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Sherwood Summer Practice

We caught up with Sherwood High School, home of the Bowmen, at their summer practice. The official start of the cross county season in Oregon is a few days away and the Bowmen were getting ready with tempo runs. We spoke with women's coach John Mantalas and men's coach Tyrone Stammers about the program.

How often does Sherwood practice in the summer?

Coach Mantalas: Five or six days a week. Our varsity will meet on Saturday for a long run.

Does Sherwood go to a summer camp?

Coach Mantalas: We did the Steens Mountain Running Camp as a group. And the boys . . . is it this weekend?

Coach Stammers: Yeah, we are taking the boys down to the beach. We take our top ten boys to the beach for a three day team building camp. Kind of kick off the season.

What is the secret to Sherwood's success?

Coach Stammers: I was thinking of that this morning and I think we have a great small town environment here where Coach Mantalas and Coach David Killian have coached the program the last seven years and I joined one year after that. We all came with a lot of different perspectives. John coached in college for many years and also coached in high school. David coached in college and I obviously coached in high school for a long time. With those three perspectives have really helped grow the program. I think our strength to our program is really depth. We have a lot of local kids who grew up together and we have a very deep program which helps us.

Coach Mantalas: I think the culture of getting kids to train all year round. Before we got here it was kind of like an in season only. Now we have convinced the kids that winter and summer training is important and we grew that group. That is a big part of the of the success when you can build and stack seasons upon seasons without that loss of taking all that time off. That has been big. It was the kids who really bought into that changed the way did things and our competitiveness.

How does Sherwood build its team culture?

Coach Mantalas: It was a process. We had some kids in the beginning didn't see the benefits of training in the summer and the winter. We got those kids to buy in and the other kids saw that success. Slowly it started growing and more kids wanted to put in the work. It is almost it is propelling itself where we graduated some amazing athletes this last spring, but there are a whole new group of kids, younger kids now, that have seen their success and want to run collegiately who are now buying into the runner lifestyle and culture.

Coach Stammers: How many athletes went D1 last year? Four athletes going D1. That is most we have every had in one year. Fourth in one year in school history in one program at Sherwood. So our younger kids are really bought in and see those successes. To John's point, they want to be like them.

We talked to the boy's and girl's team about the Sherwood program.

What kind of fun things have you done this summer?

Josh Knutson: We attended the Steens Mountain Running Camp as a team which involved running in high altitude in the Burns, Or area. That really brought us together. Like, the team went up there and really shined because it was so hard to be running there alone so you had to be there to be even physically push each other up those canyons. That was a great experience. Super fun and we have a beach camp planned next weekend.

Lukas Valez: Steens was fun because we got to meet people from new schools and also coming together as a team and work with each other.

Heidi Gill: We have gone to the lake and gotten smoothies. We go paddle boarding on the Tualatin River.

Anna Grunow: After hard workouts we have gone out to get ice cream.

What are your hopes for the fall?

Luke Day: As a team I think we got to focus on being together and we have a really strong group and a really strong pack. That means for us is hoping to get a state qualifying spot. I think that is really reasonable as long as we are putting in a good effort and good times running. Individually, hopefully we are all dropping out PR's, but as a team if we work together and clinch that state spot.

Josh Knutson: Although we do not have such strong individuals like Jeffrey Rogers or James Crabtree leading us, I hope we can come together as a team and push each other as a team where we become an individual runner. We go up and moving up, pushing each other . . . iron sharpens iron. That is us in this close pack.

Heidi Gill: I think our team is looking very strong and personally I am looking to go under 19.

Anna Grunow: I think I want to go in the 19s, like the low 19's. As a team, we want to go to NXR in Boise. Sherwood Cross Country is epic! It is so much fun!

What are Sherwood's traditions during the season?

Lukas Valdez: Almost every day right before our meets we have a big team dinner. The boys and girls have different dinners. Just kind of eat food, talk, rest up before the races and stay calm.

Reid Falcon: Some times after the meet we will bring out the Frisbee and you know we will just play a pick up game of Ultimate Frisbee on the field when the sun is setting or when it gets dark. One time during the track season we were out there until 10PM. They were trying to kick us off to turn off the lights, but we would not leave.

Heidi Gill: Last year we started tie dying shirts as a team at team dinners and we are looking to keep that going and that was pretty fun.

Anna Grunow: We made bows to wear in our hair. Some of them say our names and Sherwood XC 22 with polka dots and glitter. Everyone comes over to my house and we make them in the garage.

Check out photos from Sherwood's practice HERE

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