Coach's Corner

On a picture perfect day we had too many PRs to count!! It was a very strong day for LDC. Chris J broke a huge barrier by breaking the 16min barrier as a Junior. Nick N. and Denzel battled like varsity guys and had a huge PR. The Frosh/Soph race was fun with Christian and Mikey toward the front and Donte and P. Noffke rocking 18 low. The Jun/Sen race did not disappoint either. It was over all a great race where we saw some growth for some Lancers as we slowly start to point toward the end of the season. Keep rolling fellas.

Our practice was cut short because of a Lockdown situation due to a shooting on the Metro Bus. The guys did a good job at following directions and getting to the secure location. Our team was scattered across the golf course so it took a bit to round up everyone and get them into the school building. Once there they were patient and cooperative. We are glad everyone is safe and we will continue to have practice tomorrow in order to get ready for Saturday's meet. If anyone needs something let me know.

Rest of Week
With yesterday's lame cancelation due to NO RAIN and NO STORM we will start focusing on Midwest this Saturday. This is the biggest invite we go to with over 40 teams some coming from as far as Texas. Parking is tight so give yourself enough time. The course has changed dramatically due to flooding and for spectators it becomes a whole lot more friendly as it will be a THREE lap course.

The Grade Level Challenge meet in Verona is cancelled. It may be rescheduled in the future but as of now there is no meet today. There will be ONLY Varsity practice. JV guys may head home directly after school. Those JV guys who helped perfect score the Waukesha Meet last Saturday -- practice today is optional for you.

Reminder today is a teamwear day. Also, some have asked because of the information on PTtiming....the meet is at Verona High School. That is where we had our very first meet. It should be a fun one where scoring for the Grade Level Challenge is very different.

The Waukesha CC Festival was a big success for LDC. The JV once again dominated. This time perfect scoring the meet by going 1-5 (15points). Denzel, Erik, Brevan, Donte, and Parker rocked the front of the race the second half. The varsity also won while simultaneously working on some training skills. It was a great day.

Monday we will get ready for Tuesday's Grade Level Challenge at Verona. We also will have pizza after practice in E3!! This week is going to be a lot of racing. The team will go with teamwear on Tuesday and dress up on Friday.

Choco Milk
Thanks to the Hellroods for stepping in for the Niells in doing Choco. Milk for us yesterday. That is greatly appreciated. Mrs. Hellrood braved the mosquitoes for us. Along the same lines...spectators should bring their bug spray to Minooka if it is anything like it is here. Minooka has lots of trees and the boys are finding out that the mosquitoes are bad at some of the parks we go to.

Also, we will be dressing up and checking in on Thursday so we are hoping that some of the Freshman who may have been unprepared are starting to get better at dressing up this week. Let me know if anyone needs help.

Parking at Minooka Park this Saturday is $5. I believe this is a State or County Park of some sort and they charge parking. So hopefully this will help with parent and spectator planning.

Thanks to all who helped out and joined us at the Brat Sale!! It was a huge success. Not only was it a great time to support LDC but it was a great time to catch up with the LDC community.

Reminder: this Saturday we have Waukesha and TUESDAY (which will come quick) we turn around and have the GradeLevel Challenge at Verona. This meet is run where each runner is scored against just those in their grade. It is pretty fun and a little change to the current format.

The Blackhawk Invite was a strong effort for LDC. The JV group got everyone fired up with an awesome 1,2,3, and 5!! Mikey, Erik, Brevan, and Frosh Parker really put on a show. It was an excellent start to the morning. Varsity might not have done it in the same dramatic fashion they did have a strong win. Chris J, Nick, Karl, Bryce, and Christian had a 38 second spread. Nice pack running. We now set our sites to the Waukesha CC Festival next Saturday.

Today we enjoyed the sunshine and visited at our Annual Brat Sale. Thanks for all that volunteered their time.

Dress Up
Due to the short week Friday came a little quicker than expected. Now that we are in school. Friday's before Saturday Races the team (all teams dress up for competition)dresses up and checks in to Coach Nichols. Dress shoes, dress shirt, tie, and dress pants. This Friday because of short notice we might be a little less than stellar but by next week we hope to be hitting all cylindars.

Meanwhile, we get up REAL early tomorrow for another chance to line up against some strong teams. Our guys are looking forward to it. We are looking for some major growth.

The Brat Sale is this Sunday!! I know parents have been working hard to get that going so please participate as much as you are able. The brats are great and it is usually a fun day for LDC parents, alumni, and athletes. Look forward to seeing some of you there.

Guys should have combo locks on lockers and now school is in full swing. Practice after school will start at 4pm. Morning Ice is in full swing. Now we will start promoting working hard in class, then practice, then homework and rest, nutrition, and hydration. Not as much downtime now that school is going so we must be diligent and economical with our time.

Blackhawk Route
When driving to the meet this Saturday keep in mind that spectators will need to be aware of some road closures on the way out to Spring Green. At this point HWY 14 has a bridge that is closed near Black Earth.

Race Schedule is up on Blackhawk Page.

Verona Invite
We learned a lot from our first meet of the season. The JV guys really learned a lot about racing. Some of the new guys were able to see what this CC thing is all about. I think many of them surprised themselves. Some of the returners really raced hard. Wynnton and Brevan medaled for the first time. Varsity looked a bit rusty but it was a decent start and lets the guys know we have some growing to do this season if they hope to accomplish their goals. Results are linked to our VERONA PAGE.

For new parents usually in these situations with T-storms scattered we head to the meet as planned and the officials will start making decisions as to how if at all the weather will impact the meet. Once we know if the meet will impact the race your athlete will know and surely communicate out to their guardian.

Meet Preparation.
When athletes get on the bus they want to have already make sure that they have their uniform and spikes. Those are the essentials. However, it would be wise after you know that you have that taken care of to account for possible weather conditions. Heat, rain or whatever. Tomorrow might be wet so dress accordingly. Bring extra pairs of socks. Put some dry clothes in plastic bags in your duffel bag. We do have a nice big tent to stay under but it is good to take extra precaution of your personal items. Meets will get delayed only for lightnening. Heavy rain is nothing for cross country runners -- in fact it is a proven fact that cross country boys enjoy running in mud.

Getting ready
We are getting ready for the Verona Invite Saturday where athletes will need to be on the bus at 6:35. Reminder that Monday (Labor Day) is a Varsity Only Practice.

Also, after practice today the Hellrood's will be having a team dinner. Please make that event if at all possible. We love to have as many team members as possible.

In order to make sure we didn't get caught in a lightening storm (which never hit us until well after practice) we had an abbreviated practice close to campus and checked out uniforms. For new parents: Uniforms are checked out to each athlete. They are responsible to hand back the 3-4 pieces that were checked out to them at the end of the year. They will be charged if they lose any of the pieces. Keep in mind that they are responsible for the number that they checked out. Jackets, for example, often times get mixed up so they will want to keep track of their own stuff.

I also checked out some spikes for those that needed them.

We are getting our house in order for Verona.

Labor Day
Labor Day, next Monday, will be a Varsity only practice. So that practice will be for only athletes who broke 12min for the Time Trial last week. The rest of you will have the day off and will join us Tuesday at 4pm.

Race Schedule is up on the Verona Page. Let's get fired up for our first race!!!

So just to help out new parents in understanding the sport and the website. The Schedule Page has the list of all the meets with bus times and dates. That is up-to-date unless things change. Meanwhile, one has the ability to click on each meet from the drop down option. That is not the MEET schedule but rather the RACE schedule. Keep in mind we don't get the race schedule until the week before usually and as soon as I get it I post it. You will know it is current because it will read 2018 rather than 2017. I keep last years results up until the new ones replace it because runners like to check it out. I hope this helps. Again, you can always email me with questions or ask veteran parents along the way.

Extra Tshirts
I have given out the free T-shirts to the boys. I do have extras for parents and alumni. $10. Send cash unless you want the LaFollette Cross Country Check to be cashed toward the end of the season.

Parents must email Coach Nichols when attempting to excuse athletes from practice. Please try to do this in advance. Athletes are not to try and excuse themselves. Keep in mind that poor attendance can lead to sitting meets and ultimately leaving the team. Excusable reasons are things like Ortho Appointments, extreme sickness, and weddings for example. Things that are not excusable are being tired, sore and neighbors birthday party. We understand that there is a learning curve for new parents and athletes when joining a high school sport for the first time. Understanding the level of commitment and dedication is important to understand as we move forward. Keep in mind that our veterans are functioning and expect all team members to function at the highest level possible. We want everyone ALL IN for the 12 weeks we are rocking and rolling. So if you have any questions please feel free to contact Coach Nichols.

As always we have managed injury of athletes extremely well as the season gets going. We don't have much to speak of that is too serious. During Code Night due to the start time fiasco it cut into our breakout session so I wanted to just give parents a nice protocol on how they would want to deal with dings and other things that may arise in the season.

STEP 1: Have the kid talk to me. No need for parents or athletes to guess or try and come up with their assessment. The athlete should come to practice and just tell me what bothers them.

STEP 2: I will manage it for a few days and depending on progress may then send them to our training staff. We will work together to get them back on track.

STEP 3: If the training staff and I agree we may recommend that they go to a doctor. This is very rare. Not in other programs but in ours and that is because we are doing a lot of preventative measures before things get troublesome.

I hope this helps and again email me with any question that you may have.

LaFollette Cross Country Store
The LaFollette Cross Country Store is up and running. Check out the link on our Schedule Page. Merely, click on our link below the State Date and make your order. Orders must be in before August 17th. Orders will be delivered in 3-4 weeks.

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.

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.