High Hopes for Young MHS Boys Cross Country Squad
By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · September 22, 2016
After failing to win a dual meet two years ago and earning three victories in 2015, Milford High School boys' cross country coach John Vanderkeyl has his sights set on contending for a league title this year with a young but experienced squad returning this fall. [back]
"I think we have a chance to win the league, and that would be awesome given where we were a couple of years ago," Vanderkeyl said. Leading the way for the Scarlet Hawks this season is junior Jack Kalil, who for the third straight season is expected to be the team's top runner.
"I am not even sure what the ceiling is for him," Vanderkeyl said. "I am not sure I've had anyone as good as him in my years coaching track and cross country. "
Kalil qualified for the state meet last fall, something his coach said was a bit of a surprise. This season, the expectation is that he will be back in the final meet and Vanderkeyl said he will plan Kalil's season to get him ready to peak at the right time.
Senior captain Jared Luce and junior Nick Carey are also expected to be among the team's top finishers this fall. Vanderkeyl heaped praise on both, calling Luce one of the hardest working runners he has come across in his coaching career and labeling Carey the team's "unsung hero," pointing to his consistency and ability to help MHS win meets.
Sophomores Chris Berthrong and Anthony DiStauro and freshman Max Manor round out a strong core for Milford this fall. Vanderkeyl said the competition among some of his younger runners has served to motivate the entire team to compete against each other in practices and be better prepared for Hockomock League competition.
Milford put together a strong performance at the season-opening league jamboree and earned a win over Stoughton in the first dual meet of the year. Vanderkeyl said the team can contend for the championship in the Davenport Division, pointing to an October 18 showdown against Sharon as perhaps the biggest test of the dual meet season. Milford is shooting to finish somewhere in the top half of the field when the entire league competes together on October 29.