Mohawk runners eye huge season

MORLEY — Morley Stanwood cross country coach Shelli McNeil is excited with her team’s prospects.

Last season, Aiden McLaughlin was all-conference and all-state.

Josh McNeil, Riley Pritchard and Aivery Devereaux were honorable mention all conference

McLaughlin, a senior, was a state champ in the 800 meters for track.

“I expect he will have a strong senior year, and be all-conference and all-state again this year,” McNeil said. “I expect him to be a great leader of the others.”

McNeil and Pritchard are expected to be the No. 2 and 3 runners and all-conference contenders.

Owen Devereaux is a senior.

“I expect he will be in my top 7 runners for our team this year,” McNeil said, adding freshmen Shelby Hopkins will be in the top seven along with sophomores John May and Jon Karel.

Aivery Devereaux is a sophomore, and was the team’s second runner and honorable mention all-conference last year. “This year, I predict she will be my first runner and all conference,” McNeil said, adding sophomore Delaney Devereaux “is growing stronger as a runner and becoming more confident.

“I expect my boys team to be very strong and competitive in conference. I expect to see a couple at state. My girls will grow as runners and work on their individual PRs until we can gain some girls. My boys strengths will be having Aiden as a leader. He is a smart runner and leads by great example. Owen, Riley and Josh are also great leaders as upperclassman on our team.”

McLaughlin medaled Tuesday at the Chippewa Hills Invitational.

“The boys all mesh together well and work hard for their teammates,” McNeil said. “They are all competitors and want to improve their times.  They do the workouts I give them and work towards getting stronger. Summer running will also be a strength for this team. They were focused and put in time both running and in the weight room. Our team camp in Leland over the summer was also very good training for them.

“My girls strengths will also be the time spent running and in the weight room over the summer along with the team camp in Leland. They are few in numbers but my two juniors, Aivery and Delaney, have ran with me since seventh grade and are great leaders and teammates for the others.”

Filling the gaps between runners is something McNeil would like to see the boys work on.

“I would like to see my girls team gain some members for their team,” she said. “I have five, maybe six girls at this time with one not able to run for a few weeks due to an injury. Also, my top runner from last year moved to another school with her family.

“I think the Silver Division will be strong, especially Kent City. But, I feel my boys team will be very competitive this year. We are excited about this season. We have a lot of returning runners for the boys and strong runners. We also have a large boys team for MS. I’m excited to see what they do this year.”

 

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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