Dragons, Warriors Return To Fields, Roads And Gymnasiums

By ERIC X. VICCARO

Ste. Genevieve Herald

In the middle of August, coaches are springing forth with optimism as the 2020-21 fall sports seasons draw near.

“I think our first week went fantastic,” said Samer Zoughaib, the boys’ and girls’ cross country coach at Valle Catholic. “All in all, it was a very good start to the season.”

It was a busy week for Valle Catholic runners, especially for freshmen with orientation this past Friday on campus.

For Zoughaib, last week’s training sessions were about quality. The boys and girls ran 28-32 miles, he estimated.

“We need to get ready fast,” Zoughaib added.

That’s because the Warriors’ first meet will take place on Saturday, Aug. 29, in Jackson. It’s not a typical race since sophomores through seniors will run four kilometers and freshmen three kilometers.

Peter Roth and Camryn Basler were the first boy and girl, respectively, to finish last Friday’s first time trial.

“It was great to see the kids back and energized,” said Ste. Genevieve cross country coach Sierra Boyd, “and get the season going for real.”

The Missouri State High School Activities Association-mandated dead period ended Aug. 9.

The Dragons have more time to prepare since their first meet isn’t until Sept. 12 at Arcadia Valley. Both Ste. Genevieve High School and Middle School runners will participate.

Ste. Genevieve had one training session near Crestlawn Cemetery last week, allowing the runners to work on their speed. Boys ran 30-35 miles, and girls 25-30 miles.

Dragon cross country performers were inspired last week since former three-time Gatorade state runner of the year and recent University of Arkansas graduate Taylor Werner trained with them.

Ste. Genevieve girls’ golf coach Rachel McDaniel noted the time for the Dragons’ first meet on Sept. 1 has changed from 3:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. versus Clayton and Farmington.

The Dragons spent Friday’s sesssion working on putting, and then McDaniel had the girls play a pair of live holes. She was encouraged by their “pace of play.”

The girls covered rules of the game and expectations for the season and chipping. Last Thursday’s practice occurred at Ste. Genevieve County Community Center.