For the first time since taking over the Alpena Community College Cross-Country team 10 years ago, head coach Mark Jacobs will have a brand new team, featuring no returners from a year ago.
A decade later, the student-athletes are new, but the culture and expectations for the Lumberjacks remain the same.
The number one goal for the ACC Cross-Country team is the same it has been for the past seven years, once again be an Academic All-American team.
Being an Academic All-American team is no longer the goal for Jacobs and his Lumberjack program, but instead it has become an expectation.
“Our number one goal is and always has been to be Academic All-American. When it’s all said and done, not many folks remember their times, but they do remember what they achieved academically. To achieve this for the 8th year in a row will be very special,” Jacobs said. “This season is very exciting for a number of reasons. We have added about five new teams to our conference which will make it more competitive. We head to Grand Rapids this Saturday and we will be running on the same course that our Regional Meet will be run on.”
The regular season schedule will consist of four Invitationals before the NJCAA Regional Meet at the end of October.
The ACC roster is made up of all newcomers which include former Muskegon Community College runner Adam Wolffis, ACC basketball and two-sport athletes Iso Simpson and Daddy Hill, along with freshmen Matt Wilbert/Rogers City, Jacob Kochanski/Alpena, Matt Mundy/Sault Ste. Marie, Corbin Thering/Freeland and Austin Smith/Portage
“Four out of my eight guys have never run Cross-Country before so our goal is to improve daily. I’m being very patient with this group so we don’t risk injuries. Our first meet will be our baseline meet and then we will work from there,” Jacobs said. “We were fortunate enough to land former Muskegon CC runner Adam Wolffis who transferred to ACC after graduating from there in the Spring. With the benefit of an extra year due to Covid, his experience is huge for this young team. Thanks to Coach Bobby Allen, we were able to pick up a few of his basketball players (Iso Simpson and Daddy Hill) who will be difference makers this season for us. We also have Freshmen Matt Wilbert, Jacob Kochanski, Matt Mundy, Corbin Thering and Austin Smith who all have been looking great so far.”
Despite the fresh faces on the team, Jacobs has a pair of assistant coaches with plenty of knowledge that will make the transition for the incoming freshmen and new runners much easier and prove to be a huge benefit to the team this season.
“I didn’t know what to expect this year having all new runners. Fortunately, my two assistant coaches (Duncan Ross and Mikayla Oliver) both ran for me and understand our culture and have been a huge help in that department,” Jacobs said. “Four weeks ago none of the runners knew each other. Today they are brothers. They support each other 100 percent. This is a fantastic group of guys who work very well together and are a pleasure to coach. These guys get what it takes to be outstanding student-athletes.”
ACC Cross Country 2022 Schedule:
September 17 – Raider Invitational @ Grand Rapids Community College
September 23 – Firebird Invitational @ Kirtland Community College
September 30 – Oakland Community College Invitational
October 15 – Jayhawk Invitational @ Muskegon Community College
October 29 – NJCAA Regional Championships @ Grand Rapids