There is perhaps no greater characteristic in a cross country team than its depth. A deep roster, deep commitment to improvement and deep leadership among the student-athletes are qualities that translate to wins and personal bests across the team.
Bishop Feehan High boys cross country coach Bob L’Homme knows this well, as depth is a characteristic his teams have cultivated over the years. That is exemplified best by the Shamrocks’ three selections to The Sun Chronicle 2022 Boys Cross Country All-Star Team, which leads all schools.
Year after year, L’Homme watches upperclassmen help build up the next class of great Shamrock runners. This year was no different.
“We graduated a couple of good runners last year,” L’Homme said, referring to division champion Patrick Healey and other senior leaders who departed, but younger Shamrocks managed to fill those big running shoes. “We made some strides this year. They did a great job, a lot of hard work.”
The undefeated Catholic Central League champions were once again propelled by strong senior leadership and depth. Senior captains Casey Gorhan, the winner of the CCL Championship, and Andrew Smith executed well in their final cross country seasons. Junior Noah Gomes D’Sa added excellent performances and is taking on the leadership mantle.
“They all bought into the routine and trusted the process,” L’Homme said.
The Norton High Lancers were another deep squad of unbeaten runners that impressed at every turn and bend of the season. Junior Andrew McConnell, the unanimous Tri-Valley League Small Division MVP and one of the area’s top runners, made magnificent strides. Meanwhile, senior Brandon Scovil delivered both quantifiable and unquantifiable performances for Norton.
“That’s hard to find, especially when you’re an athlete as good as him,” Norton boys cross country coach Kent Taylor said. “He has that ‘it-factor’, that presence. When he talks, all the athletes listen to him.”
Those performances helped uplift the team and coach alike.
“We were all overcoming some adversity,” said Taylor, a cancer survivor. “We weren’t sure what the season was going to look like. They were my inspiration to keep fighting to get back. Their success brought me through.”
There were plenty of other bright spots across The Sun Chronicle area, including the Mansfield Hornets with two all-star selections in senior John Sylvain and junior Talon Johnson who both earned Hockomock League All-Star honors as well.
The Seekonk High Warriors, runners-up in the South Coast Conference, boasted a deep squad of strong runners with a pair of Sun Chronicle nods. Senior Noah Amaral impressed in his final season, while sophomore Caiden Sears can already count himself among the area’s top runners.
Two King Philip Regional High senior Warriors concluded their high school cross country careers with honors Nathan Sylven and Stephen Haney. They are joined on The Sun Chronicle All-Star Team by North Attleboro High junior Brady King to round out the squad.