Titans Light Up the Course


Ryan MacReynolds, Sports Writer

On Friday night, a night synonymous with high school football in the fall, a different version of Friday Night Lights will be on display in Kernersville. The annual ‘Friday Night Lights Cross Country Festival’ will take place tonight at Ivey Redmon Sports Park and will feature tons of the top boys and girls cross country teams from around the state and beyond, including the Titans squad.
Rather than the usual Saturday morning races that they are accustomed to, this is a fun alternative where the entire 5K course will be lit by bright, festive lights and the championship races will not begin until after 9p.m., a far cry from the usual 8a.m. starts on Saturdays. “It’s such a different atmosphere and environment; there’s thousands more people than your normal regular meet, and the lights add to the adrenaline rush of the event,” said junior runner Colby Groce.
The Titans are beginning to make their way into the season, this being only their second 5k after starting with some two mile races, they will have the advantage of racing on familiar grounds as Ivey Redmon is the sight of most of their regular season meets as well as the state championship, regional championship, and conference championship races later in the season. “The advantage is that you know exactly where the course gets hard and you are able to mentally prepare for it,” said senior runner Sophie Cowart. In that sense the Titans believe they have a distinct advantage over the teams racing at Ivey Redmon for the first time. Despite being early in the season, this meet has been known to have a championship-like atmosphere thanks to the combination of thousands of spectators, the beautiful course set-up, and the multitude of high level competition that will be featured in the varsity races, girls set to begin at 9:10pm and the boys a half hour later at 9:40. “The atmosphere is just electric and the added factor of darkness forces you to tap into all of your body’s senses,” said senior runner Brandt Doty.
Preparation for this race has been business as usual according to Coach Newsome, in charge of both the boys and the girls teams.
“We’ve really started to hammer it in practice, I was pleasantly surprised by the results last week given that it was our first 5K of the season, so I think there’s a real possibility that both our boys and girls teams come out with a top ten finish,” Newsome said. There’s no doubt that this is a very special event and at least tonight there is a special literal meaning to ‘Friday Night Lights’.