Team Email Update 8-22-21

Runners and Families - 

Happy Sunday!  Hopefully emails will be reduced once Meets have started and everyone is more comfortable with the process.  Some of you have had email issues and have been added again to this list - or maybe our runner is new to the team.  Please go to the XC website to find previous updated.  

Any missing Big Ditch forms should be brought to me Monday morning.

Thank you to the Ropacki and Smith Families for hosting very fun and successful Season Kickoff Parties for the Girls’ and Boys’ XC Teams!!  We appreciate your support of Team culture!

Racing flats!!!  ALL runners need their racing flats!  This has slipped through the cracks and might cause some stress.  All runners will need their racing flats with them by Wednesday afternoon’s practice.  We will have runners run a portion of the practice in their flats to help them before Saturday’s Meet.  Since ALL runners, who can run an entire 3 mile race, will be running September 3rd, it is time for all runners to have their flats.  I do not want runners running in their flats for entire workouts.  They will wear them for portions of workouts and then for races.

How do I decide who is a Varsity Runner and who runs in the most prestigious races?  

In XC, we refer to our “Top 7”.  Notice that the schedule never lists “Top 7” as the Runners designated for a race.  I list “Selected Athletes'' when it isn’t the entire team.  No runner is automatically part of our “Top 7” just because of speed.  Here are the criteria I will use for making the Head Coach’s decision of who runs Varsity Races, Seeded Top Level Races, and for who is invited to attend the Bob Firman Invite, and all other races where we only take 7 athletes for each team:


  • Running Time

  • Participation in practices:  I am looking for athletes who work diligently and show respect for themselves and the team by showing up to all practices and giving their best effort. 

  • Athlete attitude and coachability:  I am looking for athletes who are humble and coachable and who I can trust to carry out a team race plan.

I believe, very sincerely, in SPIRIT: Scholarship, Passion, Integrity, Respect, Involvement, and Teamwork.  Runners who must miss practices must communicate with me AHEAD OF TIME about missing.  Parents are wonderfully supportive of their runners, but Runners should be communicating directly with me.  Parents should communicate with me when it is information about medical diagnoses or questions about treatment, etc, but the athletes, themselves, should be doing the communicating about practice.  

Scholarship - Varsity runners show scholarship is important so they remain qualified to run as part of the team!

Passion - Varsity runners show passion for running, our team, and our goal of winning #1 in the State of CA!

Integrity - Varsity runners always tell the coach the entire truth about everything associated with running, team dynamics, injuries, etc.

Respect - Varsity runners show respect to their teammates, themselves, and their coaches by showing up on time to practices, not missing practices for small reasons, and working hard during practices to meet team and individual goals.

***I make myself VERY available to runners.  It is disrespectful to miss practice without communicating with me AHEAD OF TIME unless there is an actual emergency.  Emergency is a word that will not be applied lightly.

Involvement - Varsity runners are invested in connecting with their teammates and in creating the relationships which will help them succeed TOGETHER on the race course.

Teamwork - Kipchoge has a quote in “Breaking 2”: “100% of me is nothing compared to 1% of the whole team.”  Each runner is important as part of an entire team!  We can’t win State with only one great runner.  Invest in helping raise the level of performance of your teammates!

I will not take Varsity athletes to represent Great Oak High School who cannot meet these standards.  I will choose slower runners over faster ones when I feel they are more invested in the entire process, especially if some faster athletes are showing less dedication, commitment, respect, or investment in SPIRIT.

FanAngel - Here is a list of Runners who need to fix their name on their account. I’m listing what I see.  Please change it to show First and Last Names.

D. Trinidad
Madison H
Mikey T

Plus we don’t have all runners listed yet.  Monday afternoon, I will pull runners from the Big Ditch Roster who have not gotten their account completed.

When can a runner leave a XC Meet and is it OK for them to leave with a parent instead of going back on the bus?

ALL Runners are expected to stay for ALL races.  Bus riding is part of the team experience.  Parents can check their runners out, AFTER THE LAST RACE, in order to take their runner in their own personal vehicle instead of the bus.  Emergencies are the exception, but “EMERGENCY” is not to be used lightly.  Expect to provide an explanation if a runner needs to leave a Meet before the last race.   Checking a runner out requires a parent and the runner to come to me, together, after the last race to provide a physical signature.  

Donations - If you have not had a chance to donate your fair share donation of $200 for participating in Cross Country, please handle as soon as possible.  Checks can be made out to “GO PACK FOUNDATION” with XC in the memo line and checks can be brought to me at practice or given to one of our PSG officers.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Coach Draughon