HT cross country coach ‘excited’ for largest team in school history
By Gary Lloyd
The Hewitt-Trussville cross country team is ready to chase down a trophy.
Coach David Dobbs has fielded his largest team since the cross country program began under his leadership in 1991, with 91 runners ready run this fall — 49 boys and 42 girls. There were more than 90 runners during the 1992 season, but that included the seventh through 12th grades.
“We’re excited,” Dobbs said.
Of the 91 runners, about 20-22 are freshmen, ensuring some freshman-only races for Hewitt-Trussville this season. Dobbs said having a nice crop of freshmen with a “wide range of talent” is a good thing.
“It bodes well for the future,” he said.
Dobbs said just over half of the team’s runners went to team camp in Brevard, N.C., last month. The team usually rides on a school bus with luggage in two to North Carolina. This summer, Dobbs rented a cargo van that strictly carried luggage, while the runners filled up a bus.
“It’s a nice problem to have,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs said he’s excited about seniors Sean Williamson and Palmer Chambliss, juniors Tyler Jackson and Austin Norwood, and sophomore Benjamin Knox, among others, from the boys’ side. The girls will be led by Veronica Lyle — who has an Alabama scholarship offer — and the team’s No. 1 runner in Alexandria Pidcock, Alexandria Calma and Isabella Calma.
“I believe if the girls stay focused, this could be their year to go after a trophy,” Dobbs said. “I really do. The boys, I think we can finish top five. I’m not saying they won’t surprise me. They have the ability to go after a trophy.”
The girls’ team finished seventh in the state cross country meet last year. The boys finished 10th.
“Our expectations are greater than that now,” Dobbs said.
The team’s first meet is Aug. 31 at Montevallo. The 21st annual Husky Challenge in Trussville is scheduled for Oct. 19. The state sectional meet is Oct. 31 and the AHSAA State Championship is Nov. 9 in Moulton.
Coaches include Dobbs, Anita Dobbs, Jamey Curlee, Mike Higginbotham and Brooke Kelso. Dobbs said he believes Hewitt-Trussville will surprised a lot of teams and be in the hunt for a state championship.
“They’re ready to roll,” he said.
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