An invitation to participate in a program not for the "faint of heart"

From the desk of Coach John Allison:

As the 2015-2016 school year draws to a close, your Vilonia Cross Country program is gearing up. Sign-up sheets are now placed in the offices at Vilonia High School, Vilonia Freshman Academy, Vilonia Middle School, and Frank Mitchell Intermediate School. Students who are entering 7th through 12th grades in the 2016-2017 school year are eligible to participate.

If you are a student who chooses to participate, this is what you can expect. Summer practices. Lots of running in heat, hills, and humidity. EARLY morning practices once school starts. Saturday cross country meets. You will cover more miles on your feet than most people believe is humanly possible. There will be pain. There will be lots of sweat. Did we mention heat, hills, and humidity?

If all that sounds miserable, at times it is. If all that sounds tough, it surely is. If you choose to participate, and if you stick with it, most people will consider you some degree of crazy. Most people cannot understand why anyone would put themselves through all of that. That is why most people do not, will not, run cross country.

But few worthwhile things in life come without some degree of pain and discomfort. And those who stick with us, and make it through the summer, through the early morning practices, through all the miles and all the hills and all the heat...those runners will tell you it is worthwhile, that all the pain, discomfort, and temporary misery were worth it. Those runners who make it from beginning to the end grow in ways they never knew were possible. They accomplish things they previously believed were impossible. The become fitter, faster, and stronger and, somewhere along the way, they learn to love what so tortured them in the beginning. What was once painful becomes pleasing. What they once believed would kill them becomes something they do not want to live without. 

That is what you can expect if you choose to run cross country. It is not for the faint of heart. They will never make it to the end. It is not for the weak-minded. They cannot handle the challenge. For those who toe the start line, run the race, and cross the finish line, it is something they never regret. 

If this sounds like something you are interested in, sign up in your school office before May 6th. Tell your parents too. You MUST have an athletic physical before you can run even one step with us. We also have a parent meeting scheduled for Monday, May 16, at 6 p.m., in the VHS cafeteria. There will be a lot of important information shared at this meeting and we really need at least one parent for each athlete to be there. 

If you would like more information about the Vilonia Cross Country program, or if you cannot make the parent meeting, contact Coach Allison at

Linda HicksFA, VHS, VMS, FMIS