Prospective varsity basketball players join cross country




This year, five members of the varsity boys basketball team, senior Sean Granucci and juniors Hunter Hammond, Jase Giorgi, Cooper Baddley and Jack Visger, have joined the cross country team in order to condition themselves for the upcoming winter season.

Basketball coach Greg Granucci suggested running on the cross country team to his players in hopes that they would take it upon themselves to improve their fitness levels before this year’s season begins. Granucci believes that the long distance training will increase the boy’s’ endurance levels and abilities to outlast their opponents on the court.

“I think it’s going to help condition us and get us into better shape and help us become better basketball players,” Granucci said.

Cross country coach Courtney Crosta agrees with Granucci and feels that the boys will benefit because running and endurance is such a key part of playing basketball.

“Cross country is a great sport for all athletes because the root of the sport is aerobic training,” Crosta said. “An aerobic base is the foundation for most programs, especially sports like basketball or soccer.”

Crosta expects full effort from the boys even though she realizes that cross country might not be their top priority as they also attend basketball workouts and practices weekly. She maintains this mindset because she feels that the boys will see serious improvement if they put in their best efforts.

“All athletes are expected to put forth an honest effort at practice each day, regardless of it being a primary sport or just for fun,” Crosta said. “I think some athletes will really surprise themselves with their progress since they have been putting in the time to work hard.”

The cross country team has also benefitted from the addition of these boys. According to sophomore runner Joe Balestrini, the boys have had an immediate affect on the the team dynamic in a positive way.

“They are definitely good runners,” Balestrini said. “They bring a good vibe and make it a whole lot more fun.”

According to Hammond, becoming a three sport athlete is a big inspiration to do cross country, but the work load has taken a toll on him.

“It’s hard to make it to both on some days because they overlap,” Hammond said, “but when they don’t overlap it’s just really exhausting.”