By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Cross country, although a team sport, is very much an individual effort, and Eddie Swimmer, head coach of the Cherokee varsity and middle school teams, is optimistic about those efforts this season.
“I’m really impressed with my team,” he said during a practice on Wednesday, Aug. 13. “I see great potential in everyone that has come out. We just have to chip away at the rough edges, but we’ve got seventh graders that are coming out and looking good. We’ve got a full girls team so they should be competitive this year. I’m excited. Each year I think it is getting better and better.”
Swimmer said he is impressed with his team’s determination. “Once they get out there, they’ll run their hardest. They’ll compete.”
Speaking of competing, senior Kendall Toineeta is a competitor. A three-time state qualifier and Smoky Mountain Conference champion her freshman year, she is looking for a strong season and Swimmer couldn’t be prouder.
“Kendall is good at anything she does,” he said. “She’s laid back in her attitude, but once she gets on that track she lays it out there. She’s going to be doing great. I’m just anxious to see her. She is a true athlete and one to watch out for. Whoever she’s with, she’ll give them a good race.”
Toineeta, who has been running over the summer with some of her teammates to prepare for the season, commented, “My personal goal this year is to be All-State, and I think we can take the team to state.”
On the middle school side, Swimmer said Darius Lambert, who took second place at last year’s Smoky Mountain Conference middle school championships, is a rising star. “I have great hopes for him. Look out for him.”