Another season of high school cross country is underway. Here is a preview look at each of the cross country teams in Jackson County:

SCOTTSBORO WILDCATS

› Sectional: Class 6A Section 6

› Sectional opponents: Athens, Buckhorn, Columbia, Decatur, Hartselle, Hazel Green, Muscle Shoals, Randolph, Munford, New Hope, Oneonta, White Plains

› 2019 Girls’ Team Finish: Won Class 5A State Championship; Won Class 5A Section 5 championship

› 2019 Boys’ Team Finish: Won Class 5A State Championship; Won Class 5A Section 5 championship

› Head coach: Luke Robinson

› 2020 Girls Roster: Senior Hannah Cloud; juniors Collins Bradford, Maddie Gossett, Sera Laney, Lauren Paradise; sophomores Emma Bradford, Sadie Latham, Cadence Laughlin, Shelton Linville, Sadye Webb; freshmen  Bradford, Ally Campbell, Makenna Howes, Lauren Judge; eighth-graders Mabry Bonsall, Cambree Bradford, Gracey Coley; Macy Holder, Grayce ; seventh-graders Audrey Bradford, Ashlee Dunsmore, Avery Earnest, Macey Frazier, Shelby Laughlin, Mia Martin

› 2020 Boys Roster: Seniors Benson Atkins, Cooper Atkins, Noah Bonsall, Aidan Cantrell, Jackson Howes, Hayden Judge, Skylar Reichle, Brady Thomas; juniors Zach Avenel, Nathan Bearden, Rex Green, Christian Kilgore, Ridge Wells; sophomores Cameron Estes, Evan Hill, Josh Hill, Wilson Hill, John Merritt, Camden Thrasher; freshmen Ben Davis, Johny Felix, River Green, Stephen Jones, Mcgee Kilgore, Hamilton Richardson; eighth-graders Joshua Laney, Marcos Matias, Cole Synder, Brady Strickland; seventh-graders Sawyer McWilliams, Brady Turner

› Team notes: Scottsboro moves to Class 6A after winning the last four Class 5A Boys state championships and the last three 5A Girls state titles…Scottsboro will run in Class 6A for the first time since the 2015 season…Of the 10 girls and 10 boys than ran for Scottsboro during last year’s state meet, 17 of them return this season…Scottsboro won’t host a sectional meet this season. Instead the Wildcats will travel to Huntsville John Hunt Park for the Class 6A Section 6 Meet…The Scottsboro girls program has won 23 all-time state titles, which is tied with Mountain Brook for the most in AHSAA history while the SHS boys have won 14, tied for second most boys cross country state titles in AHSAA history ... Luke Robinson, a Scottsboro alum, is entering his fifth season as head coach.

› Quoting coach: “We absolutely cannot wait to start racing. At the beginning of the summer, whenever we finally got to start practicing again, we were all itching to get back to it. We have had a great summer, despite not being able to take part in our annual team traditions. Overall, I think every athlete has handled the situation (from the COVID-19 pandemic) very well. These runners have been running five to six days per week since June 8. I think everyone is ready to see the fruits of that hard work. We had a pretty good bit of new faces this year, which is always great to see. I’m very proud of the newbies for sticking it out this summer. I would definitely say that our number one strength is the family culture that Scottsboro Cross Country has. This culture was here long before I showed up, and it has been a blessing to be a part of. Each athlete on the team is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team. We are going to have to run perfect. To us, perfect doesn’t mean that we set records or beat any particular teams/opponents. ‘Perfect’ means being able to look your teammate in the eyes at the end of each race/workout and honestly say that you left everything on the trail. Our goal is and always will be to bring home two state championship trophies.”

› Sectional outlook: “Our sectional will be a little tougher this year, but we invite the challenge.  While moving up to 6A will definitely be more challenging, I think that our team will be better because of it.  The way I see it, we have 2 options.  We can rise to the occasion, or we can use the higher classification as an excuse.  We are choosing the first one. I think both teams are capable of keeping the streak alive.   

› Season opener: Today at Scottsboro Black & Gold Classic

NORTH JACKSON CHIEFS

› Sectional: Class 4A Section 2

› Sectional opponents: Anniston, Ashville, Cherokee County, DAR, Etowah, Handley, Jacksonville, 

Munford, New Hope, Oneonta, White Plains

› 2019 Girls’ Team Finish: Did not place in 4A Section 4 Meet

› 2019 Boys’ Team Finish: 12th in 4A Section 4 Meet

› Head coach: Johnny Holman

› 2020 Girls Roster: Seniors Delana Pierce and Sayni Ramirez; junior Emily Gilley

› 2020 Boys Roster: Seniors Andrew King and Alex Roper; junior Edgar Sanchez; sophomore Jay Yates

› Team notes: North Jackson is the only local team that will not run its sectional at John Hunt Park in Huntsville. The Chiefs will run their sectional meet at Choccolocco Park in Oxford…Holman is entering his fourth season as North Jackson’s coach.

› Quoting coach: “We are getting better in our fourth year. I have some consistency in who is continuing to be a part of (cross country).  I have a couple of good leaders who have been with us since the beginning. The kids work hard.”

› Sectional outlook: “The sectional that we are in is extremely good.  We have several teams that have multiple good runners.  It simply is a very difficult sectional.”   

› Season opener: Today at Scottsboro Black & Gold Classic

NSM BISON

› Sectional: Class 1A-2A Section 4

› Sectional opponents: Pisgah, Section, Skyline, Woodville, Athens Bible, Cedar Bluff, Decatur Heritage, Falkville, Ider, Lindsay Lane, 

Oakwood, Sand Rock, Tanner

› 2019 Boys’ Team Finish: 12th in 1A-2A State Meet; 4th in 1A-2A Section 4 Meet

Head Coach: Colby Palmer

› 2020 Boys Roster: Juniors Derek Bearden and Lane Gamble, Slay; freshman Leon Moore

› Team notes: The NSM boys qualified for the state meet last year in just its second season of competition…NSM does not have any girls running this season…Palmer is entering his first season as head coach… NSM will run its sectional at John Hunt Park in Huntsville after running the past two seasons at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.

› Quoting coach: “We are a small team this year, but we are strong runners. We trust in our process and are improving our times every day. We have a great group of kids who are willing to put in the work and spend their personal time making themselves better. With Covid-19 and the fear of the unknown, at NSM we are taking it one day at a time. We can't predict the future, but we show up to practice every day ready to run. We treat every run like it's our last, and we will continue to improve every day. In short, to have the season we want, we have to always be better than we were yesterday.” 

› Sectional outlook: “As a first year Cross coach, I am very pleased with my athletes. They have a passion and a goal and they are determined to get there. I think we will be frontrunners at all our meets.”

› Season opener: Sept. 4 at Pisgah Invitational

 

PISGAH EAGLES

› Sectional: Class 2A Section 4

› Sectional opponents: North Sand Mountain, Section, Skyline, Woodville, Athens Bible, Cedar Bluff, Decatur Heritage, Falkville, Ider, Lindsay Lane, Oakwood, 

Sand Rock, Tanner

› 2019 Girls’ Team Finish: 11th in 3A State Meet; Fourth in 3A Section 4 Meet

› 2019 Boys’ Team Finish: 10th in 3A State Meet; Second in 3A Section 4 Meet

› 2020 Girls Roster: Senior Madison Phillips; juniors Rhylee Bell, Jazzy Wilson; sophomores Addison Goff, Kimberly Miller; freshmen, Korian Brock, Riley Grider, Kinsley Phillips; eighth-graders Serenity Olinger, Emma Sisk; seventh-graders Laily Brown, Nevaeh Evans, Kayanna Stewart

› 2020 Boys Roster: Seniors Holden Goff, Bailey Johnson, Austin Mabry; juniors Alex Elizondo, Bryant Overdear, Austin Wilson; sophomores Mason Overdear, Jake ; freshmen Dalton Johnson, Tristan Little, Ethan Smith; seventh-graders Emmanuel Elizondo, Tristan Hutson, Brodie Overdear, Koen Smith

› Head Coach: Gus Hembree

› Team Notes: Pisgah drops from Class 3A to the 1A-2A classification this season…Pisgah’s girls and boys teams have both won seven straight Jackson County championships…Both Pisgah teams have qualified for state for the past four seasons…The Pisgah girls program has advanced to the state meet in every year of its existence (2009)…Gus Hembree is entering his 12th season as Pisgah’s coach…Pisgah will run its sectional at John Hunt Park in Huntsville after running the past two seasons at Scottsboro.

› Quoting coach: “We are young. We lost a great group of seniors last year. We have had a big influx of new runners this year. Our strength will be running in a pack. We have several that are all about the same time. My newbies must grow up fast and fill the spots vacated last year.”

› Sectional outlook: “We are in a strong sectional again this year. Dropping to 1-2A helped, but we are still in a competitive sectional.  There are many traditionally strong 1-2a programs in our sectionals.”

› Season opener: Pisgah finished fifth in Class 1A-4A girls race, sixth in the 1A-4A boys race at the White Plains Twilight Invite on Aug. 20. 

SECTION LIONS

› Sectional: Class 1A-2A Section 4

› Sectional opponents: North Sand 

Mountain, Pisgah, Skyline, Woodville, Athens Bible, Cedar Bluff, Decatur Heritage, Falkville, Ider, Lindsay Lane, Oakwood, 

Sand Rock, Tanner

› 2019 Girls’ Team Finish: Eighth in 1A-2A Section 4 Meet

2019 Boys’ Team Finish: Did not place in 1A-2A Section 4 Meet

› 2020 Girls Roster: Senior Jennifer Vega; juniors Madison Armstrong, Morgan Armstrong, Chloe Britt, Kenleigh Owens, Savannah White; freshmen Molly Myers; eighth-graders Joanna Newsome, Sammie White, Karlie Hancock; seventh-graders Lana Bass

› 2020 Boys Roster: freshmen Cogan McCutchen; eighth-grader Giovanny Vega

› Head Coach: Melissa McCutchen

› Team Notes: Jennifer Vega qualified for the Class 1A-2A girls state meet last season as an individual…Section had five returning girls runners and one returning boys runner…McCutchen enters her first season as head coach…Section will run its sectional at John Hunt Park in Huntsville after running the past two seasons at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.

› Quoting coach: “Our runners have been working hard and improving each week. We have many newcomers, but they have shown up each day determined to improve. Jennifer Vega is our only senior. She works very hard and is a great leader. Jennifer pushes and encourages her teammates daily. Her goal to finish in the top ten at State this year. I am excited for all our runners and our season. As long the runners come out and work hard each practice and push themselves, we will have a successful season.”

› Sectional outlook: “It will take improvement each week.  As long the runners come out and work hard each practice and push themselves, we will have a successful season..” 

› Season opener: Sept. 4 at Pisgah Invitational

 

SKYLINE VIKINGS

› Sectional: Class 1A-2A Section 4

› Sectional opponents: North Sand Mountain, Pisgah, Section, Woodville, Athens Bible, Cedar Bluff, Decatur Heritage, Falkville, Ider, Lindsay Lane, Oakwood Academy, Sand Rock, Tanner

› 2019 Girls’ Team Finish: Did not place in 1A-2A Section 4 Meet

› 2019 Boys’ Team Finish: 10th in 1A-2A Section 4 Meet

› 2020 Girls Roster: Senior Kaylee Saint; eighth-grader Katie Roach; seventh-grader Gracie Bullock

› 2020 Boys Roster: Senior Jamison Rowell; junior Karson Treece; freshmen J.T. Hastings and Trever Saint; eighth-grader Scott York; seventh-grader Jack Pickett

› Head Coach: Rhonda Saint

› Team Notes: The Skyline boys return three runners from last year’s team and one from the girls team…Saint enters her fifth season as head coach…Skyline will run its sectional at John Hunt Park in Huntsville after running the past two seasons at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.

› Quoting coach: “It's been a challenge so far this season. We got a late start on summer workouts with the uncertainty of things with the (COVID-19) virus. We weren't able to do any weight room workouts. Summer runs looked a little different, but the kids have all worked hard. They were eager to get back to work. We are ready to get this season started and continue to improve as we go. Cross country is going to look a little different this year due to modifications being made. Some of those changes should benefit us as a team. Our numbers are small so staying healthy is No. 1 priority. We are also a young team, so I need my experienced runners to step it up and make it count every race. I need every single runner to give 110 percent every single race to have a successful season.” 

› Sectional outlook: “Sectionals should be interesting this year. Pisgah moved to 1A-2A. That puts all the county schools, except North Jackson, in the same sectional. That in itself is good competition. Then there are some other good teams to go up against as usual (such as) Cedar Bluff, Athens Bible.” 

› Season opener: Today at Scottsboro Black & Gold Classic

 

WOODVILLE PANTHERS

› Sectional: Class 1A-2A Section 4

› Sectional opponents: North Sand Mountain, Pisgah, Section, Skyline, Athens Bible, Cedar Bluff, Decatur Heritage, Falkville, Ider, Lindsay Lane, Oakwood Academy, Sand Rock, Tanner

› 2019 Boys’ Team Finish: Did not place in 1A-2A Section 4 Meet

› 2020 Boys Roster: Unavailable

› Head Coach: Jesse McCutchen

› Team Notes: McCutchen was hired as Woodville’s head coach during Thursday night’s Jackson County Board of Education meeting. McCutchen, a Section alum, replaces Bo Harding, who had coached the Panthers since starting the program in 2013. 

› Quoting coach: Unavailable

› Sectional outlook: Unavailable

› Season opener: Unavailable

 

POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

› Nov. 5

Class 1A-7A Section Meets

› Nov. 14

AHSAA Cross Country Championships at Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum (Moulton)

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