Mora Cross Country Head Coach Chris Goebel shares about the upcoming 2020 season:
How is the makeup of the varsity team different from last year?: The makeup of the team is very different. We had a lot of senior girls that graduated that had been staples of our girls program for years. We only graduated three boys but they were key contributers to the success of the boys team. Both boys and girls have new leadership, and it is fun to see the kids grow into those roles. The leadership does look very different because of how we have to pod at practice. We are trying really limit the contact between pods, so each pod has to develop leaders.
How has the coronavirus pandemic changed the team’s goals and priorities for the season?: Our goals this season are very different. Every season we focus on being our best for the postseason. As of now, the postseason is still a question mark. Our goals this year are to take one day a time. Enjoy being at practice, enjoy being around your friends, work hard and be the best you can be because at any point it can be taken away from us.
What changes are most challenging and how are the athletes adapting to those changes?: Cross country is a very social sport. I think the coaches really miss not communicating with all athletes. The coaches are really focused mostly on their pod this year. The athletes also really miss not being able to spend time with the whole team. Our senior girls, for example, really haven’t been around our senior boys at all. It is very strange for them. Also, the mask wearing has been interesting. The kids do the best they can with wearing masks at practice.
What do you hope these young athletes will take away from their sports experience this season?: I think kids are so appreciative to be able to participate this fall. They look forward to coming to practice everyday. Having the spring sports and all the other activities like prom taken away has given them a new perspective. I just hope they take advantage of the opportunity. As coaches, we want to help make this the best season possible for them. Like every year, we want them to make lasting memories. We think they will, but they will just be wearing a mask when they do.