Holyoke Cross Country is about “More than Just Running”


The Holyoke High Boys Cross Country team is currently running an undefeated season, (continued from last year), due to the success of great student athletes such as Donovan Kro ’20, Jalen Olivero ’19, Justin Kennedy ’20, Gabriel Diaz ’19, and Jack Shea ’20. These athletes and many others are lead by their amazing coach, Dave Reinhart, whose coaching and running prowess has allowed the team to take many league championships, achieve many placements in the top three Western Mass spots, and advance onto states for multiple years. 

However, the team is not often hallmarked in the halls for their record in the region, but rather for their constant comradery among their ranks. Living by the motto “More Than Just Running,” Holyoke Cross Country can better be described as a family than a team. Captains, Justin Kennedy ’20 and Donovan Kro ’20, do a lot to contribute to this team environment. The boys are lighthearted and outgoing, never ceasing to joke around with each other and poke fun at each other’s shortcomings. When they aren’t found running, they’re often found chanting “Mo Bamba” at maximum volume. This shows the team’s duality, as their stone-cold presence on the cross country course extremely contrasts their outgoing attitude elsewhere. “I didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose me,” says Jalen Olivero ’19.  While yes, the boys’ cross country team is filled with a bunch of jokesters, they get stuff done on and off the field, and another one of their mottoes, “Holyoke Tough” exemplifies this.

This attitude and familial environment definitely contribute to the team’s success. Knowing that the team is there for each and every one of their runners helps bring the whole team up. Comradery on the team breeds internal competition, planting an urge in each runner to outperform the next. This can even be seen in rising freshmen such as Bebo, who has risen through the ranks of the Holyoke team to become a vital part of the varsity squad.

The impressive performances of runners on the team prove that optimism, a good attitude, and some comradery are part of a recipe for success. What should be taken from the cross country team, is that the high school sport is an experience. No matter what sport a student athlete participates in, it is not only important to strive for individual and collective success, but to also collect memories with their teammates. A high school sport should be a familial experience, for this will be important to the team’s success and the memories any athlete will recall in their later years.