Cross Country Team Begins Season with New Coach Patrick Stafford

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Cross Country Team Begins Season with New Coach Patrick Stafford

Stafford and his new cross country team

Stafford and his new cross country team

North Atlanta Warriors

Stafford and his new cross country team

North Atlanta Warriors

North Atlanta Warriors

Stafford and his new cross country team

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Patrick Stafford is the new coach of the North Atlanta Cross Country team. He has coached the sprinters on the North Atlanta track and field team for a total of five years. Although cross country and track have some differences, Stafford is completely equipped and eager to lead the team to success this year.

Stafford grew up with a hunger for competition. “I did not always love to run. I loved to compete and reach for goals,” he said. Growing up as as a high school athlete in Texas, Stafford was a multi-sport athlete. He ran track and played football, basketball and tennis all in high school. In his next stage of life, Stafford played collegiate tennis, football and ran 5K races. Stafford is the father of two North Atlanta graduates. His son, Toren, graduated last year and currently attends Vanderbilt University in Nashville on a music scholarship. His daughter, Maegann, who graduated in 2015, is currently studying international business at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass..

Stafford took over the head coaching slot after longtime Warrior track and cross country coach George Sanderlin moved away to Kentucky to attend to family obligations. He is optimistic about his first season as cross country coach. “We are headed for a great year,” he said. “We will do our best to make the school proud on and off the field of competition.”

The cross country team began practice at the start of the school year and team members are preparing for their first APS meet at Grant Park on Aug. 30.  “I want them to surprise themselves on their efforts and I look forward to seeing the growth and maturity that results from the amount of hard work they have put in the process,” Stafford said.

The team is enthusiastic and has much hope for the upcoming season with Stafford as their coach. “He really cares about each and every runner and he helps to meet their needs,” said sophomore Victoria Vucich.

With the teamwork and cooperation between the management, student-athletes, and coaching leadership, the North Atlanta cross country team is sure to achieve great goals this season with Stafford as the leader.

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