Washington cross country on the move; WHS tennis has holes to fill

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2007

By By PETER WILLIAMS, Staff Writer
Cross country is getting a foothold at Washington High School.
When Laurie Lietz started teaching there three years ago, there were seven people on the team. Last year, her first year coaching the sport, the number jumped to 17.
Lietz got a better handle on what she’ll have to work with this season as the team held its first official practice on Monday. Some members have been conditioning this summer at Oakdale Cemetery.
Leitz hopes to welcome back senior Jessica Rogers and junior Josh Elks.
In fact just about the entire team may be back. She only lost one runner, Brook Clement, to graduation.
A large team can be a help, but as a rule only the times of the top five runners are counted.
The 2007 schedule includes at least five invitational meets and eight regular meets.
Even with the larger Pam Pack team this year, Lietz says Washington will still be small compared to some of its 3-A competition.
Lietz is getting help from volunteers Bob Girani and Phil Crews.
Cuffie has several spots to fill on Pam Pack tennis team
Washington High School tennis coach Dianne Cuffie has a word of advice to her players this year.
If you want it bad enough, go out and fight for it.
Last year six seniors dominated the varsity sport. A seventh senior along with some juniors and freshmen made up a jayvee team. But that was last year. This year Cuffie says all six varsity slots are up for grabs to anybody who has the skill and desire to fight for one.
The jayvee team, a luxury at some school, saw limited action.
Three of those jayvee players from last year — Liza Page, Molly Edwards and Lauren Allen, are now rising seniors.
While the three seniors may have the inside track for the top three positions, Cuffie says they aren’t guaranteed if some other player steps up and performs better.
The Pam Pack netters are coming off a 14-3 season. They were led by co-Washington Daily News’ Players of the Year, McKenna Cox and Rachel Perkinson, who advanced to the NCHSAA Class 3A state championship.
The netters will practice from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Cuffie may get some help from some exchange students who will be attending this year and a transfer from powerhouse Edenton Holmes High School.
The Washington team opens the season Aug. 21.