Indian Springs cross-country up in numbers

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

INDIAN SPRINGS – Changes are coming to the Indian Springs cross-country squad. A school known traditionally as a 1A-3A soccer powerhouse, it is not know for blazing 5K times. This season, both the boys and girls cross-country teams will have a new coach in Charles Williams, who has been at the school since the 2004-05 school year as a teacher, is stepping into the head coaching role since the previous coach, Will Rodgers, stepped down due to his full-time job with Fleet Feet Sports.

Williams was not a cross-country runner at any level, but is a self-described “habitual runner” who runs up to 35 miles a week. He has realistic expectations for a team that will always live in the shadows of the school’s top sport, but got a pleasant surprise on the first day of school on Aug. 24.

“We’ve been practicing since Aug. 3,” Williams said in an Aug. 25 interview. “We had about 12-16 people regularly showing up between then and the start of school. The first day of school we had over 30 people out. It was very refreshing.”

Williams made the comment that Indian Springs has boarders as well as day students, and some of the kids weren’t even in the country at the start of the practice a few weeks ago.

Williams expects Sam Newton and Gavin Young to help lead the boys team, along with newcomer Grayson Flint. Newton and Young are upperclassmen, a senior and a junior respectively, while Flint moved into the area recently from Pennsylvania, and is an underclassmen with good speed. Williams said all three are capable of breaking 20 minutes.

For the girls, Williams said he will look to Ada Cohen and Issy Schwiebert to lead the way along with Virginia Farley. Indian Springs competes in 3A Section 2 along with the likes of American Christian Academy, Hanceville and Winfield City High School. The first meet Indian Springs will run is the TCBY Invitational in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 25.