Running as head coach

Coach Chance Edwards poses in front of the track at the Hawk Stadium.

Coach Chance Edwards poses in front of the track at the Hawk Stadium.

The early morning sunshine illuminates the track as students run their laps. Guiding them is a coach who, although he finds himself at a new place, has the same mission to continue his passion.

Edwards was appointed the new head coach for cross country and track and field. He has 15 years of head coaching experience in high schools across the state.

His passion for cross country began in high school and led to his coaching career, something he said he enjoys because he gets to assist athletes in their personal development. While working as a coach at Montgomery High School, he was nominated as the 6A girls’ cross country coach of 2017, and his team was the first in the country to ever have two athletes qualify for the national races. He proceeded to coach at Cedar Park High School for three years.

“I’ve learned a lot,” Edwards said. “I’ve learned from all those years in cross country how hard kids are willing to work to be successful, and how disciplined they have to be to accomplish [their goals].”

In the fall, Edwards is having track and field do pre-season conditioning while he prepares his cross country team for what’s to come. The season opened with a two-mile course competition hosted by Hebron on Aug.19 at McInnish Park.  At the race, varsity girls won third place and varsity boys took first. They will compete at two more invitational meets before the district championships on Oct.15.

“Our goals as a team right now are to right the ship,” Edwards said. “Steady everything and see if we can get both boys and girls cross country teams out of district. The ultimate goal is to get a team to state championships.”

To ensure success in both teams, Edwards and his assistant, Kelsey Ramirez, said they are focusing on building a culture by promoting strong values and cultivating unity through team building activities such as parties and breakfast gatherings.

“[We want to] keep a positive environment],” Ramirez said. “We’re making sure they have the right types of workouts, they’re fueling properly, getting enough sleep and that we’re allowing them to taper as much as they need to for the upcoming meet.”

Senior JV runner Ashlyn Kaupp said Edwards’ coaching style differs from that of previous coaches in that he prioritizes the wellbeing of each athlete to increase the distance they can travel.

“He values our health, mentally and physically,”  Kaupp said. “He has a holistic approach to running. I feel myself progressing much faster.”

Edwards said he appreciates the support he has received from the community in setting the standards and understanding requirements.

“I’m enjoying the start of my career here at Hebron,” Edwards said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it all play out, I’ve enjoyed all the support from the parents and students, [as well as] the hard work that they’ve been showing me.”