ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW OTTOSON
Six seniors and returning letter-winners will set the pace for the year’s cross-country team at Canton-Galva. Pictured are: back row (from left), Joseph Unruh, Billy Evans, Brandon Shannon; front row, Caitlin Nelson, Riley Nigh, Lynn Volkman.
Coach Lyle Silsby of the Canton-Galva cross-country team has 10 runners on board this season.
“It isn’t a large group, but it is a good group,” Silsby said.
With seven boys and three girls competing, the Eagles will have a tough first test.
“Our first meet is in Lincoln… and it is the roughest, hilliest course we will see all season,” he said. “(We will) find out in a hurry who is in decent shape and who isn’t.”
The girls are led by junior Caitlin Nelson, who has qualified for state the past two consecutive years. Nelson finished 38th at state in 2005.
Lynn Volkman, a sophomore, and freshman Michelle Shannon will run with Nelson in 2006.
Volkman is a sparkplug, according to Silsby: “Lynn is a great kid who kind of energizes the team and keeps the others going.”
Silsby said, “With only three girls, they can’t compete as a team, so we’ll have to see how Caitlin comes along after she battled injury last year. I really want to see how she can do when healthy., Hopefully, this will be the year.”
The boys; team is also led by a two-time state qualifier.
Senior Brandon Shannon finished 23rd last year, and missed a medal by only six seconds.
“He is a great kid and a good team leader for us,” Silsby said.
Fellow seniors Joseph Unruh and Billy Evans also will be top runners this year.
“(Unruh) is looking strong so far, and we have a good feeling he will continue to show improvement from last year,” Silsby said.
“(Evans) is new to Canton-Galva, but has run cross country. He is looking good so far,” Silsby said.
Sophomore Riley Nigh and freshmen Samuel Janzen and Cody Johnson round out the squad. Silsby will look for all three to improve as the season goes on.
The injury bug bit the Eagles 2005, but if they stay healthy, the 2006 boys’ team is looking stronger than last year’s team.