The 2016 cross-country season will open up Labor Day weekend for runners at Nation Ford and Fort Mill High Schools.
The Yellow Jackets start their season at the Trojan Invitational at Northwestern Saturday, Sept. 3, while Nation Ford heads to Spartanburg for the Eye Opener Invitational that same day.
Fort Mill should have a young team this year, which will be a good thing for returning head coach Marc Pyrc, who is starting his second stint with the team and gets to mold it in his philosophical image.
“It’s great,” Pyrc said. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it.”
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Pyrc coached the program from 2006 to 2013 and guided Fort Mill to a state title in 2010. He stepped down after the 2013 season and went into administration, taking a job in the Clover School District, where he served for two years. He is in his second year back in Fort Mill at Banks Trail Middle School as an assistant principal.
Pyrc said he is still looking for his seven starters, but with cross country, the lineup could fluctuate from week to week. This year’s team he said is talented, especially the female runners.
“We have a lot of talent to work with,” he said.
Fort Mill has just one home meet, on Oct. 4 against Nation Ford at the Anne Springs Close Greenway. They are running in some intense meets at other times such as the Coaches Classic in Columbia at the Sandhills Research Center, where the state finals are held annually. They are also running in the Wendy’s Invitational in Charlotte and the Furman Invitational in Greenville.
Falcons run on the road
Nation Ford also has a limited home schedule with only two other meets at the Greenway besides the Fort Mill meet. They will host Clover Sept. 6 and Rock Hill Sept. 13. They are also participating in the Wendy’s Invitational in Charlotte as well.
Falcons head coach Jason Byrne said having a short home schedule is OK with him.
“We use the same routine at home or on the road,” he said. “We like all courses.”
Byrne said his team should be strong this year, but he is still trying to put together the best starting seven he can find.
“We are looking pretty strong both boys and girls,” he said. “It is hard to tell who is better. They are pretty even.”
Mac Banks: email@example.com @MacBanksFM