2010 was an anomaly in Central District cross country. For the first time in memory, the name Thomas Dale did not appear at the top of the league standings as Matoaca put together their finest season, edging out the Knights for district superiority. It was a tough season for first year coach Geof LeSueur, whose team was beset by injury and hard luck. The 2011 Knights however returned with tremendous focus in sweeping through the regular season and district meets.
It was a memorable season for Dale. The season began with a hard-fought 27-28 victory over Dominion District power, Clover Hill. This proved to be a real confidence builder as the Knights dominated the Goochland Invitational, taking home nine team and individual trophies during the day. In the prestigious Maymont Festival (4th place) and MileStat Invitational (6th place), the Knights began to really believe in themselves.
“The boys worked so hard throughout the season. I can’t tell you how proud I am of their effort,” commented Coach LeSueur. He continued, “Our invitational efforts were special because two of our best runners, Grayson Smith and Austin Correia, did not participate due to soccer obligations.”
The Knights swept through the regular Central District season undefeated, with the closest meet being a 17-41 rout over the Warriors. Six Knights garnered all-district honors as Dale took the Central title with an impressive 22 points. The Knights went on to a sixth place finish at the regional competition at Pole Green Park. Harrison Fink, Zach Winne and Grayson Smith all finished in the top 30. Geof LeSueur was named district coach of the year for his efforts.
“Coach is a wonderful guy,” exclaimed Harrison Fink. “We really wanted this for him. We were all disappointed by the results of last year.”
The Knights will be hit hard by graduation, but will return two of the district’s better runners in Smith and Correia. Grayson Smith summed it up, “We’ll certainly miss this great senior class, but we have a talented group coming up. If they are willing to put in the off-season work we’ll be just fine.”