Bob Long hopes to create feeder program
Previous cross-country coach, Bob Long, decided to start coaching again this year to create a feeder program for the junior high and varsity programs. He began coaching in 1973 and coached 34 total years prior to coming back this year.
Although he used to coach the varsity program at Youngsville, Bob took on 2nd -6th grade. His said his goal is, “Building a program from grade school up.”
He also said he wants the kids to develop a love for running because it is an activity people can do their entire lives. Some of Long’s previous runners have run anywhere from Youngsville to Disney to London. Long states, “The kids pour their hearts and souls into it.”
Throughout their short season, the 28 runners gained around 40-50 miles of training and ran in five races. The Youngsville team had 15 boys and 13 girls. One race they participated in at Penn State Behrend, had 185 runners in just Kindergarten – 2ndgrade.
Bob said, “I couldn’t have done it without parents and volunteer coaches including the varsity coach, Melissa Sabella.” He also was impressed with the girls’ varsity team, who would stay after their practice to run with the elementary students. The cross-country program is determined to grow, and both the coaches and runners are putting in the work to make it happen.