Monday, October 19, 2015

States Week

Cross Country Athletes & Parents:
·         Congratulations to both the Boys & Girls on their SWC Championships! WOW! What a great couple of races—I don’t think I’ve ever seen two teams from one school do as well as you guys did last Saturday! And…the conference is bigger (10 total teams) with greater competition than it has ever been. That was awesome! Great execution of that 1st mile, and a great finish.
·         Please turn in uniforms to Room 404! Please wash your uniform and turn it in to Coach Rocco in room 404. Please place everything in a bag and label it with your name.
·         Starting next week, you need to take a break! One of the problems distance coaches have with good teams—and we have two GREAT teams—is getting those teams to rest. Rest is important! Take 3 weeks off of running, starting next week. No running! This is ‘Couch Potato’ time, where you have permission to be a lazy kid for three weeks. Eat what you want, play other sports, sit on the couch and watch television/play video games. Time to rest!
·         RUNNING WITH ROCCO (our off-season running program) starts the week of November 16th. If you are not involved in a winter sport, or if the winter sport you are involved in does not conflict with our off-season running, then you need to start running the week of November 16th. We will meet 3 – 4 days a week, after school, from 3 – 4 p.m. We will definitely be done by 4 p.m. We will also meet on some Saturdays and we’ll start advertising road races as well. Running Club starts in November and goes until the beginning of March, when Track & Field conditioning begins. It is important for runners to run in the off-season! Nothing crazy, but you want to get out there after your rest period. We’ll be running outside so dress for the weather! All updates of RUNNING WITH ROCCO will be on our team blog.
·         I’m updating the Cross Country bulletin board with our new individual and team records. I’ll be sending athletes updated Avon Lake Cross Country records, along with SWC history.
·         Thanks for a great season! There’s a lot of people to thank for this season:
1.       PARENTS – Thank you for all your support through the Friday Night Dinners, helping us out at our Fun Run, and taking all the pictures at meets (Matuszak & Jantzes in particular)! I tell teams at the beginning of the season: If we as coaches do a good job this season, you won’t want this season to end—you’ll want to keep running together forever. Already kids are upset the season is coming to end, and I’ve even had parents tell me the same thing. This has been another awesome season, and one of the central reasons is that it was a community event. Thanks for making it great!
2.       COACHES – No disrespect to any other teams out there, but we have the best staff! Coach Arebaugh could be a head coach in his own right (he already was), the kids love him, and he’s just a great source of knowledge. Coach Walters—she’s the brains (and the looks) behind the organization! And those videos were awesome! We deal a lot in the ‘memory’ business here, and Coach Walters was able to capture those great moments so we can all look back at what a great 2015 season it was. Thanks to the best staff!
3.       ATHLETES – As coaches, we try to set our expectations high for you guys, and you met or exceeded them every time. More important than just being a talented, hard-working, and great team, you guys did it the right way. I also tell teams in the summer that you will be spending the next 3 ½ months together, and, for some of you, you’ll be running for the next 6 years together. In that time, you’ll change from a group of strangers to a family. You guys really did that this season—you were definitely more than a team. The first thing we heard as coaches from other teams or parents wasn’t how good you were (although we did hear that a lot), but what nice kids you were. This happens every year—but this year we heard it on an almost weekly basis. As a former runner for Avon Lake, this makes me so proud. Avon Lake is a place we all call home, and it’s awesome to see our town represented by you guys. Thanks for a GREAT season, and GO AVON LAKE!
OHSAA Middle School Invitational:
·         Bus leaves TROY at 6:15 a.m.  Be there at 6 a.m., and be ready to sleep on the way down. We’re taking 2 buses!
·         We should return around 5:30 p.m. We plan on stopping for food on the way back home.
·         This meet will be held at:
Ohio University-Lancaster Campus
1570 Granville Pike
Lancaster, OH  43130
·         Weather looks good! Right now it looks like it will be 68 degrees. Still, dress in layers. If the weather forecast changes we’ll go over it with the team this week.
·         Bring a snack. We’re leaving early for this one, and you’ll want to eat a large snack prior to racing.
·         Bring extra food/water. I’ve got extra water that I’ll be bringing, but you’ll want to snack when we get there so bring some food and a sports drink!
·         Bring money! You might want to buy apparel when you get there, and we’ll be eating a late lunch on the way back.
·         Here’s who we’re running against:
·         Here’s Avon Lake’s roster—we can take 10 people on TEAM for this race (names are not in any particular order):
BOYS OPEN        11 a.m.
Sam Baugh
Owen Bornhorst
Austin Creighton
Kenny Davis
Chad Hargro
Dominic Houdeshell
Michael Knick
Clay Ledbetter
Jordan Matuszak
Brandon Nieding
Tyler Stepak
Carter Sutsko
Noah Volle
Seth Wanner
Mitch Wargo
Jackson Wiley
Eddie Wolski
GIRLS OPEN        11:30 a.m.
Abby Baird
Emma Bratton
Maddie Coleman
Audrey Dickens
Tomi Johnson
Jaryn Lindner
Camden Lockner
Mallory Menz
Alison Steele
BOYS TEAM        12:00 p.m.
Brandon Holton
Joey Carson
Michael Kuban
Ryan Keller
Billy Starr
Cole Sparker
Thomas Cline
Alex Folds
Andy Gruber
Mark Szabo
GIRLS TEAM       12:30 p.m.
                Maggie Jantz
                Sumaya Salem
                Emma Sherban
                Emily Presley
                Isabell Nagel-Russell
                Olivia Crimaldi
                Lily Stepak
                Ava Kramhoeller
                Mackenzie Roberts
                Clare Petkash

Sunday, October 11, 2015

SWC Week

PRACTICE FRIDAY-- Learwood  10:00am-11:30

A big THANK YOU to Mr. and Mrs. Jantz AND Mr. Matuszak for all the WONDERFUL pictures!!   

Here we go! This is the final race of the season. Let's get to work:
  • Please check Coach Rocco’s room for any missing items! At the end of our season we’re going to place all missing items in Learwood’s Lost & Found.
  • Parents, while this final race is centrally located, make sure to remind kids to stick together!
  • Time to get some rest! Eat healthy, drink a lot of water, stock up on sleep (9 hours, 15 minutes a night), and STRETCH before bed! Avoid soda, junk food, and limit sweets to one dessert a day! Remember, it’s not what you do Friday night, it’s what you do this whole week.
  • Parents: we've been very flexible with the athletes' sports schedules this season...we are going to ask that those other sports be flexible with us this week. We are tapering this week, and we need the kids to REST! We've been pushing them these last few weeks, and I know a lot of them are participating in multiple sports. We want them to peak at the right time, and that means they've got to rest this whole week. If you could adjust their sports' schedules this week, we would really appreciate it! 
  • Parents and athletes: typically athletes like to toilet paper my house my house the week of SWCs (it's tradition). Just remember: we love Coach Rocco and we would NOT want to do any damage to his home. Also, the tradition also stipulates that athletes meet the next day to clean up--don't forget that.
  • Bowling Reminder: after SWCs we meet at Spevock’s Bowling in Avon Lake. We’ll be bowling from 3:55 – 5:55 p.m. Make sure Coach Walters has your money by WEDNESDAY of this week! Cash only please in a sealed envelope with your name on it.  Mrs. Walters will NOT be at school on Thursday OR practice on Friday.  She is at the AMLE Conference in Columbus.  So it is VERY important you give your money to her on WEDNESDAY! Athletes, please bring your uniforms/jackets to bowling. The coaching staff will be collecting uniforms/jackets. 
  • State Meet Info: as of the time of this blog post, the state meet information on the OHSAA is not updated on their website. Apparently it will be updated this week. Once it is, we'll let you know! 
  • Parents: we’ll be updating Avon Lake’s Team Records & Individual Records. We’ll also post this on the blog after SWCs.
  • I’m including Avon Lake’s SWC History here. Take a look at what athletes have done over the last 25+ years!  Click here!
Southwestern Conference Championship
  • Bus leaves at Troy at 11:10 a.m. (be there at 11 a.m.).
  • We would like ALL athletes to ride the bus TO and FROM this meet! We would like the entire team to be present for the awards ceremony at SWCs! GO AVON LAKE!
  • Girls run at 12:30 p.m.
  • Boys run at 1 p.m.
  • Parents, there is an Elementary Race at 11:45 a.m. It's 800 meters and it's open to any young athlete in the Southwestern Conference (grades 1 - 6). If you want to pre-register a runner, please email Coach Rocco at If you don't pre-register, you can still register the day of the SWC Championship at a table by the starting line (we're including a course map here). 
  • SWC Awards Ceremony will be at 1:30 p.m. Top 7 runners (All-SWC) will be recognized, then Top 8-14 runners (2nd Team All-SWC) will be recognized, then the SWC schools will be recognized. The awards ceremony will be by the tennis courts.
  •  SWC apparel will be available! We pre-ordered but they may have extra apparel should you want to get something.
  • We’ll leave around 2:15ish.
  • Once we return to Avon Lake, go home, shower, then come bowl with your team (don’t forget your uniforms if you’re not running at the state meet). Bowling takes place from 3:55 – 5:55 p.m. at Spevock’s in Avon Lake.
  • Thanks for a great year
OHSAA Middle School Championship Meet
·         We will go over this early next week—we just got our confirmed race times and we’ll set everything up for those participating at the state-level!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Jack Wilhelm Week

Cross Country Athletes & Parents:

Here’s our weekly update:

·         We will go over who signed up for the OHSAA Middle School Meet this week! If you want to participate in the OHSAA Middle School Invitational, please sign-up with Coach Walters!
·         Time to eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and stock up on rest! Our hard workouts are over for the year. It’s time to rest, we are beginning to taper. Taper…this is one of the greatest words in an endurance athlete’s vocabulary. For this last week, avoid all soda, eat very healthy foods, drink plenty of water, get a LOT of sleep (middle schoolers need to average 9 hours 15 minutes of sleep a night), and STRETCH after practice, on Sunday, and before you go to bed each night. It’s not what you do the day before a race, it matters what you do the WEEK before a race!
·         Our final ‘Cheat Sheet’ of the year will be passed out at our final team meeting (Monday, October 12th).

Jack Wilhelm Information:

·         We will meet at DAIRY QUEEN parking lot at 8:15 a.m.
·         We will return to DAIRY QUEEN around 11:45ish, where we will get ice cream.
·         Athletes, the coaching staff cannot afford to buy you all ice cream (sorry), so make sure to bring money for your ice cream/lunch (this should be your last ‘garbage’ food you eat until SWCs).
·         Normal breakfast still applies, with a light snack both before & after the race. Bring water for both before and after the race, and don’t forget your sports drink!
·         Results will be posted on for this race!
·         This race is at LCCC. The same course map is used. We’ve got a link of it on the blog.
·          Here’s the schedule:

10:00 a.m.       ALL Girls                     
10:30 a.m.       ALL Boys


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

State Meet/Dairy Queen/ and BOWLING!

Important Upcoming Events not related to MEET DETAILS!

October 10: DAIRY QUEEN

Everyone gets dropped off at DAIRY QUEEN in the morning.  The buses will pick us up there! Time to get dropped off will be posted LATER!

After the meet, the buses will take us BACK TO DAIRY QUEEN! Athletes should bring cash to purchase their "healthy" meal!

Athletes need to be picked up by 1pm at DAIRY QUEEN!

October 17th: Cross Country Bowling Party

When: October 17th from 3:55-5:55 SHARP! SPEVOCKS needs us out of there by 6pm because of another bowling group.  Athletes need to be picked up at 5:55 SHARP!

Where: Spevocks

Why:  To celebrate the season!

What: Bowling, Pizza, and Soda will be provided.  If parents are interested in providing dessert (just an option--not expected) feel free to bring in some treats.

Cost:  $12.00 needs to be given to Mrs. Walters in a SEALED ENVELOPE with athlete's name on the envelope.  It must be CASH!  No Checks!  Exact amount please!!

October 24th: STATE MEET 

If you are interested in going to the STATE MEET (we will only be taking 20 girls and 20 boys and it will be based on PR TIMES) please fill out this form!

Students have to be LOGGED into THEIR student school gmail accounts to fill out the form!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Avon Lake Fun Run

Cross Country Athletes & Parents:
Here’s what’s going on this week:
·         Parents, THANK YOU for bringing the pizza to the Cloverleaf Invitational! That was awesome!
·         Lost & Found: we have missing items in our classrooms. Please stop by to claim your items! Any lost items, by the end of the season, will be donated to charity.
·         We are going to be registering our team for the OHSAA Middle School Invitational (State Meet) very soon. We are planning on taking the top 20 boys & 20 girls on our team (who are interested in going). Please let us know if you’re interested in participating in this meet! The meet will be held in Lancaster, Ohio, on Saturday, October 24th—athletes who will be competing at this meet will be practicing the week prior to this meet!
·         The end of the season is quickly approaching! With the end of our season soon upon us, the coaching staff is planning some fun activities that hopefully will promote team-building and an appreciation for the hard work put in this season! The next 2 weeks’ activities include:
Thursday, October 1st                       Avon Lake ‘Fun Run’
Saturday, October 10th                     Dairy Queen AFTER Jack Wilhelm Invitational (parents can pick up athletes from Avon Lake Dairy Queen)
Saturday, October 17th                     End-of-season Bowling Celebration (after SWCs)
Avon Lake Fun Run Information:
·         I reserved Kopf Reservation for this event—but there will still be other patrons of the park so runners will have to make sure they are aware of their surroundings when they’re running!
·         We will need a few volunteers to man the course so runners know exactly where they’re running. Our runners are very familiar with the course, but Amherst might need some help. I made a map and we’ll have our kids walk the course with them, but if you can help out at all, let us know! I’ll be getting to the high school early tomorrow (around 3 p.m.) if you would like to meet me there.
·         NO SPIKES! Make sure runners are wearing their ‘normal’ running shoes.
·         We got buses to transport our kids from Learwood to the high school, but we WILL NOT be returning to Learwood! Athletes will need to be picked up at the high school after the race!
·         We’re taking the day off on Friday, so make sure all runners get a 35 minute run in at some point this weekend!
Here’s the schedule:
4:20 - 8th grade girls
4:40 - 8th grade boys
5:00 - 7th grade girls
5:20 - 7th grade boys

Friday, September 25, 2015


Cross Country Athletes & Parents:

Here’s our 2nd update of the week:

·         Parents, we still have a surplus of paper plates, plastic cups, plastic silverware, napkins, and drinks for the dinners. Just stop by my room (404) to pick up what you need!
·         Lost & Found: we have missing items in our classrooms. Please stop by to claim your items! Any lost items, by the end of the season, will be donated to charity.
·         Just a heads-up…very soon we will need to know who is willing to go to the OHSAA Middle School Cross Country Championships. We’ll talk to the team about this but we need to know who can make this meet so we can take as many kids as we can, without leaving anybody out who would want to go!

·         Avon Lake Fun Run is set for Thursday, October 1st. This is a dual-meet with Amherst, an informal 1.8 – mile run and a tradition for these two SWC schools! We will need volunteers (not many) to help run this race, so if you are willing to help out, please let us know! Here’s the schedule:

7th Girls     4:30
7th Boys     4:45
8th Girls     5:00
8th Boys     5:15
·         The end of the season is quickly approaching! With the end of our season soon upon us, the coaching staff is planning some fun activities that hopefully will promote team-building and an appreciation for the hard work put in this season! The next 3 weeks’ activities include:
Thursday, October 1st                       Avon Lake ‘Fun Run’
Saturday, October 10th                     Dairy Queen AFTER Jack Wilhelm Invitational (parents can pick up athletes from Avon Lake Dairy Queen)
Saturday, October 17th                     End-of-season Bowling Celebration (after SWCs)
Cloverleaf Information:

·         We will meet at Troy at 6:15 a.m.
·         We should return around noon.
·         Here’s the course map (NOTE: this is a change from last year…again!):
·         Normal breakfast still applies, with a light snack both before & after the race. Bring water for both before and after the race, and don’t forget your sports drink!
·         Results will be on!
·         Weather looks great! This course is notorious for being rainy, wet, and muddy. But…this year looks nice, cool, and dry!
·         Parents, this race usually charges an admission fee.
·         Concessions and t-shirts will be available.
·         This race is held at Cloverleaf High School (8525 Friendsville Road, Lodi, OH 44254).
·         Lane assignments (and participating schools) can be found here:

·         Here’s the schedule:

9:00 a.m.         Girls Team
                        Maggie, Sumaya, Emily, Lily, Emma, Olivia, Isabell
9:20 a.m.         Girls Open
                        All other girls
9:45 a.m.         Boys Team
                        Brandon, Michael, Joey, Ryan, Billy, Cole, Liam
10:05 a.m.       Boys Open
                        All other boys

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sandusky and Cloverleaf

Cross Country Athletes & Parents:

Here’s our weekly update:

·         Avon was awesome! Congrats on two victories by both the boys and the girls!

·         The 1st Annual Avon Lake Fun Run is re-scheduled for Thursday, October 1st. We asked Amherst if they would be willing to move this meet up a week so we could have a meet that week (since Upper Sandusky was moved to tomorrow). We will need a few parent volunteers to help run this meet, but it should be really easy.

·         We will send out Cloverleaf information after our meet tomorrow!
Upper Sandusky Information:

·         First of all, we want to apologize for the timing of this meet. Originally, it was intended that this meet would be next week. But, we found out very recently of the change. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
·         Parents, we realize this race is far away, but we strategically tried to find a replacement meet for our previous one that has a flat, fast course for this particular week. Vermilion used to be the meet that met that criteria for us. Vermilion is no longer an option for us, and we’re not going back there.
·         We are leaving school early for this one! Students will be let out at 1:30 p.m., and we’re leaving Learwood at approximately 1:45 p.m.
·         We should return to Learwood between 8:30 – 8:45 p.m. Parents, we’ll make sure students are doing homework on the bus. Last year, we made every kid do his/her homework on the way out, so everything was completed prior to racing and we could enjoy the ride home!
·         This is an OPEN race! This race will determine what happens at Cloverleaf on Saturday.
·         Please pack a nice snack for this (crackers, banana, apple, water, sports drink), as you’ll want to eat prior to arriving to the meet and after your race. It will be a long day so plan accordingly!
·         Results will be on
·         Weather looks great! Stay hydrated for this!
·         There is no concession stand, but last year all runners got a free hot dog, potato chips, and water.
·         This race is held at:

Harrison – Smith Park
East Wyandot Avenue
Upper Sandusky, Ohio

·          Here’s the schedule:

5:00 p.m.         All Boys
5:30 p.m.         All Girls

Awards Presentation will be held after the Girls’ Race