THORNVILLE — The Sheridan boys cross country team has found plenty of success under fifth-year coach J.D. Walters.
The Generals went 16-0 in the Muskingum Valley League to claim a fourth consecutive league title last season and also finished as the district runner-up and fifth in the regional.
The team lost two All-MVL runners, Ben Metzger and Chris Conley, and two other letterwinners in Kaleb Rockwell and Rob Snider.
However, a pair of All-Ohio harriers return. Junior Matt Bromley was the MVL individual champion and earned all-district and regional honors, and senior Zach Hanf collected all-league, district and regional honors as both were in the top 21 in the state.
Seniors Mac Bloom and Nathan Smith, both All-MVL and district honorees, also return, as do juniors Sully Gwinn and Sam Yinger, each finished top 15 in the MVL.
The Generals will have plenty of depth led by freshman Joey Palumbo, the MVL junior high champion and fourth-place runner at the middle school state meet. Freshmen Garrett Gwinn, Nick Wright, Clay Fisher and Keith Clellan join the squad as all but Clellan were on the middle school state championship team.
Walters likes what his squad has as the Generals go for five in a row.
“Sheridan will have a good mix of youth and returning runners led by Bromley and Hanf,” he said. “(We are the favorite), but it will be a close battle with John Glenn.”
John Glenn boys and girls
The Muskie boys will aim to knock off Sheridan, but they will have to do it without All-Ohioan and two-time MVL champion Zak Geiger.
Kyle Johnston and Cody Corbett are also gone as sixth-year coach Brian Fulks will look to returning seniors Woody Jamiel, Zac Klies, Scott Fisher and Grant Slack to pace the way. Sophomores Dylon Graham and Dylan Hague are also back.
Senior Wes Bruning and sophomores Ryan Fahey and Trey Bennett are newcomers as Fulks hopes the program can build on last year’s regional qualifying performance.
“We want to compete for the MVL title and get back to the regionals,” said Fulks, who expects Sheridan to be the team to beat. “We just want to keep the program moving forward.”
The girls will have several new faces competing under sixth-year coach Harriett Hunter. Senior Moriah Carson and junior Rheanna Wilson, a state qualifier a year ago, are the returning letterwinners.
Senior Laura Mihalik, juniors Hannah Stewart and Kaci Sims and freshmen Sam Reed, Kaylie Callihan and Eleanor Mullins will be new runners for the squad.
Hunter, who sees Sheridan as the favorite and West Muskingum as a dark horse, will lean on Carson and Wilson to pace the Muskies.
“We are very young and inexperienced, but have great leadership with Moriah and Rheanna,” Hunter said.
Rhonda Hollowniczky is the assistant coach.