Bulldogs running for top finishes

Published 10:52 pm Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The King’s Fork High School boys and girls cross country teams are looking forward to strong seasons this fall.

Last season, King’s Fork had a decent showing, sending a runner to the state meet in Shamond Smith, who has since graduated. Coach Steve Sheppard is excited about the returning runners, as well as the newcomers as he hopes for a good season.

“Our offseason training program went really well,” Sheppard said. “We’ve had over 40 participants, which is a high number for King’s Fork. “We have some good talent on both the girls’ and boys’ side, and we are looking forward to seeing how it pays off.”

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Though the Bulldogs lose Smith, they return Jack Van Straten, this season’s team captain and add Lakeland transfer Nate Edghill, making his cross country debut this season. King’s Fork also has a wealth of young runners Sheppard expects to contribute.

On the girls’ side, King’s Fork returns Madeline Rawlings, whose injury last season kept her from reaching the state meet. There are also a couple of seniors on the girls’ side Sheppard believes will also be able to compete at a high level during the season.

“We really want to go out there and turn some heads and change the narrative for Bulldog cross country,” Sheppard said. “Our region now has 14 teams, and our sights are set on getting a top-four finish within the region. We feel like that’s doable and we are going to continue to work hard to reach that.”

The Bulldogs will compete in their second Southeastern District meet Sept. 10 at Bells Mill Park.