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Sandiettes Headed to State in Cross Country

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By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – After earning third place in Region 3, the girls’ cross country team of Grapeland High School is on their way to the state meet set to take place Saturday, Nov. 3.

“The top 14 schools in Region 3 made it,” explained Coach Anthony DeCello. “We were two points behind Crawford, who was at 105.”

According to DeCello, this will make the second year in which the team has qualified for the state meet.

“Last year was the first year that the team had qualified for state in cross country,” he said. “I’ve got five returning kids of the six who are going to state.”

DeCello expressed pleasure in the effort put forth by the girls throughout the season – all of whom are also on the volleyball team, which recently celebrated a second-place win in District 21-2A.

“The same kids also were 6 a.m. runners,” he said. “They work really hard. They really wanted to get back to state again. I think it’s a great accomplishment to go back to back to state.”

DeCello added that senior Ragan Bowie has qualified for state throughout all four of her years on the team.

The 2018-2019 team consists of seniors Hannah Chipman and Bowie; junior Kenya Woods; sophomores Cierra Simon and Christi Shepherd; and freshman JaMiyah Bowie.

GISD Superintendent Don Jackson also expressed pride of his own in the team.

“We proudly call ourselves the Home of Champions, because that’s what we strive to be in everything we do,” he said. “Our students are encouraged to come to school daily with energy, effort and enthusiasm, which is usually a great recipe for success.”

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.