Seeking a Conference Title: Bay Port Boys Cross Country Preview
By Rich Palzewic,
SUAMICO – The Bay Port boys’ cross country team hasn’t won a Fox River Classic Conference title since 2010, but they are looking to change that this season.
With most of their varsity lineup returning, the Pirates seem primed to give perennial FRCC rival Green Bay Preble a run for their money for conference supremacy after finishing second a year ago.
“It’s definitely a goal of ours,” said senior Kyle Thieme of winning a title. “All the guys worked really hard this summer, so I think if things go right and we can stay away from the injuries, we should be in the mix.”
Thieme is a four-year varsity runner for Bay Port and will be looking to go out with a bang after he lost his sophomore year due to a broken toe. Kyle’s younger brother Ryan, who was a state qualifier a year ago, also returns to the lineup after a breakout freshman season.
“My sophomore year was a disappointment, but I came back strong last season,” added Thieme. “I got a little sick towards the end, so this year I’m just going to put in the miles and hope to see better results at conference, sectionals and hope to get to state.”
Besides the Thieme brothers, senior Nick Key, junior Drew Abfall and sophomore Drew Dahlin all return to the varsity lineup. The younger Thieme was just one of two Bay Port runners to make it to Rapids last year; the other being Cole Cohorst, who has since graduated and is now running for Winona State.
“Each year is always different, but as long as the guys gel and keep working hard, we are looking forward to having a good year,” said head coach Mike Jameson, who has been with the program since 1990. “We have a strong group coming back, but we also know there are strong groups in the area. It will just be fun to see how the guys improve and to see who steps up.”
A year ago Jameson said his boys’ team was perhaps a year away from contending, but they still have the likes of Preble and other FRCC rivals Ashwaubenon, Green Bay Southwest and De Pere to deal with. If the Pirates want to get to Rapids as a team, they’d have to finish in the top two at the Ashwaubenon Sectional. That won’t be easy considering Kimberly will be there, too.
“Team state is a very lofty goal,” added Jameson. “The stars would have to align for that to happen, but that’s the beauty of sports – anything can happen.
“In addition to our guys returning, we’d have to get contributions from other runners. So far Andrew Aderhold and freshman Tyler Guetschow are guys that you start wondering where they are going to fit into the mix.”
Besides Cohorst, the Pirates also lost seniors Race Archibald (swimming at Eastern Illinois), Gavin DuPont and Lucas Coury-Ortiz. Ortiz began the season on junior varsity, but by the end had earned a spot running with the top group.
A highlight for Bay Port is the “Pirate Invitational” that will be held at Meadowbrook Park on September 14. Scheduled to compete along with Bay Port are 15 other schools from around Northeast Wisconsin.
Notes: for a full schedule, visit www.foxriverclassicconference.com, click on the Bay Port link and then navigate your way to the cross country schedule… 2010 was the last of six consecutive conference titles for the boys, a run that began in 2005.