By Matt Browning
Goessel cross country coach Brian Lightner was chosen as the Salina Regional Sports Medicine Coach of the Month for September. Lightner also teaches math and is the Bluebirds athletic director.
Goessel’s boys team placed sixth last season at the Class 1A meet. “My purpose for coaching cross country is to help kids grow physically, mentally, socially and spiritually in shape for life,” Lightner said. “I desire to have a safe, family environment where kids feel welcomed and also challenged through their training as we compete for personal and team championships.”
Lightner’s program is more than just his high school athletes. He incorporates his family, too. “The relationships that have been formed and not just with me but also with my own kids as they look up to our runners and have been good role models,” Lightner said.
Goessel has a full team this year for both the boys and girls program, which is something that excites Lightner. “Our boys have been to state two out of the past three years so they are wanting to return,” Lightner said. “Our girls have been one team spot out of qualifying for a number of years so hopefully with our higher participation this year we can get over that obstacle and get both teams to the state meet.”