Eagle Ridge Academy debuts new sport

Cross country joins the Warriors’ portfolio

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The latest interscholastic team to join the Eagle Ridge Academy Warriors program is cross country.

Damien Halverson, a native of Hesperia, Michigan, has been selected as the inaugural coach for the Warriors cross country program. Halverson was a six-time all-state athlete between cross country (his favorite) and track. Halverson went to college at Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“I was injured most of my career but had a big senior season with an all-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference cross country performance and an all-region race,” he said. “I ultimately earned an automatic bid to nationals. I bonked pretty hard when I got there but enjoyed the experience and memories of the week in Pittsburgh.”

As far back as seventh grade, Halverson wanted to pole vault.

“But we didn’t have any poles, and I didn’t know how to quit the team. So, my coach made me run,” he said. “I was pretty bad that season, but the following fall, I ran cross country and got hooked the first meet.”

Halverson is excited to get things started at ERA.

“This gives me the opportunity to build the foundation of success at Eagle Ridge from the ground up versus taking the reins from another coach and hoping for the best,” he said. “I've always wanted to coach. Now that I'm washed up and my fast days are behind me, it is time to pass on what I've accumulated in knowledge over the years.”

Like a lot of coaches, Halverson plans to take what he’s learned from other coaches in college and in high school and combine it with “…what I know works for most athletes and what I’ve learned that does not work well.”

“I want the athletes to set their own goals, and my goal is to help them achieve those goals,” Halverson said. “I would like the teams to both qualify for the state finals. I think that would be a cool achievement for everyone their first season running for ERA.”

The first meet is set for 4:30 p.m. Aug. 23, at Town Center Park in Green Valley Ranch.

The first day of practice is Aug. 8. Those with questions about the sport and expectations can contact Halverson (halverd2@gmail.com). Those with questions about eligibility should call ERA athletic director Zach Henning (303-655-0773, ext. 116).

“I do not have anything extra to add aside from being excited for the season to start, and I look forward to meeting everyone and getting the legs moving soon.”

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