BEVERLY - Last fall, for the first time in school history, a Fort Frye High boys cross country team qualified for the state meet in Hebron.
Head coach Alana Cunningham believes teamwork will be crucial for the Cadets to reach that level again this season.
"100 percent, team mentality," Cunningham said when asked what the keys to success would be this year.
"We have a very tight team. It's not about the individuals, it's about the team. We have very high expectations."
A huge plus for the boys team is that essentially everyone is returning.
Brothers Jordan and Jon Anderson will lead the way for the Cadets. Jordan and Jon finished 10th and 11th, respectively, at the Division III regional meet last season to pace Fort Frye, and figure to be the team's top to runners again this season.
Senior Matt Cheeseman is back and Cunningham likes what she has seen out of him.
"Matt looks great," she said. "He's been doing really well."
Rounding out the boys harriers will be Matthew Roush, Quintin Webb and Ford McElroy. Cunningham is expecting McElroy to have a breakout year.
"He put in a lot of miles this summer," she said. "He could surprise some people this year."
For the Lady Cadets, freshmen Katie Hart and Mary Kate McElroy are expected to step in and have big seasons.
Both performed well in a preseason meet at Hebron, as McElroy finished second while Hart was in the top 20. On the boys side, three runners finished in the top 16.
Junior Natalie Hart will be one of the more experienced runners for the girls team this season.
She is an all-around athlete, reaching the state level in basketball and track last year.
"She's always been a real strong runner," Cunningham remarked.
Fort Frye opens its regular season slate Saturday at the Broughton Invitational in Marietta.
It will be the Cadets' closest thing to a home meet this season.
"It's always great to race the local teams," Cunningham said. "We're excited for Broughton."
The hilly Broughton course plays into Fort Frye's strengths, as they typically run hills well, Cunningham said.
"I'm hoping to see everyone race to their potential."