2021 Armuchee XC Teams Are Region Champs

Isaac Agan

On Tuesday October 26th, the Armuchee High School Cross Country Team placed first in region and secured their place in the fight for the state championship title on November 6th. Both the boys and girls teams won region and added yet another title to their ongoing record. The boys currently stand at 6 region titles and the girls at 5.

Matthew Campbell, Junior, said, “My end goal in cross country is to win a state championship.” The boys XC team has come in second for the past 2 years at state. Landon England, Junior, said, “Go win state.” After observing the hard work these boys put forth in practice, ranging from 8 miles recovery to a couple miles of speedwork, these boys are determined to get that state ring and are willing to fight for it. They proved this at region when they put all 7 of the varsity runners into the top 10 finishers.

The major misconception about running is that it’s all in the legs. That could not be more wrong. Andrew Stallings, Junior, said, “I mentally get into a zone and block all the noise out,and I clear my mind and listen to the sound of nature.” Not only is running a physical sport, but it is also a mental battle. Preparation is key, and everyone is different. Matthew Campbell, Junior, said, “I prepare for a race by drinking plenty of water, eating grilled chicken and rice the night before, sleeping 8.5 hours, and getting in the right mindset.” For running, eating is everything. Sleep is everything. Mindset is everything. The race may only last 20 minutes, but the preparation is a full-time job. 

The discipline required to be a runner is a great tool for transforming character. Brock Dillard, Sophomore, said,“Cross Country has made me a more disciplined and hard-working man.” Discipline is something required in every aspect of modern life. Landon England, Junior, said, “It [Cross Country] has taught me a lot about perseverance and how to take charge of myself.” 

Coach Pierce has been coaching at Armuchee High School for 18 years. He pours both his time and knowledge into the sport for the sake of his runners. However, he does expect something in return. Coach Pierce said “dedication” is what he values most in a runner. Coaching is a two-way street, and Coach Pierce fully expects a return on his investment. 

Every year brings another XC season and another chance to win both region and state, but all good things must come to an end. This year, the boy’s XC team will be saying goodbye to their only senior Jesse Hernandez. The girls will be losing seniors Peyton Alford and Chloe Hakala. It’s not over yet. These seniors still have a chance to leave their name on another winning title. These seniors have helped shape the runners here today, and their example will lead those runners to even more success. Coach Pierce said, “I expect us to continue winning region and state championships.”