As Lauren Burkey enters her second season as head coach of the Schuyler Central High School girls cross country team, she sees potential in her young squad and hopes to see more girls join the team.
“This is my second year as head coach,” commented Burkey, “and my fourth year of working with these kiddos. We had six ladies signed up for the team when practice began but I am feeling positive that our numbers will go up. I have had a few freshmen that are wanting to go out once they get their physicals turned in.”
The girls’ team has been hidden in the shadow of the outstanding accomplishments of the boys team in recent seasons, but the Lady Warriors have a runner in Edith Oliden who has done very well in her freshman and sophomore seasons. As a junior, she has her sights set on even greater accomplishments. Not only is Oliden a strong runner, “Edith will be our team leader this year,” Burkey said.
Though there are only two returning letter winners on the team roster this fall, Burkey is pleased with the mix of talent she has seen thus far.
“I have a great group of ladies this year who work hard and show up every day. They come with such a great attitude and are ready for what we throw at them,” Burkey said. “We also have a great group of upper classmen who show great leadership with the younger girls.”
When asked about the competition the Lady Warriors will face this season, coach Burkey stated: “The meet in Kearney is going to be the hardest meet for us but it gives all the runners such a great opportunity to see what is out there.”
Schuyler also has tough meets at Malcolm, Wahoo, Valley, North Bend, Raymond Central, and the Central Conference meet in Holdrege on Oct. 4. Thursday, Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. is the only home appearance of the season.
In her final comments, Burkey said: “The biggest goal for my girls this year is to keep improving. I want to see individual times dropping at every meet.”