2023 Boys XC Summer Team
submitted by Tim Farrell, East Ridge High School Boys Cross Country Head Coach
The 2023 Cross Country season is upon us and the East Ridge Boys Cross Country program is looking forward to another successful season. The boys have been working hard in the offseason, meeting multiple times a week since the end of May. They have committed to a rigorous offseason to ensure they come into the 2023 season with a renewed sense of focus and drive. The Knights return the vast majority of their 2022 team, which was dominated by Freshmen. In fact, of the current seventeen members of the Cross Country team, SIXTEEN of the team is comprised of Freshmen and Sophomores. This team is easily the youngest team under the thirteen-year tutelage of the Knights Head Coach, Tim Ferrell. The Knights are young this year, but these young Knights are extremely talented and are looking to be a part of the Regional race again.
2023 Boys XC Summer Warmup

Due to the youth of the Knights, they will be leaning considerably on their lone Senior, Kevin Lederer. Kevin is a three-year Varsity runner for the Knights and was a top-five scorer for the Knights in most of the 2022 season. He ran a personal best time of 18:16 at the CHS Bears Invitational in Brooksville where he placed 12th overall. Kevin is looking forward to bringing leadership and a solid veteran presence to this team while looking to break his PR time and lead the Knights back to Regionals. Kevin’s calm and steady demeanor should lead to great success this season.

The Sophomore class will once again be led by Freshman phenom Caleb Walker. Caleb was a fixture near the top of every race last season, usually as the team runner-up to sensational Senior Connor Carroll. He is the top returning runner for the Knights. Caleb ran a personal best time of 18:03 at the CHS Bears Invitational with a 7th-place finish and a scorching 18:15 at the District race last year. Other Sophomores with Varsity experience that are looking to build on their freshmen campaigns include several runners who, as Freshmen, ran sub-twenty minute 5ks. They include James Laack (PR – 19:51), Scott Bori (PR – 19:12), and Dylan McCleary (PR – 18:54). McCleary also was consistent and a team scorer multiple times for the Knights in 2022, even as a Freshman. The Sophomore group includes several other runners that have been working hard all Summer, hoping to earn a spot on the varsity team in 2023, including Chase Ensor, Owen Degges, Alex Stewart, and Gustavo Vargas. Ensor in particular has dropped well over five minutes off of his 5k time since the end of the 2022 season and had a terrific Summer.

The Freshman class could prove to be one of the best classes to ever come out of East Ridge and has Head Coach, Coach Ferrell extremely excited about the future of East Ridge Cross Country. First, the Knights welcome Freshman Axel Sallault, coming to East Ridge from France. Axel is a hard-working tri-athlete who has worked his way into an exceptional runner. The addition of Axel will help solidify an already terrific varsity boys team. The freshman class includes several other runners loaded with potential that could vie for a spot on varsity. Tyce Ertel, Eli Parks, John Hall, Ethan Laack, Christopher Stuemke, and his twin brother Alexander Stuemke all come from local Middle Schools with a ton of valuable experience in long-distance running. All of these Freshmen have been working extremely hard all Summer and have a ton of potential in becoming some of the best runners that East Ridge has ever had.

If you want a sneak peek into what the 2023 version of the East Ridge High School Boys Cross Country team will look like, the Knights will be participating in the FCA Preseason Invitational on August 19th at the National Training Center in Clermont. The boys take off at 7:15 AM, with the girls running right after the boys.

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