, each focusing on different body parts (legs; arms/shoulders; back.) Noted sports medicine physician, Dr. Douglas Comeau says, "Adding strength training to your routine can help you achieve any number of goals.  Burn fat. Build muscle.  Boost metabolism.  Reduce anxiety and stress. Increase bone density.  Improve blood flow.  Control blood sugar.  Increase energy.  Improve balance and coordination.  Protect spine and extremities.  And aid in helping perform daily activities."  Don't worry about weight gain, our focus will be on proper form with more repetition  and less weight.  By next August you will be machine like.  Powerful, strong, fast and injury free.  This year I pushed you as hard as any team I've coached.  Your year end evaluations, for many, included the recommendation that we take it back in some form or another.  Whether it is a true shakeout run prior to race day or a mid-week day off, that is what you asked for.  Despite the fact that most of you improved consistently throughout the season, some of you expressed weariness toward the end of the season.  Not my fault entirely.  YOU must prepare better.  One of the comments I heard most in those same evaluations was that you MUST increase your summer running.  That is true, but you must also prepare for that as well.  Weight training will be a significant factor in the process.  So look forward to hearing more about that after you've had a chance to rest those aching muscles.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

New to running?

More than 50 years ago I started running.  For real.  I often tell the story about how I ran one season of Cross Country in high school at the urging of a couple of friends who, like me, were going to sit the bench in football.  We got a late start, joining the team after classes resumed, without the benefit of summer training or experience.  At our first practice we were told to run together, just the three of us, from the high school out to a point approximately 2 miles from the school and return.  The walk home from school following practice that day, another 1.5 miles, was torture. A few days later we ran our first race in Middleboro and as you might suspect, we finished behind ALL our teammates.  It took a month for us to feel comfortable, but we eventually moved up to the middle of the pack and even performed very well in JV meets. 

It was with that high school experience in mind, and at the ripe old age of 27, I ventured out of my apartment one evening and ran 2 miles.  It took me 20 minutes, hurt like hell, but I felt that I'd like to try it again.  The next day I did.  It still hurt and I didn't improve but I felt just a little better than the previous evening.  For me, it was the beginning of a lifelong journey.  Ultimately, I joined the YMCA, bought some decent running shoes, and spent some time nearly every day running along Quincy Shore Drive.  A few months later I ran my first 10K race, finishing in an unimpressive, but extremely satisfying, 42:12.  As a result, I became extremely curious as to what, if any, potential I had, and I decided to set some goals for myself.  Modest goals at first.  Easily achievable.  It worked.  I ran for 50 years, continually setting new goals for myself and accomplishing most. My point?  Simply, that if I can do it, anybody can!  I believe the keys to my half-century love for running, were borne in two things . . . my curiosity and my setting of minor, attainable goals. Everybody you know can do the same.  Please encourage them.  I had no expectations, and thus was never discouraged.  My results were not all that good (my PRs are almost laughable actually), but I LOVED running.  Still miss it every day.

I have different goals today, some of which revolve around coaching kids in a sport that I know is wonderful.  So wonderful in fact, I can't understand why all kids aren't doing it.

The last couple of days I've been cleaning out my running "junk."  Clothing, memorabilia, awards.  I'll save a handful, and I'll always find some neon items to wear.  But now my goal is to be there when you return WH XC to prominence.  That will be the most satisfying medal of all . . .

Monday, November 12, 2018

Out with the old . . .

In with the new.  Indoor Track & Field season is here.  I understand the audience I am hoping to reach may be limited to XC kids who are looking to see when our year-end "banquet" will be held, so I won't go into a long harangue just yet about T&F matters.  The truth is, the end of the XC season is somewhat difficult. For me, anyway.  It is, without doubt, my favorite season of any sport with which I've been associated.  Football, basketball, baseball, Track & Field, all pale in comparison to Cross Country.  The athletes are unique in their sportsmanship, athleticism, and yes . . . intellect.  The healthy camaraderie shared by the participants is incredible.  But as your season comes to a close, mine continues because I want others to get that message.  Cross Country is a great sport, with the greatest kids I know.  Year in, year out.  One bit of good news going forward is that almost all our XC runners will remain with us in T&F.  So the only thing I'm losing today are some of the relics I've accumulated over the years . . .

Damn, I miss running!

And maybe, just maybe, we can attract some new student-athletes who want to share our experience!

Recruiting starts today.  If you know somebody who can't run 50 Meters now, I'm pretty sure we can whip them into shape over the next 9 months or so.  Take them for a run. You know all those kids that play pick-up basketball during the fall after school?  Let them know, XC will do a better job of getting them into basketball condition.  Those kids that may have spent much of their season watching games from the bench?  Let them know we have no bench.  ALL are welcome.  Based solely on my observations, which again take into account your friendships, your character, your tenacity and your intelligence, a lot of those kids could use XC as much as we could use them.  Throw out the challenge . . .

Sorry . . . won't see you at 2:30!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

EMass D3 XC Championships

The following was provided to Administration and Media following the meet:

On Saturday, the Boys and Girls Cross Country Championships were held at the Wrentham Developmental Center. 

The Boys team which included  SO Theo Kamperides, JR Brandon Hager, JR Captain Adam Solari, SO Liam Cafferty, FR Evan Jewett, SO Christopher MacDonald, and JR Nick Hanley, finished 18th overall with an average time on the 5K course of 18:10.

The Girls team finished 17th overall with an average time of 22:29 and included JR Victoria Boss, SR Captain Maeve McDonough, JR Niki Kamperides, JR, Victoria Carleton, SR Dorothy DiMascio-Donohue, FR Sarah Boulger, and SR Captain Maeve Rooney.

Full results can be found at: