LAKEVILLE, IN. – After nominations from fall head coaches, and an open vote on www.lavilleathletics.com, LaVille cross country runner Faith Rock and LaVille football player Riley Wagoner have been selected September Athlete of the Month.
Rock, a freshman, was the Lancers top female runner this fall. She excelled in the Hoosier North Athletic Conference Championships in Winamac, IN., placing in the top 20. Rock ran her personal best 24-minutes, 04-seconds for the 3.1-mile course, taking over three-and-a-half minutes off her early season time.
“This was my first year trying cross country,” said Rock. “But I’d say this season went quite smoothly. It was hard to adapt to long distance endurance after playing volleyball for three years instead of cross country.
“We didn’t have enough people for a full team,” continued Rock. “But we were still a close knit group. It is challenging when you are one of three people running for your school, but you start to fall into a rhythm.”
Though her best time was in the HNAC meet, Rock’s most memorable moment, “. . . was most definitely sectionals. You are running against much larger schools, with their best runners, at a course that is quite daunting. It was at Erskine golf course, and had almost zero flat land, with a huge hill to overcome at the finish. It was also muddy and flooded, but when it was over, I felt like it was all worth it.”
Rock was taken back by being nominated by Coach Ecker for the monthly honor.
“It was actually a big surprise,” said Rock. “This was my first year running, and as a freshmen, so I hadn’t even considered this possibility.
“Cross country is absolutely the most mental and painful sport I’ve participated in,” concluded Rock. “But I loved this season, and expect to do this the rest of my high school years.”
When asked to talk about Rock, LaVille cross country coach Erin Ecker described the freshman: “Faith is an exemplary specimen for sportsmanship. She is supportive to her teammates and encouraging to opponents as well. She is an excellent leader.”
Wagoner, a senior, plays wing back and linebacker on the 6-3 LaVille football team. Wagoner is one of the captains of football team and leads the team with 80 tackles. He also averages 3.5 yards per carry on offense and has scored three touchdowns.
“Our season has gone very well so far,” said the 5-f005-8, 180-pound senior. ” Since the beginning of the season, we have worked hard to grow as a team. Our mindset is to get better each week to reach and exceed our potential as a team.
“It means a lot to nominated by coach and then selected as Athlete of the month,” concluded Wagoner. “I appreciate all the support from my classmates, teammates and the community.”
When asked to talk about Wagoner’s effort, LaVille coach Will Hostrawser said: “He leads by example and leaves it all on the field every single day.”