VANDALIA — Butler High School is known in athletic circles for its distance running, and this fall’s cross country season could see the Aviators making some noise.
“We have the potential to be one of our better teams in 5-6 years if it all comes together,” said Butler cross country coach Andy White. “We should be much improved over last year.”
The Lady Aviators, led by two-time State qualifier Emma Bryant, could have one of their deepest teams in years. Seniors Katie Hickle and Shelby Moses return from last year. Olivia and Abbie Schoenherr are expected to make big contributions as is Sydney Baker.
Other members of the team include Chloe Kitta, Jessica Sacks, Natalie Walker, Michelle Valdivia, Caroline Miller, Sarah Hickle, Allison Wheeler.
Abbie Schoenherr had a strong middle school career and White expects big things of her.
“Abbie is a very talented freshman,” said White. “She was all-conference in middle school and she is going to come in and be strong.”
White said that recovery from injuries will be key to how good the Lady Aviators can be.
“Having everyone back and then adding some talented young runners will be huge for us if we can get healthy,” said White. “Shelby didn’t run this spring due to an injury, Emma hasn’t run all summer due to her injury, but if we get healthy, our top six will be pretty strong.”
The boys team will be young, but White said they have good work ethic and like running together.
“I don’t have to tell the boys what to do, they just do it,” he said. “They have run together all summer.”
Members of the boys team are Sean Luttrell, Trevor Back, Mitchell Heeter, Kyle Wertz, Brandon Boyd, Caleb Colon, Nathan Looper, Bryce Helman, Noah Thompson, Cameron Harsch, Gabe Warren, Zach Luttrell, and Nick Luttrell.
Caleb Colon is the lone senior on the team, Wertz returns, and Warren is a talented freshman. Sophomore Long-fa Lin, who was not pictured in the team photo, could also have a strong season.
“He had a strong track season and could be our best runner right now,” said White. “No one has ever heard of him, but he will surprise some folks.
“Bottom line, I think our girls team will be much improved and our boys team won’t miss a beat from last year,” said White.
The Aviators will open the season on Aug. 28 at the Moeller Primetime held at the Kings Island Golf Center in Mason.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.