Season preview: Ravenswood cross country teams are blessed with numbers in 2021

Mark Martin

As a veteran coach in a variety of sports, Bryan Canterbury realizes the importance of numbers.

And the man who is set to begin his 27th season guiding Ravenswood High School cross country is looking for big things from his teams this year.

Numbers have a lot to do with the excitement level.

“We are ready for the new season with a lot of enthusiasm,” he said. “The coaching staff is happy about the numbers in the program this year.”

Canterbury and third-year assistant Ben Nesselroad will be guiding both a full girls squad and a full boys team this season.

Besides having plenty of runners, there are those with loads of potential to excel on the various courses this year.

“We are excited for the season because this is a group of motivated athletes,” said Canterbury.

The girls team will consist of senior Lydia Alfred, juniors Sami Maxon and Olivia Long and sophomores Emily Wratchford, Hadleigh McGoskey, Brooke Meadows, Maci Mosser and Madisyn Whited; the freshmen class features McKenzie Nesselroad, Kadi Price, Brianna Satomayor and Zoie Meadows.

Wratchford and McGoskey earned All-Regional honors last year. Wratchford was First Team All-Little Kanawha Conference while McGoskey made Second Team.

Wratchford, McGoskey, Maxon, Meadows, Whited and Long all lettered.

“Last year the girls had a very successful season. We qualified for the state meet and finished 8th in Class A,” Canterbury said. “We were ranked No. 6 at the end of the season based on runner rankings. We never got the opportunity to run with all of our top runners due to injury. We lacked experience and our freshmen had to make the transition to high school running, which is always tough. Our girls team has a group of high-achieving athletes who excel in multiple sports.

“For the girls, Emily Wratchford and Hadleigh McGoskey had excellent first seasons.  They were consistently running with the top runners in the LKC and state all season long," Canterbury said. "They will not back down from a challenge and will only get better. Maci Mosser and Sami Maxson return from injury and will give us two more quality athletes who will be among the top Class A runners this season. Maci ran strong in her only race, while Sami ran the regional and states without top training. All four have All-LKC potential and should be ranked in the top 20.

“Brooke Meadows (who had a strong regional run), Madisyn Whited and Oliva Long return and they will only improve this season. Kadi Price, Kenzi Nesselroad, Briana Satomayor and Zoie Meadows will give us quality depth and a competitive practice group.”

All underclassmen make up the boys team in 2021.

Cade Curfman and Blair Anderson are juniors. Logan Alfred is the lone sophomore while Tucker Gorrell, Wyatt Nicholson and Bailey Postelwaite make up the ninth-grade class.  

Curfman and Alfred are returning letter winners.

Curfman was an All-Regional performer last season and garnered First Team All-LKC.

“Although the boys did not have a full team (last season), Cade Curfman had a big season,” said Canterbury, whose coaching career includes nine straight Class AA-A state championships in cross country and five Class AA-A girls track and field titles in the span of six years.

“He (Curfman) was strong all year and had a nice state meet race. He will lead our team this year as we strive to make it back to the state meet. Cade has put in the work this summer and is ready to challenge for high honors.

“Logan Alfred is much stronger and will be a big key this year. He was injured last year but has worked hard this summer.

“Tucker Gorrell, Bailey Postelwaite and Wyatt Nicholson move up from middle school.  Although it is a tough transition, they all have running experience and will all improve with training and racing. Blair Anderson returns after a year off and will give us another runner with a lot of upside.”

Ravenswood will open its season Aug. 21 at St. Marys.