Oakville boys cross country ready to get back into the grind

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By Stephen Glover, For the Call

With five returning starters from the 2020 season, the Oakville boys cross country team is looking forward to getting back into the grind for 2021.

“It’s going to be really good to get back into the grind and the routine,” Oakville head coach Mark McNamara said. “It’s fun to get back into racing and see how much the boys can handle.”

Senior Andrew Blanchette is one of two seniors that the Tiger’s head coach believes has the ability to make an impact on this year’s team.

“Andrew is self motivated, driven and willing to give everything he’s got in a race,” McNamara said. “He sets a strong example for the team in pushing his own personal limits.”

Caleb Frillman is the second half of the senior combo that McNamara believes has the ability to crack into Oakville’s starting seven lineup.

“If Caleb puts in the work, he can make a huge difference for this team,” McNamara said. “I’m expecting Caleb to be a varsity runner and challenge himself every day to be a part of our top seven.”

Junior Parker Fritsche has shown significant improvement since the 2020 season and is poised to have a breakout year.

“Parker has been improving a lot since last year,” McNamara said. “He’s capable of being a solid runner and he’s beginning to realize and develop into knowing what he needs to do to be the best that he can be.”

Tyler Francis is a junior on this year’s team that has taken on the leadership role for the squad and is already grabbing the attention of the Tiger’s head coach. 

“Tyler is a good, vocal leader and a lot of kids listen to him as a leader on this team,” McNamara said. “He’s going to be integral in making the team a cohesive unit this season.”

Sophomore J.D. Niedermann is the lone underclassman and is one of five returning from the 2020 campaign.

“J.D. wants to be a good runner and commits himself to being a good runner every day,” McNamara said. “He’s the type of kid that wants to challenge himself all the time.”

The Tigers open up the 2021 season on Aug. 28 at the Fort Zumwalt North Twilight Invitational.