Coach's Corner

The Class of 2020
I work with the Class of 2020. I have some senior athletes that after one week of practice school and sports got shut down. They were no longer able to be together as a team. The athletes were not able to compete in track meets. Like so many others they lost prom and graduation. They were forced to train virtually. The seniors continued to train knowing that there would be no State Meet – no competitions for that matter. They were not even allowed on their own high school track. Despite all that they stuck with the plan and continued to train. The athletes had virtual time trials every once in a while to try to gauge fitness and have something to look forward to. They would do the time trials on parks, stretches of road, or maybe find a track in a neighboring town that allowed public access. No one would be there to cheer. No family. No friends. Yet many of these athletes posted PRs (Personal Records). Meaning that they beat the fastest time they had ever run before in that distance. Despite all that was taken away and all that these young men and women have had to endure they persevered, tested themselves, and broke barriers. They bettered themselves quietly, no fanfare, no crowd. The Class of 2020 it has been an honor.

MMSD will have tighter restrictions than the County so I will continue to give training information out to our Cross Country runners through our ELITE Google Classroom. Athletes who did not do track last spring or are new to the program will want to contact me via email so I can add you to our ELITE platform. This will give the athlete everything they will need to know about how they will want to train this summer in preparations for Cross Country in the fall.
Meanwhile, enjoy the sunshine and stay safe.

Opening up.
Slightly encouraging that we are opening up in Dane County a little more. And Dane County has tighter restrictions than the rest of the state. So next week they are allowing smaller groups of 25 to meet outside. Also some gyms are opening at half capacity...even though we won't be in gyms for the summer but it is nice to see a little normalcy. If anyone has questions in this constantly changing landscape don't hesitate to email me. New runners should definitely email me to start laying out how you would want to proceed this summer. Stay well.

Varsity Lockers
The week of June 8th the athletic department plans to open up lockerroom so kids can get their stuff. More information is coming and when it does I will certainly post it her and ELITE for the boys. Hope everyone is doing well.

If you are like me that is what you are feeling. We had a group of guys that were ready for this season. They trained hard and have continued to train hard this whole time. It is such a testament to what we have. I am so thankful. This week I am finishing up printing a relief print for all our seniors. I will get it delivered to them in the coming days. It is just a little gesture that I want to do in order to show them how much we appreciate their efforts. Meanwhile, as we wind down the season and cross our fingers for the fall I want us to all pause and give our seniors a hug. They will be missed.

Cross Schedule
An updated version of our 2020 Cross Country Schedule is up no the website. I had a bunch of administrative work for CC that needed to be done so I thought I would post this early just for something to look forward to. Again, I am so proud of our guys (especially our Seniors) who have continued to train and show such immense dedication. It is an honor working with such a great crew

Spring Sports over
For those of you who are not aware the WIAA has cancelled all Spring Sports. This is a heartbreaker to LDC and LTF!! Also, it is particularly hard on our Seniors. We had a few guys that have really invested a lot of time and were ready to roll. We will attempt to gather ourselves and figure out where to go from here. Meanwhile, LDC will continue to train and focus on our next opportunity.

The Governor, as expected, extended the Stay At Home recommendation. Thus school will not resume for the 2019-20 school year. The Big 8 has cancelled all competition and the WIAA will probably issue the same stance pretty soon. I would like to take a moment to honor our LDC Seniors. We have a few that dedicated and amazing amount of time and work. They are fit and ready to roll. If we had the State Meet tomorrow I have a few guys that would be ready. That is saying something. We will continue to work. We will 'meet' virtually and figure out some next steps but I do what to acknowledge those seniors that have been so diligent this year. Underclassmen remember you have the benefit of further seasons so make the most of those Seniors no matter what you will always be LDC and keep up the good work.

Working it
The team is still working hard individually. They have tried to be as dedicated in the plan as much as one could ask during these trying times. Keep in mind that it is the District expectation that athletes not use facilities and or equipment.

Right now the BIG 8 says it plans on holding, at the very least, at BIG 8 conference meet in early or mid May if this pandemic gets under control. They may change and push back or cancel of course but at least as of now there is a glimmer of hope. So keep training.

Season Suspended
Until April 6th our season has been suspended. School is not in session and we will not hold organized practice. I will post workouts for kids to follow but until school resumes we can not practice as a team. If you have questions let me know.

Yes, this is uncharted waters!! To say the least. We continue to follow District and WIAA mandates. As of now the indoor meets have been cancelled. Practices because they are 'small gatherings' have been permitted. However, as we all know things are changing by the minute. I will try to let folks know if I hear anything further. Meanwhile yes this page can certainly be intended for the spring season for girls distance and boys distance!! It has been fun to have both programs learn from one another. They have been working hard. Certainly email me for boys questions and Coach Rhonda for girls questions (

Getting it going
OK. We are getting things going. Just as an aside yes we have had some major shifts this year. As Coach Nichols continues to coach our awesome boys team. Coach Rhonda threw in her hat and is coaching the awesome girls distance team. So parents of girls you may reach out to Coach Rhonda with anything that you need at:

Meanwhile, the girls will be doing some training with the boys when appropriate. However, questions and stuff regarding the girls will go through Coach Rhonda. Coach Nichols will be working closely with her and the girls team to make this transition awesome.

Monday It Starts!!
Start your engines!! Track starts Monday!! Of course all parts of Athletic Sign Up have to be completed. Then on Monday make sure we have good running shoes and weather to run outside. We will be outside running everyday. Looks like the first week will be pretty decent....considering. Get Pumped!!

One Week left
Last week before Track Starts. Blue slips this year are not handed out. Student Athletes and Parents have on line components to fill out. If one goes to the LaFollette Athletic page and it will direct you where to go. Also, all the information is in the athletic office. There will be a live document that coaches will get that will tell us what kids have completed the forms. Meanwhile get those running shoes and get ready for the fun to start.

Season is close
Apparently there is a new system and most of the Athlete registration is going to be done on line. Athletes will not be getting Blue Slips but will be on a live document that Coaches will be able to view. Athletes will have to be on the list in order to practice the first day. Please touch base with the Athletic Office for details.

Saucony Spike Night
Thursday March 12 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm Movin Shoes will hold Saucony Spike Night. This is an excellent opportunity to get spikes and competition field event shoes before the start of the competitive season. There will be great deals on spikes from all brands, additional discounts on clothing and accessories, as well as gifts from Saucony with the purchase of Saucony spikes. In addition there will be drawings for free stuff with the purchase of any spikes (including the chance for your athletes to get their spikes for free). Athletes will not be limited to Saucony spikes.

Month of February
One full month before the start of Track!!! Start thinking about shoe status. Do we need new trainers before the start of track? Once we get done with February track will be right around the corner!! Time to get pumped.

Updated Track Schedule
The Track Schedule is starting to get fleshed out. The Ripon Meet is new to the schedule. That will most likely be a JV meet for our LDC JV guys. Some of the more experienced runners will train through that meet.

Track Schedule
The rough Track Schedule is up on the Track Page. It is of course subject to change but it will give those interested a sense of what our season looks like for planning.

Winter Running.
Winter Running is now in full swing. Boys meet outside the boys locker room and they are out the door by 4pm. If anyone has a question related to the schedule feel free to contact Coach Nichols or one of the Senior Leaders.

I wanted to thank everyone who helped put the banquet on. It was a great success. Parents email me and let me know about what you thought about the food. It seemed like everything was good and I want to keep a good standard so if you have some thoughts let me know. Otherwise, it was a great end to an excellent season. Special thanks to the Wolfe's for the string of years that they did the Video. Rumor has it the Wests may be the heir apparent -- so exciting.

Banquet Tonight
Tonight we have our season ending Banquet!! If athletes and guests arrive around 5:15 we will eat around 5:30!!! Should be a great time. It will be great to see everyone.

Tough week
It was a tough week for Lancers leading up to the State Meet and it was an even tough State Meet. The #3 ranked Lancers struggled to 11th place on a beautiful snowy day. The boys had a great year but this past Saturday certainly was not their day. Karl finished as the first Lancer and over all had a pretty good State Meet. However, as a team it just wasn't there. Nevertheless, now we must celebrate the season as a whole.

The Banquet is in a week. November 12th - this will give us a chance to celebrate the strong year the boys had and put the 2019 season to bed.

The boys will leave for State on Friday 9:30am from LaFollette and head up North. They are loose and ready to roll. The weather could be chilly so athletes will want to make sure that they are prepared.

State Send Off Breakfast
The Athletic Department is hosting a State Send Off Breakfast this Thursday from 7:15 to 8:00 in Teacher's Lounge. I have been told to let parents, family and fans know so they are welcome to join the LHS Athletic Department and Boys Cross Country Teams this Thursday. A great chance to celebrate their accomplishments.

Pre Order State Shirts
You can Pre-Order State Shirts. Information is linked on LDC State Page also in E3. The advantage of preorder is you get color and size you want. There is a wider range than what will be at the meet. For a little more $$ you can have the shirts shipped to you. If you pre order you can pick shirt up at MADA sports trailer at Ridges.

Spectator and Parking information
Spectator and Parking information is linked up to the the LDC State Page. Make your plans now to make some noise for the Lancers!!!

Time Schedule
The Race Schedule is posted on our State Page. Also, early this week a packet will be heading home with more information related to the State Meet for the participants. While a spectator info packet will be in the Athletic Office early this week.

Sectional Champs!!!
The Lancers won a hard fought battle this afternoon to qualify for the State Meet. This makes it 12 times in the last 15 years!! The Lancer Distance Crew got back on track with very hard running: Chris J, Karl O, Christian, Parker and Denzel were our scorers on this cool blustery day. They won the Sectional Championship!! LDC will now turn their sites to STATE!!

There are 12-14 teams in each Section that race each other. The top 2 teams qualify for state. After taking out the top two teams the next 5 individuals not on those teams qualify for the State Meet. Saturday the Lancer Distance Crew will attempt to qualify for the State Meet as a team. The race is at Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield and hosted by Kettle Moraine High School. The boys race goes off at 11:45am. Come cheer the boys on!!!!

Blue Jacket
A think Blue Jacket was found at the tent site from Conference this weekend. It seems less likely to be an athletes jacket and more likely a parents or fans. So if you lost a jacket just email Coach Nichols and we will see if we can find it's rightful owner.

JV athletes should be bringing uniforms to Coach Nichols in a bag Today or Tomorrow. He will check in all the pieces. Also, tomorrow at 3:45 in E3 we will have a JV close out meeting.

Again, Sectionals are this Saturday at Naga-Waukee Park we would love to have our JV guys out there making some noise for the Varsity guys as they attempt to qualify for the State Meet.

BIG 8 Conference
The boys were involved in a nail biter. The Lancers got edged by Middleton 4 points!!! This is only the Lancers second loss of the season. Considering that Middleton was the gold standard coming into the season and no one picked the Lancers as being a factor the season so far has been pretty extraordinary. However, it was a tough loss because the Lancers were close. The boys will go back to work and attempt to qualify for the State Meet at the end of the week!!

Team Dinners
Want to thank all the Families who (and will) host these Team Dinners. This adds to the awesome fabric of The Lancer Distance Crew. I know the guys look forward to it and it really helps build some team camaraderie. Such a great thing. THANK YOU.

Great week
LDC is having a great week of practice. We are collecting Tuesday Reports, Banquet $$ is in, and training is rocking. The squad looks great and spirits are high. JV will have a meeting on Tuesday next week after Conference (15min or so). Reminder to parents of JV athletes....we will be collecting uniforms in a paper bag Monday or Tuesday of next week. Athletes are responsible for their clothing and the numbers checked out to them. Please if you athlete ends up with two of something put that in the bag too because that is checked out to another teammate.

LDC continues their winning ways by bringing the City Trophy back to the Eastside. The Lancers won the City Meet last night in a windy, cold, and muddy course. Biscuit and Denzel had particularly strong races to help propel the team to victory. JV ran exceptional well against two very large programs. Along with our customary top 3 in JV - Gabino and Seb really closed the gap. Results are posted on the City Page.

Reminder: we still need some banquet $$. Please get that to Coach Monday. Monday we are spiking it up. It will be a slightly shorter practice for JV on Monday.

Dressed up
Guys are dressed up and ready to go. It is going to be a fun sloppy course for City with all this rain. Keep in mind that they may combine races - Varsity and JV. If that is done JV will be earlier than previously scheduled. If one is there by 4 then there should be no worries.

Meanwhile, I still need $$ and forms from a handful of families. You can give me the $$ and forms at the meet today. Knowing that some of the forms didn't make it home until later in the week if one must hand it in on Monday just let me know at City. No worries.

#2 in the State
After the Stoughton Meet the Lancers climbed to #2 in the state behind Stevens Point. It has been an amazing season thus far. Starting off with a big win at Verona LDC has been rolling ever since. The guys are feeling great and motivated to keep rolling in the Championship part of the season.

Meanwhile, get those banquet forms in by City please. Friday after City we will be headed to Pizza Oven for a all you can eat experience.

City Races this Friday.
The boys will be getting out of class during 7th hour so they will want to get things prepared academically in those classes. Right now the races are: Boys Varsity 4pm and Boys JV at 5:10. Depending on the rain and the condition of the course there is a possibility of combining the races into one if the course is in poor shape. So spectators should be prepared to be there at 4pm if they want to ensure seeing there child race. The decision to combine the race will be a 'game day' decision. Hope this helps with organizing your week.

Ok with Homecoming week this week it is a bit crazy. First, Wednesday there is no JV practice. Second, the banquet forms for the end of the season banquet went out to the boys and we will need those back bay City with the $$. We will meet at Pizza Oven for our pizza party after City - all you can eat for the boys - on coach. Third, Saturday there is no JV practice and the varsity boys will meet at the tree at 8am that day. Lastly, Monday boys will want to bring spikes to practice and meet on the track.

The #1 ranked team and #2 ranked team were at Stoughton for the #3 Ranked Lancers to race. It was a barn burner. The Lancers were able to get #2 ranked Middleton but fell short of the #1 ranked team by just a touch. It was a great effort. The Lancers were strong up front. Christian, Chris and Parker had excellent races. The Lancers were now set their sites on the City Championship on Friday!! This meet will be held at Lake Farm Park. Results from Stoughton are linked on the Stoughton Page.

Race Schedules
Race Schedules are up for City and Conference. The Lancers are busy working hard and dodging this swampy weather. This weekend we will be racing at Stoughton. Keep your fingers cross for a slightly drier version come Saturday.

The race schedule for the Stoughton Invitational is on the Stoughton Page. Come cheer the Lancers on this Saturday as LDC takes on #2 ranked Stevens Point. Having some Lancer Fans cheering on the guys would be greatly appreciated.

Midwest Victory
LDC ran a solid race after a strong week of training. The 3rd Ranked Lancers battled with 4th Ranked Green Bay Preble and 5th Ranked Arrowhead. It was a tight race. The guys felt good and controlled. Results are posted on the Midwest Page. Thanks for all that made the trip to cheer on the Lancers.

Art Show
You are all welcome to come to Coach Nichols' Art Exhibition tonight at the LaFollette Art Gallery. It is from 6-7:30. I will be showing a bunch of prints that I have made illustrating the book I wrote a couple years back. Also, I am having a free raffle where we are raffling off one of my prints that night. Come on down if you have time. I would love to see you.

Yes!! Those of you starting to check IC and making sure that when your athlete is absent for a class you are getting it excused is essential. We have really cleaned up the Boys CC Attendance Tracker...thank you. Please keep that up through out the school year. It is time consuming chasing down kids and getting attendances cleared before the weeks competition.

Getting the IC app and make sure you are monitoring your athletes grades and attendance is a great way to be connected to their academic growth. Students who miss school have to get them excused by guardian. There is a new attendance tracker for coaches and right now we a couple athletes on it. That means they have unexcused absences on their record (don't worry about Tuesday's mess - we fixed that). If it isn't cleared in a few days after the tracker puts it up I have to sit them. So please be checking your child's attendance. If you have any questions let me know. Thanks a ton.

Coach Nichols wrote a book. The link is on the Home Page!! You can get the digital version for less than $3 and the real book for $9 on Amazon. If you end up reading it let him know what you think. Runners will certainly like the running chapters. I also have a few car for $10.

Glacial Drumlin Trail Directions
Take Cottage Grove Rd. away from city going toward Cottage Grove. You will enter the village of Cottage Grove. The Piggly Wiggly on your left. Past McDonalds on your left. When you get to County Road N hang a right. Follow Country Road N over the railroad tracks and to the left is a plaza with a clock tower and the entrance of the Glacial Drumlin Trailhead. We will meet by the start of the trail.