Q & A: Chris Demetra, Knights Cross Country Coach

How many years have you coached at Nolensville High?

This is the start of my second year. Meghan Davis joined us as an assistant coach this year, and we are a great team.

What are your expectations of the 2023 team?

We are focused on process-oriented goals such as showing up on time, being consistent, and doing our best every day. If we do that, then the results will take care of themselves. We can only control ourselves. Of course, we would love to place high at the state meet, but ultimately, if we do our best, we will be happy with the results.

Who are your key seniors?

We’re a young team, on both the girls’ and boys’ sides. In our first meet, we had two senior girls in the Top-7, Searcy Mooney and Maddie Bennett. On the boys’ side at our first meet, our Top-7 runners were all juniors or younger. Our top senior, Noah Maguire, has not raced yet. Mason Shanks has a great chance to crack our top seven, but he’ll have lots of competition!

Top players to watch?

Claire Stegall is our top girls’ runner — she won the individual State Championship last year. Other key returners from last year’s team include Searcy Mooney, Presley Pennartz, and Maddie Bennett, who are all in tremendous shape after a great summer of training.

Sophomore Logan Humphries was our top boys’ runner last season, and he is off to a strong start, with an 11th place finish at the Saturday Light Fever meet with a time of 16:29. Jack Glisson-Schlitt was our top miler last track season, and he was our number two runner for in our first meet and for most of last season. Other Top-7 runners in our first meet included Max Massey, Deepak Balamurugan, Avery Manternach, and Dempsey Salisbury. Bryce Russell did not race, but he will contend for a varsity spot too.

Any new players that will make an impact this year?

In our first meet, we had four freshman girls in our Top-7, Keira Stegall, Anna Lasher, Kayla Lasher, and Sophia Priddy. The future is bright!

Avery Manternach is a sophomore who played football last year and turned himself into a varsity cross-country runner with nine months of hard work. Desi Kelley is a junior who ran his freshmen year but not last year.  We are excited to have him back. Liam Humphries and Carlos Vergara are our top two freshmen boys.

Of the 66 kids on our team, 31 were not on the team last year, and we are excited about every new addition.

What should fans know about this year’s team?

We have 66 kids on our team this year, and I would love to have the largest team in the state.  We welcome all ages, abilities, and experience levels. I think it would be so cool to say that more kids run cross country at Nolensville HS than any other school in the area.

We also do lots of fun activities outside of running. The team organized a kayak trip this summer. We also have pasta parties before every meet. We have two overnight meets, which are lots of fun and great bonding opportunities. We have such a close-knit team with high caliber kids.

Anything else you want to say about this year’s team?

We host a cross-country camp for 5th-8th graders every summer. If you would like more information, please email me at christopher.demetra@wcs.edu. We’re happy to do anything we can to help younger runners and get them excited to join the team in high school.

Thank you again and I am so happy to promote the team in Nolensville Town Life Magazine.  

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