In Lyle Silsby’s fourth year, the Canton-Galva High School cross-country team, having lost only one runner to graduation, will have four returning letter-winners.
Also, Jesse Evans, who did not run last year, will be running this year. According to Silsby Evans, the team’s only senior, “will help us out a lot.”
Juniors Sam Janzen and Codey Johnson are back in the red and white and both will be at the front of the Eagles’ pack.
“Sam missed state by 33 seconds last year,” Silsby said. “He is really motivated to do better and make it this year.”
Johnson had “a tough season and looks to improve greatly now that he is healthy,” Silsby said.
Two sophomores and two freshmen will be in the running for varsity spots. Nathan Bray is “a good little runner,” according to Silsby.
“He broke his arm after the first race last year and struggled the rest of the year,” he said. “We’re again looking for good things from him.”
Wedel, who ran third or fourth for CGHS last year, is a “strong, consistent runner,” Silsby said.
Freshmen Justin Hiller and Curtis Evans round out the boys’ roster.
“Justin’s form needs some work, but he is not lacking in determination or desire,” Silsby said. “We expect great things from him.”
Evans, Silsby said, “loves to run. He and Justin will be something in the future.”
In the present, Silsby believes the team will be stronger than last year’s.
“We have some kids running this year that didn’t run last year, and if a couple of them keep improving could have a chance to make it to state,” he said.
“They are a great group of kids that get along well and support one another.”
For the girls, low numbers will keep Canton-Galva from qualifying for team competition.
“Only two girls are running this season, so we won’t have a girls team,” Silsby said. “They will have to run individually.”
One is senior Lynn Volkman, whose leadership will be an asset.
“Lynn didn’t run last year because of a college-class conflict,” Silsby said, noting that she has retained much from her experience running her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Freshman Victoria Rauch is the other female.
According to Silsby, “Victoria has never run long distance, so we are just starting to see what she can do. She has a great attitude and takes instruction well and is a great addition to our team.
“I wish I had five or six more like her,” he added.