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Emmaus boys XC team hopes discipline pays off

The Emmaus boys cross country team has a few goals as the 2020 season starts, but the first goal is safety.

“We have had tremendous support of our athletes, parents and administration throughout all of these changes,” said head coach Kelly Bracetty. “This has really helped us implement new, safer routines at practices.”

The coach has implemented some new changes to the team’s practices to combat the spread of COVID-19. Each athlete is screened and their temperatures are checked before practice.

In addition, athletes are wearing masks, social distancing and are being divided into small pods of four or five.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is the discipline and focus of our athletes,” said the coach. “You can look at any pod at any give time and they are all on the same page while doing their drills, stretches or core work.”

The boys team has remained focused and resilient during an offseason like no other. Because of that dedication, the boys squad is in good shape for the start of the season.

The East Penn Conference schedule, which has recently come out, features all 18 schools split into three groups of six teams rather than one group of 18. Bracetty hopes the boys will have five regular season meets this season.

The Green Hornets have some talented runners returning for the fall campaign.

Senior Keshav Shankar once again leads the way for Emmaus. The senior qualified for state competition last year, and has been a tenacious runner throughout his career. He is joined by Geoffery Kleinberg, Cameron Carter, Dominic Nunez, Matt Norton and Sam Dalton closely behind.

Two newcomers that already fit into that top pack and will play a key role for Bracetty’s boys squad this year will be Ethan Strezempak and Nic Buonanno.

“Beyond our team goal of getting to the starting line, I’d like to see the boys tap into their potential and improve their overall team record this year,” the coach said when asked about the boys’ agenda for 2020.

Keshav Shankar returns as the Hornets' top boys runner this season. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ