ETV News stock photo by Dusty Butler
2020 has been an unique year to say the least, and Pinnacle has its reservations as the fall sports’ season approaches. “It’s going to different this year,” said cross country coach and athletic director Mark Stuckenschneider. “As a school, we have decided not to travel to any of the Navajo schools or compete in any events they attend. The reason behind this is we don’t want to bring anything to Price, and we certainly don’t want to take anything to the Navajo people. They have been affected by COVID-19 per capita more than New York City.”
As a result, Pinnacle is planning to skip the region competition this year, which will forfeit the boys’ team’s chance to defend its region title. “The health and safety of our student athletes is our top concern,” stated Stuckenschneider.
The top two runners for the boys’ and girls’ teams will all return this year, though the team has gathered some rust during the past months of inactivity. “We have some ground to make up,” Stuckenschneider commented. Two runners on the boys’ side have stepped up and will round off the top four. (Note: in 1A, only the top four runners score.)
“We have four really decent runners on the boys’ side.” Stuckenschneider continued, “One freshman girl has come up and is running really well. She’s going to be good.” With the incoming freshman, the girls’ team is beginning to round off its top four runners.
The boys’ team finished eighth in state last year and is looking to crack the top five. The Lady Panthers are also hoping to improve on their 10th overall spot from 2019 and finish in the top eight.
The Panthers will approach this season focused on improving while remaining safe.