Red Raiders Hoping 2012 Is Their Year
By: Tom Moran Jr.
On your mark, get set, run, run, run.
That will most likely be the motto for the Barnstable High boys’ cross-country team as the Red Raiders prepare for the 2012 season to get underway.
With several key runners back from last year’s team, new head coach Dan Henson will be working from a position of strength when the Red Raiders kick off the new season against longtime rival New Bedford on Wednesday.
“We have a number of talented runners back and in talking to the kids, they really seem to feel that this should be their year,” said Coach Henson. “We have a number of runners back from last year’s team and that kind of experience can hopefully make us a better team this season.”
The Red Raiders won’t have to wait long to find out just where they stand with their first opponent being the always-tough Whalers and an eight-meet schedule that includes a pair of outings against both Old Colony League rivals Bridgewater-Raynham and Dartmouth and single meetings with Falmouth, Durfee and Silver Lake.
In addition, the Red Raiders will also be competing at the Martha’s Vineyard Invitational Meet next weekend as well as a pair of Mass State Teachers Coaches Association meets later in the season.
Coach Henson has been very pleased with his charges’ efforts during their preseason workouts and with BHS grad Mike Merrill as his assistant, he knows that his team will only get better as the season progresses.
“We also have a lot of freshmen and 8th graders that came out for the team and every meet will be a learning experience that will make us better not only as the season goes on but also in future seasons,” he noted.
The Red Raiders should be able to get an early read on their season when they take to the forest trails for meets against B-R, archrival Falmouth and Dartmouth in a one-week span later this month.
With the B-R and Dartmouth meets being league encounters, the Red Raiders will have a chance to quickly put themselves in the OCL driver’s seat.
Leading the Red Raiders into the new season will be returning seniors Paul Capparella and Tom Cunningham.
Also back from last year’s team are juniors Luke Vicente, Tom Sances, Alex Napolitan, Beau Gagnon, Chris Forance, John Andres, sophomores Austin Drouin and Gabe Rourke and freshman Tim DeCosta.
Joining this seasoned group of cross-country veterans will be junior Jack Harrington, freshmen Nathan Ryan, Matt Higgins and Rob Welsh and 8th graders Will Agnew, Can Saszewski, Dan Loiselle, Griffin Miller and Nate Pappalardo.
With most of their point scorers back from last season’s cross-country campaign, the Red Raiders certainly seem in a position to make some dual-meet noise in 2012.
In addition, with a large portion of the team having worked with Coach Henson during last year’s spring track season, the Red Raiders will bring a higher level of experience and training into the new season and that should also be a big plus for the upcoming season.
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