(COVINGTON, La.) — For most Louisiana residents, fall is football season. However, for a growing number of St. Paul’s students and parents, cross country dominates Saturday mornings. Under the guidance of veteran Coach Terryl Chatham, as well as Coach Kevin Moore, the St. Paul’s cross country team has established itself as a perennial powerhouse and state contender over the last fifteen years. This year is no different. The Running Wolves boast top-three finishes in each of the meets they have competed in this season, even with top runner Jonathon Bertucci injured. The Wolves have run against the top teams in the state, including Brother Martin and Catholic High of Baton Rouge.
The team would surely like to forget the disappointment of last year’s state meet, in which St. Paul’s finished sixth. “We are definitely capable of a lot more than that,” said Alex Schlottman, a junior varsity runner. An unnamed senior said, “we have as good a shot as anybody at [The] State [meet] this year.” While early meets have not shown a conclusive favorite so far this season, there is a cautious optimism about this year’s group of Wolves. However, team members still understand the need for hard work. “We still have a ton of work to do before we can take state,” said Schlottman.
While the Running Wolves have an appropriate amount of respect for teams like Martin and Catholic, they certainly aren’t afraid to take a shot at a state championship. “Isn’t winning a state championship what it’s all about?” said Junior Blane Sullivan. While that may be true, Chatham knows that it will be a tough road to glory. “There are a lot of great teams this season that have a lot of depth. We have enough talent to beat those teams, but we need to be more consistent with our effort.”
The Wolves will run in the State Race in Natchitoches, La. on November 12. The team hopes to bring home the hardware for the second time in the last three years. “That 2016 team had some great athletes, but they won state because they ran like a team. If we can do that this year, we can be just as good as any other team at Natchitoches,” said Chatham.