A Tradition of Runners – By: Sam Belbeck (11)

The Grandville Cross Country boys have a tradition that has lasted over decades. It is a simple tradition but one that has signified progress and achievement. The slapping of the sign has been the symbol of ending a run. With the exception of workouts, whenever the Cross Country team ends a run they slap a “no parking” sign outside of the athletic entrance of Grandville High School.

The Boys Cross Country team this season has had a rough start. Runner Declin Adams said that the team has “potential” in terms of coming out on top in the next upcoming meets. The team has made a comeback with recent victories against Hudsonville and West Ottawa. The team lost their top runner, Zac Zemba at the recent Cougar Falcon invite.  Earlier in the season runner Chris Avery said that the team needed “a mental toughness” and to “focus on our jobs”. The team did this against the OK Red West Ottawa duel and practically slaughtered the competition. The team, despite being “very young”, says Coach Leo is now having a better season. Declin said that while he is “unsure about the next few meets”, there is still a chance there will be a greater turnout than the start of the season.

Now how does this come back to smacking a sign? Well, a group of Cross Country Boys started to smack a sign at the end of a run. At first it was one, then there was another, and after came yet another runner. Soon after, the entire team started to smack the sign to end a run, signifying they had finished and accomplished more. Coach Leo stated, “I’ve got 35 guys that I’ve got to try to get faster every race.” Leo implied there is more to just smacking a sign and hearing the sign ding. It’s the sense of accomplishment that comes afterward.

A simple no parking sign that not only signifies the end of something, but also sheds light on the achievement and progress that is carried out by hard work, determination, and dedication. A tradition that has survived many decades and more to come.

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