Lawrence Returns With Sights Set on Success and Season Bests

Matthew Lawrence ties his running shoes up and gets ready to put his best foot forward.

A fresh start is on the way for the boys cross country team this year. There are many returning faces and more new faces to the program.

“There are a lot of new faces to the team this year, which is unusual,” junior Walker Winkler said. “Although there are a number of new members of the team, the team gelled well since many of us were friends before joining the team.”

One of the returning faces is senior Matthew Lawrence.

Lawrence is coming back to the team after a year away from the sport.

“I didn’t run junior year, since I was taking a lot of time-consuming classes,” Lawrence said. “ I was also playing hockey, which took a lot more of my time. I didn’t play hockey this year so I could have more free time, as well as time to go out for cross country.”

After playing hockey for ten years, it was a hard choice for him to withdraw from the sport, but he believes that it will be worth it in the long run. Hockey requires a lot of mental toughness, but so does cross country.

Cross country is a sport that challenges one’s ability to stay competitive and on edge. This stress shows the athletes’ character through every up and down that they face.

“Matthew definitely brings a positive energy to the team,” senior Charlie Smith said. “He tends to stay fairly quiet but still leads by example. When he does talk, he isn’t complaining. He’s a very trustworthy guy on the team as well, which is why a lot of people look up to him even though he isn’t necessarily a vocal leader.”

Having an athlete on the team that sets a good example is a characteristic that all teams need. Even though Lawrence was not a part of the team last year, he shows his determination in a lot of different ways. Coming back from a year off is showing everyone on the team how badly he wants to come back stronger than ever.

“Missing a year of running is pretty detrimental to my stamina,” Lawrence said. “So I’m planning on working back up towards where I was prior to the break, and then exceeding that. It’s going to be difficult, but I’m up for it.”

Lawrence doesn’t back down from any challenge that comes his way. That is one of the personality traits that his teammates notice about him the most.

“I’m not a captain this year, but I’ll still play a leading role at most of the meets, as well as at practice,” Lawrence said.

It doesn’t matter if a person is captain or not, they can still be a leader. And that is exactly what he is.

With a fresh start for Lawrence, he wants to lead by example and not take anything for granted; he wants to make this season count.