Coach Sirl Wright and his cross-country athletes finally got their wishes granted.
Three years ago, for reasons unknown to Coach Sirl Wright and his runners, the Crossett School District decided to put a halt on the cross- country program.
“They gave me a non-committal answer as to why we were discontinuing the program,” Wright said.
This year, along with his assistant coach, Genaro Camarillo, Wright succeeded in bringing the sport back to CHS.
“I just kept pushing for it,” he said. “I pushed for it the year they took it away, and I pushed for it until they decided to bring it back.”
Wright said he had a group of runners who stuck with him even though cross-country wasn’t a school sport anymore.
“I took them to 5ks and we just sort of went out on our own to run,” he said.
Bryan Caldwell, a 2016 graduate of CHS, and incoming senior Orlando Mondragon, were two of the runners who continued to run 5ks with Coach Wright even though it was no longer school affiliated.
“I like running,” Mondragon said. “It’s fun and a stress reliever so I wanted to keep on running even if it wasn’t for school.”
Mondragon won several running events during the time that he was simply running for fun. Last year, he placed first in the Ashley County Medical Center’s Color Run and second in the Glow Run hosted by the CHS cheerleaders and Eaglettes. They competed in several other races, including in Monroe and Little Rock.
Wright said his goal this year is to make this an introductory year or a teaching year.