Freedom Area High School's Student Newspaper

FHS Press

Freedom Area High School's Student Newspaper

FHS Press

Freedom Area High School's Student Newspaper

FHS Press

Cross Country

Skylar Scobbo

James Couch

After running for freedom for 6 years, the time has come to an end. Finishing off his season, James Couch ran in the state championship on Nov. 4, held in Hershey, Pennsylvannia. After a long day, Couch placed 46 out of 270. This is not exactly the outcome Couch had hoped for going into his last season. After a rocky season of injuries and setbacks, Couch still managed to pull through multiple wins.

“I am going to miss how homey it felt running for Freedom. We are such a small close-knit community; you know everybody and everybody knows you, they are all cheering you on and trying to see you do good,” Couch said.

Although his running career has come to an end for Freedom, this is not the end of running for Couch. After much consideration and research, Couch got an offer to run at Robert Morris University (RMU). He stood out to many schools; however, only one stood out the most to him. On Nov. 13 Couch officially committed to RMU and signed with his family, friends, and coaches right there with him.

“College is way bigger, obviously it is still going to be competitive, but it was just me out there. Now I am going to be in a team environment which can be pretty scary,” Couch said.

Noah Chaousy

This was only the second season Noah Chaousy ran for Freedom. After taking a year off to focus on other sports, he found his way back to cross country. Returning was not easy, after lacking the proper training and practice needed to stay in shape for the sport. Chaousy came back as a way to stay motivated and be active in his other sports. Running is a great way to stay fit and in shape during the other off-seasons.

“Stretching, most people don’t think of it as a big deal but it’s one of the biggest parts of [cross country],” Chaousy said.

The atmosphere of cross country is very different from other sports, with cross country being anindividual sport. Although there are many running on the same course, in the end, there is only one winner. Most sports include multiple people working together to win. Unlike this team dependent dynamic, when a mistake is made on the course, during a cross country meet, there usually is only one person who is affected by it. Having the experience of making a mistake and being the only person to blame can be a benefit to other sports.

“I think when you are playing other sports you notice more of what you are doing wrong and you can improve on it,” Chaousy said.

Chaousy has made many improvements this season and is hopefully for the rest of his running career.

Hannah Shaffer

Hannah Shaffer has ran with Freedom for a few years now. For this year, she set many goals for herself, as most runners do. One of those goals was to cut down her time, which she was able to achieve, finishing with a time of 29.1. Each year runners strive to be the best they can be by practicing and working hard. She has always enjoyed running and plans on continuing to run throughout the rest of high school. “For next season I am setting the goal of getting a time under a 28.27,” Shaffer said.

With a lot of interest from middle school runners this season, the team may include a new set of faces next season. Although the middle school was unable to have its own team, they were able to practice with the high schoolers. Having the opportunity to try out the sport and really grasp what it is all about helps to keep those students involved in the program.

“I am most hopeful for cutting down my time even more next season, and also having a bigger team, since we will have the middle schoolers coming up,” Shaffer said.

Although the middle schoolers were unable to gain the experience of going to different meets with the team, they were able to come and support the runners at their home meets. The team’s home meets looked a little bit differerent this season with the addition of a new home course. The team still ran at Brush Creek Park; however, they ran through a different part of the park. This new course was overall better for the runners, offering more shade and more aspects of an actual cross-country course.

Tiernan Simons

Starting off his cross-country career this season, Tiernan Simons has high hopes for the rest of his time running for Freedom. Beginning a sport after your first year in high school can be a challenge. For Simons, his overall season went very well. From the first race to the last, his times improved by a lot. For many people, this sport can be intimidating because it requires much stamina and dedication.

“My favorite moment has to be every single last stretch, every single time I am running at the end, I love those moments its a feeling like no other,” Simons said.