The Mooresville HS boy's team has had an incredible start to their season. They have run two large Invitationals, the WNC CC Carnival & the Eye Opener. At the WNC CC Carnival they put themselves on the map with their 8th place finish. They beat top programs such as: Watauga, Providence Day, East Chapel Hill, Spring Valley (SC) and Asheville. However, it was the most recent finish at the Eye Opener in Spartanburg, SC that put them into the state title mix. There they knocked off 3A #1, and last years state champions, TC Roberson. With that victory, they have secured themselves a legitimate shot at a 3A state title come the end of October.
I spoke with the three captains of this year's team, Colin Davis (Sr.), Patrick Campbell (Jr.), and Nathan Craig (Jr.) and asked them what the goal for the season was. In separate interviews they each told me the same thing.
"Our team goal from the beginning has been to bring 7 healthy, fast runners to the state meet."
This year's Mooresville team knows what they want and feel they have the support, leadership, and work ethic to get it done. On the way home from last year's state meet the team came to a realization.
"The first time I knew this was going to be a special season was at the end of last cross country season. We got fifth in the state and our whole top 5 from that meet were returning this year. That is when I knew we had a chance to have a great season," wrote Patrick Campbell.
Coach Serefine, who the athletes contribute much of the team's success, spoke about the leadership this season.
"My leaders of this team have matured and become more focused. Patrick and Nathan were captains on last year's team as sophomores and they are captains again this year. Colin and Will Platt are two seniors that we count on for their leadership as well. I have guys that have been around each other and been around the sport enough to realize what it takes to succeed. I think these guys are doing a great job leading and motivating the other runners on the team. All four of these guys push each other and their fellow teammates during workouts and meets. I am blessed with great kids here at Mooresville that work hard and are very motivated to do well!"
As Coach Serefine focused on his athlete's leadership abilities, his captains couldn't say enough about him as a coach.
Nathan Craig wrote, "First and foremost I would contribute our success to Coach Serefine. It's not like he has some secret formula or anything, but he does know what you have to do to get better and he supports us."
Colin Davis said, "I can not say enough about Coach Serefine. He is a great coach and role model. The team owes its success to him, his creative workouts, and coaching style. I have been running cross country for him for three years now and I am thankful to have him as a coach, teacher, and role model."
The formula for a successful season seems evident with this year's team: the dedication of a great coach, the leadership of experienced runners, and a strong work ethic that covers the entire team. Here is what the captains had to say about the team's hard work.
Colin Davis: "We all met and ran almost everyday of this summer, went to a running camp together, and never cut workouts or long runs short. We are determined and committed to work hard to reach our team goals."
Patrick Campbell: "I think that our improvement can be contributed to our hard work and attitude. We knew this could be a special season so we agreed as a team to work a lot harder this year."
Nathan Craig: "We are lucky to have so many guys here to just run XC. What I mean is that they are here to get better and do their best at practice every day."
This is a team who has their heads on straight and is determined to be successful. The plan is obviously to perform well at each meet this season, but one that particularly stands out, is the Wendy's Invitational. There are many good teams that show up to run the 3.1-mile course at McAlpine Park, and Mooresville sees that as an opportunity to prove themselves on a big stage.
I had to ask if this improvement was due to the new uniforms.
Patrick Campbell jokingly wrote, "The new uniforms have got to have something to do with it. They make me want to run faster so I can put on some longer shorts as soon as possible."
Coach Serefine wanted something different and "something that would stand out in the crowd so we could spot our runners. Some of the kids think that the shorts are a little short, but that's okay. I just tell them that if we are going to wear these shorts, then we have to be fast!"
Joking around is one way that the Mooresville team stays loose, "Our team is very close and enjoys hanging out together. We joke around all the time with each other, but we are always very supportive of everyone on the team."
The Mooresville boys have put their best foot forward already this season. With many big races to come, they are excited about the potential of this year's team. This is a team that seems to have the right attitude for success.
Look out for the white uniforms with the big blue "M"!