POWERS - It appears the North Central boys can be reasonably certain they'll be able to field a full cross country team throughout the season.
The Jets, who open today at Munising, have seven on their squad. Six are out for cross country alone.
"This is the first time in our cross country history we had this many guys who aren't also in football," said coach Jerry Root, who's entering his 14th season. "We have some good, young talented runners who are working hard. I sense this is a balanced team. Their work ethic is incredible. I think this is the best team chemistry I've had for the boys. We're hoping to make some strides this year."
Junior and team captain Dillon Robinson is the Jets' pacesetter.
"Dillon is looking pretty strong and has exhibited some real leadership," said Root.
Senior Josh Granquist, also a tailback in football, is the lone harrier who's pulling double duty.
Aug. 27 - at Munising.
Sept. 4 - North Central All-Class invitational; Sept. 7 - at Superior Central; Sept. 10 - at Kingsford (Iron Mountain); Sept. 18 - North Central D-3 Invitational; Sept. 21 - at Central Lake; Sept. 24 - at Munising; Sept. 28 - at Escanaba.
Oct. 3 - at Gladstone (Flat Rock); Sept. 5 - at Carney-Nadeau (Banat); Oct. 9 - CUP/Skyline meet; Oct. 14 - at Norway; Oct. 19 - U.P. Finals at Marquette (Harvey).
Rounding out the squad are junior Tristan Harper, sophomores Bryce Holle and Jared Gerlach and freshmen Seth Polfus and Jon King.
"There's going to be some terrific competition in the U.P. this year," said Root. "Munising, Pickford and Cedarville will be tough. Carney-Nadeau has most of their kids back, so they'll be decent. Another team to deal with is Stephenson, which will be in Division 3 this year. Yet, we can only control what we do, and we're going to work very hard. All these kids are competitors. They'll give it their all."
The girls are represented by three juniors. They are Kayla Arkens, Bailee Wells and Sam Cryderman.
"This is the lightest turnout we've had for the girls, but we have a few good runners," said Root. "We're hoping for more after school starts."