LAURINBURG — The Scotland High cross country teams are gearing up for the onset of another season.
Greg Wrape, who is also the junior varsity baseball coach at Scotland, is heading into his third season as coach of the boys and girls cross country teams. Last season was a unique one for him, as he had more boys make the Southeastern all-conference team than he had girls on his own team.
Scotland finished second as a team in the conference behind perennial power Pinecrest, as three boys finished on the all-conference squad — Kendall Romaine, Logan Ward, and John Holloway. Romaine graduated last year, but Ward and Holloway return to a veteran team filled with senior talent. Wrape hopes to eventually fill out the roster with 16 boys.
“I’ve got a few rising seniors that I am going to be depending on to at least challenge Pinecrest,” Wrape said. “It’s going to be tough to knock them off for a conference championship but I want to be able to compete with them.”
On the girl’s side, only Cassey Leviner, a rising sophomore, and Melinda Campbell-Tyler, a rising junior, ran for Scotland last year. Both are returning to the team, but Wrape expects there to be more girls running alongside them this year. He said eight new girls have come out to train during the summer, and more could possibly be on the roster when when they begin practice on Aug. 18.
“I’ve got some girls that are going to show some massive improvement and be pretty good at this, it’s just going to take some time,” Wrape said. “I look for Cassey to be a leader and for her to have a real good year.”
Wrape said he had to set an official first of practice day, which was Aug. 4, but he wants kids to know that if they want to come out and run, they are more than welcome to show up anytime before school starts.
“Really, that’s just a formality, I don’t really have a date in mind,” Wrape said. “If kids want to come out and run, I want them to come run so the first week of school or whenever they hear about it they can come out.”
Practice isn’t limited only to incoming freshman.
The two teams share the same practice schedule and have their meets together. Wrape said they first met on June 9, and training has taken place every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday during the summer since then. The first official meet of the year will be on Aug. 30 at South View where around 50 high schools will compete. The first conference meet of the season will be on Sept. 2, and all of the meets are preparation for the most important conference meet of the year which takes place Oct. 14.
The team is planning a fundraiser event in an effort to raise money for new equipment and shoes. On Aug. 23 at St. Andrews, Wrape is challenging his teams to run for as many miles as they can in 60 minutes.
“The athletes are looking for individuals or sponsors to sponsor them per mile, $2 per mile, $5 per mile, whatever it may be,” Wrape said. “The athletes are looking for people or businesses to sponsor them for that 60-minute run and that money is going to go towards some team apparel and some equipment for our runners.”
The event will start at 8 a.m.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.