EDWARDSVILLE - The Edwardsville boys cross country team is rebuilding after losing several seniors, including Wes Schoenthal and Bryrdon Groves-Scott, but a strong first exhibition outing at Belleville West this past weekend gives coach George Patrylak hope for 2015.

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Saturday, the boys race in the Granite City Invitational Meet.

“This is going to be the closest to a rebuild we have had in my tenure,” the coach said. “We had six of our seven runners at the state meet. We do not have any returning state runners.”

Roland Prenzler was the winner of the Belleville West exhibition race and should have a strong season, Patrylak said.

“Roland could have run much faster at Belleville, but he was a little unsure for his first time on the course,” the coach said. “I was very pleased with the way our team raced. The boys were really poised at the start. Several of the other kids on the other teams got out too quick and our kids they listened about working the second half of the race. It was all positives for the boys in the first meet.”

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Juniors Sam McCormick and Tyler Farrar are key juniors returning.

Patrylak said Dan Powell could be the most talented of the group, but has been battling injuries through the summer and hopefully will be ready for the season.

“The way I look at it in terms of the big picture, we might take some bumps and bruises this year and we are definitely a young team,” he said. “Trips to state will be from hard work, determination and overachieving of this team. We are a good, young team and it is a matter of keeping people focused to see where the season ends.”

SEE BELLEVILLE WEST EXHIBITION GALLERY:

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