Oct. 30, 2012 was the annual Cross Country Senior Night Banquet to honor the seniors on the Valparaiso High School cross country team. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially for the families on the cross country team.
“We become a tight-knit group and become a cross country family.” said Julie Dalton, mother of senior Patrick Dalton.
“Tonight is the end of a legacy,” said Coach Aaron Crague. “Since 2009, when these guys were freshman they have become very dedicated and very consistent and become leaders. These guys inspire me to keep working harder. Some of them have a faster PR (personal record) than I did when I ran in school and that is inspiring and it’s an honor to be able to coach these young men. I hope they go on to great things and continue to inspire.”
From the heartfelt emotional speech of Andy Miles to the comic relief of Mark Halfman, fifteen seniors took a turn at the podium thanking their parents for their support, thanking family and friends for regularly coming to all the meets and cheering them on mentioning how motivating it was to have them there, but especially thanking coaches Mike Prow and Aaron Crague for their leadership, support, dedication and love for running and most of all their love for the team.
Coach Mike Prow spoke at the beginning of the ceremony saying, “Through out the four years these guys have been on the team we have not just talked about running but we have talked about leadership, academics, and being a good role model. One way or another these guys have achieved leadership and become role models. Coach Crague and I have a lot to be thankful for. We have been to State the last four years placing 19th then 10th then 7th and now 3rd, been Conference champs three of the four years, Sectional champs two of the four years, Regional champs three of the four years and won Semi-State three of the four years. These guys have helped to build this program up to the podium contender team it is today.”
Prow turned and faced the team adding, “And I thank you for that. Coach Crague didn’t want that for us, we wanted it for you.”
Saying good bye are seniors Erik Muntzing, Andrew Lyp, Xavier Reed, Peyton Reed, Andy Kahrs, Andy Miles, Josh Marciniak, John Halfman, Mark Halfman, Rob Halfman, Patrick Dalton, Zach Schwartz, Taylor Bisacchi, Landon Davison, and Jordan Galligan. Not in attendance Rahul Patel.>
“One cannot begin to explain the feeling inside that you get from running. You only get from running what you put in it. Why do we go out to pound our exhausted bodies and joints on unforgivable cement and hidden divots that completely destroy our ankles? It’s hard to explain, but it’s a feeling that cannot be replicated or replaced.”Galligan said.
Reiterating the sentiment of Galligan, Coach Crague has told the team on many occasions, “Running isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.”
Coach Crague lives by those words and has inspired these young men to believe them too.
Congratulations seniors your whole future is ahead of you. Keep leading, keep inspiring and achieve your goals and most of all keep running.