Up to this point in the season, Leesville has not performed like they have in years past. After graduating several talented seniors last June, the Pride have struggled to replace that talent and hit those lower times.
Ben Tyner, junior, explained how the team this year is different from others he has been a part of. “We lost five of our top seven runners last summer when they graduated, so new runners have had to step up into those roles. Freshmen and sophomores from last year have dramatically improved, so that’s a big help.”
Mark McLamb, head coach, also acknowledged the contributions that younger runners are making. “We have a lot of young kids with potential, which means we have a bright future in a few years time,” said McLamb. “Even during this season, they’ve shown improvement and that keeps the team excited.”
Despite the team’s lack of experience, Emily Putnam, junior, has noticed that the team is steadily improving. “We all have a common goal. We’re all there for the same reason, so we keep helping each other and working hard.”
One area where the team is lacking is with chemistry and unity; the factor that usually unites the team has so far been absent according to Tyner, Putnam and McLamb.
“We don’t work together as well as we should,” said McLamb. Putnam went on to echo those thoughts: “ Our team chemistry is questionable at best. There are definitely issues with how we work as a team.”
Meredith Hicks, senior and team captain, agreed that the team doesn’t always get along. “It can be challenging with so many people and so many personalities, but we just have to focus on our common goal,” said Hicks. “We expect everyone to keep improving as the season goes on by working hard and training as a team.”
Regardless of the team’s lack of compliance, Tyner feels like the team can finish the season strong. “Hopefully, all of us will continue to improve and peak at the end of the season. If we can do that, and come together as a team, hopefully we’ll make it to the state championship meet.”