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Boys Cross Country

Regular Season Regular Season
Regular Season x Regular Season

Coaching Philosophy

My coaching purpose is to teach athletes life lessons that encourage and reward responsibility, promote individual commitment, and create loyalty to teammates and school, so all athletes, regardless of ability, experience success and feel they are a better person for having been a part of the athletic program.

~ Coach Sonnabend

Team Values

All John Marshall High School students are guided by a common motto: "Mark of Excellence."  It is our intention to honor the proud history of John Marshall High School in a respectful manner by adopting the three fundamental principles of:


Attendance Policies

1. Athletes are expected to participate in all practices and meets, including Saturday practices.  Athletes must check-in at the start of practice and before getting on a bus for attendance purposes.

2. Any absence from a practice or meet must be reported to the head coach in advance or before the end of the day by a parent, guardian, or teacher. An unreported absences will result in missing the next scheduled competition.

3. Absences are excused if notification is received in advance or by the end of the day and it is an illness or family emergency. All other absences are considered unexcused.

4. Athletes totalling six or more unexcused absences will not be eligible to participate in the Big 9 Conference Meet or Section 1AA Meet.

5. Excused and unexcused absences may affect participation in upcoming competitions.

6. Injured athletes are either with the trainer or at practice.  Anyone requesting to see the athletic trainer will receive a card to be presented to the trainer. This card must be returned after being signed by the athletic trainer no later than the end of practice.  Rehabilitation is considered practice. Injured athletes must follow rehabilitation guidelines established by the athletic trainer. Failure to follow athletic trainer directives will result in automatic dismissal from the team.

7. Athletes serving an academic suspension must report to study tables held every Tuesday and Thursday.  If on academic suspension, the athlete may not participate or travel with the team to scheduled meets.  Failure to report to study tables will result in automatic dismissal from the team.

Lettering Standards

To earn a varsity letter the athlete must meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. Receive a ranking of 10 or better at season's end. Rankings are based on average individual placement in meets compared to other teammates.  A runner must have competed in more than half the regular season meets to qualify.

2. Finish in the top half of of the Big 9 Conference Meet -or- Section 1AA Meet.

3. Complete a 5000 meter course in 18:30.00

4. Senior with at least two years of competition and is in good standing.

Regardless of method achieved for lettering, athletes will not letter if:

1. Athlete misses a meet they are scheduled to compete in.

2. Athlete has six or more unexcused absences.

3. The athlete is suspended for academic reasons for any period of time.

4. The athlete is suspended from school or violates MSHSL rules concerning drug use (including alcohol and tobacco) hazing, harassment, or other stated violations.

5. The athlete does not finish the season in good standing.

Team Guidelines


1. Rochester Public Schools and John Marshall High School rules and regulations concerning student safety will be enforced at all team practices, meets, and events. This includes activities on or off school property such as training runs, hill workouts, and general practices that take place in the community.

2. All practice activities must take place under the direct supervision of a designated coach. Modifying or changing a directed workout is not allowed.

3. Event equipment or training aids must be used in the manner it was designed. Do not modify or physically alter any implement without consent from a coach.

4. Horseplay and goofing off during practices, meets, or other activities will not be accepted. Serious injury can result from even seemingly innocent actions, especially when individuals are sore, fatigued, tired, or focused.

5. Report all safety issues to a coach immediately including personal injuries, equipment issues, and environmental conditions.


6. Show respectful behavior at all times. Profanity, obscene gestures, derogatory comments, and negativity directed at team members, coaches, managers, administrators, school staff members, parents, opponents, service personnel, or anyone else will not be tolerated.

7. Respect the property of others, including personal items, school property, community property, other schools facilities, opponents property, and anything that does not belong to you. This includes team issued uniforms and equipment.

8. Respect the decisions of authority figures, including administrators, school staff members, coaches, opponents, meet officials, parents, and others. Never directly challenge or discuss a decision made by a coach, meet official, or opposing coach.

9. Our coaches determine the placement of athletes in varsity, junior varsity, and middle school races.  These decisions are made in the best interest of the athlete and team. Our goal is to identify and place each athlete in a level of compitition where they can perform at a high level and contribute to team success. Honor these decisions and discuss personally any questions or concerns you may have with a member of the coaching staff.


1. Your core responsibilities are to family and academics. Do not let cross country interfere with these two areas. If your participation in cross country has a negative effect on your family expectations or classroom responsibilities, please reconsider your participation and return when conditions are more favorable.

2. Attendance in the classroom is expected “all day-every day.”  According to Rochester Public School guidelines, three unexcused absences will result in exclusion from the next event. It is the responsibility of the student to clear any truancy question.

3. Any behavior considered detrimental to the team will be discussed directly with the athlete, parent, and head coach. At this time a decision will be made as to what actions will be taken to correct the behavior.

4. Lockers are available for personal use in the team locker room. It is your responsibility to provide a lock and ensure your belongings are safe. Coaches are not responsible for lost or stolen items.

5.  The following songs have been banned from all team activities, including practices, meets, team camps, travel to meets, waiting for a ride home, in any car on school property, while using headphones or ear buds, or any other method of playing the songs while representing Rocket cross country;  Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, YMCA by The Village People, Cotton-Eyed Joe by Red Nex.  Other songs will be listed as they occur.