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Blue Knights Cross Country Program

About the Program

The St. Louis Christian Homeschool Blue Knights organization was established in 2006 with a single basketball team. Since that time, like-minded families and committed volunteers who are passionate about sports have enabled exponential growth to include several programs.

We strive to display Christian character at all times; to train young men and women to love and play competitive sports while honoring God in all that they do; to bring honor and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with our attitudes, actions and abilities; and to lead others to Him through our words and deeds.

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” 
–Matthew 5:16

The Blue Knights organization is much more than a group of sports teams. We are sports-loving, God-loving families with the common goal of drawing closer to Christ through high level athletics and the friendships that are built through striving and celebrating together.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register my child to run Cross Country with the Blue Knights?
Registration is open for 2 weeks every July for the upcoming XC season (exact registration dates will be announced in late May). Registration will be online at stlblueknights.org/xc. Only registered participants may participate.

How old does my child need to be to join the team?
Our XC program is for 6th through 12th grade.

Which XC events does the XC team offer, and which will my child be eligible for?
High school races are typically 5k (3.1 miles) but some early season meets will have shorter distances of 2 miles and/or 3k for freshman. Middle school races range from 3k to 2 miles (typically). Most of our meets are MSHSAA sponsored. In 2022, that means that 6-8th grade can participate in MS meets and 9-12th grade in HS meets (V and JV).

When, where and how long does the team practice?
Team practices will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00-6:30 pm at Wapelhorst Park (Tuesdays) and McNair Park (Thursdays). You should come to practice in running clothes appropriate for weather, wear good running shoes, and bring plenty of water. Athletes are expected to run on their own ~3 times per week outside of practice — Instructions for on-your-own workouts will be given out by the coaches for the days we do not practice. *Saturday 8 am group long runs are optional (locations will vary).

What are practices like?
We typically start out with a brief team huddle, followed by a 1 mile warm-up, stretching drills, a workout (hills, speed, intervals, etc), and 1 mile cool down. We try to get as much of the workout on the grass as possible as races will mostly be run on grass and variable terrain.

What if I cannot attend some of the practices?
Athletes will need to attend the majority of practices in order to participate in meets, the majority meaning half plus one of all practices. For example, if we have 8 practices before the first meet, athletes will need to have attended 5 of the practices to participate. If we have 10 practices before the second meet, athletes will need 6 to participate. We encourage all athletes to play a variety of sports, but believe it is also important to honor the commitment of those choosing XC as their primary focus from August-October. We believe this attendance requirement is more equitable for the group and will build better team chemistry. Under certain circumstances, we will consider a waiver for those participating in another sport which conflicts with practices or meets. In such cases, please email Coach Marv [email protected] prior to registration.

When does the season begin, and how long does it last?
Official practices will begin at the beginning of August. We anticipate ~7 high school meets, ~4 middle school meets plus Homeschool Nationals. The season ends with the National Homeschool XC Championship in Springfield, MO (typically the last Saturday in October).

Are tryouts required to join the team?
No. All homeschoolers are welcome to join the program regardless of ability. We seek to provide a program where competitive runners can excel and improve as well as where new runners can learn to love the sport and be part of a team. The high school varsity team is competitive with the best runners selected for events regardless of age/grade. The JV and middle school teams are a mixture of competitive/aspiring varsity runners as well as those using the program to get into running and/or off-season conditioning for other sports. Please note, however, we may need to limit the number of participants for logistical reasons.

What should I do before the season begins?
Athletes should be running before the season begins so that they are in shape once formal team practices begin. Our first meets are only a few weeks after practices start. Ideally, HS athletes should be able to jog 30 minutes without stopping (2-3 miles). MS athletes should be able to jog 20 minutes (1.5-2 miles). Our warm-ups are typically 1 mile at an easy pace (no walking). We suggest that you are running 3 or more times per week in June and July. Please contact one of the coaches for specific suggestions for pre-season training.

Who are the coaches, and how can I get in touch with them?
Coach Bios page
Head Coach:Marv Meyers
Assistant Head Coach: Jane Criswell
Assistant Coach: Bob Kusterer

What does it cost to run XC with the Blue Knights?

  • Fees are subject to change each season. For 2022, we anticipate high school will be $100 and middle school $75.  Fees will be finalized by July 1st.
  • Registration Fee:
    • All players must pay a $10 fee that covers insurance, referees, facility fees and other organizational costs.
  • Uniforms:
    • We use the same uniforms for both XC and Track.
    • Uniforms are required to be purchased. The approximate cost is $30.
    • High schoolers also are required to provide a $60 deposit for team-issued warm-ups that will be returned at the end of the season, provided the warm-ups are returned in like-issued condition.
  • Other expenses:
    • Families can expect travel costs for attending Homeschool Nationals (hotel, food, gas, etc.).  Good running shoes are strongly recommended for all, along with running spikes for high schoolers.  Local running stores frequently offer discounts for athletes on XC teams if you ask.

Are there any discounts for siblings? No

Are other discounts or scholarships available?
There is a discount for pastors’ families. Email [email protected] for scholarship application.

What will be expected of me and my child if we decide to participate in a Blue Knights program?
Please read through the Parent Manifesto, Parent Contract and the Athlete Contract found under the Registration Info > Agreements & Forms menu above.

 

I have more questions about registration. Whom should I contact, and how?
Contact Marla Coumerilh: [email protected], 636.448.5719 (call or text).

How do I find my team(s) in the GameChanger Team Manager (New) app?
Complete instructions can be found here.

MSHSAA eligibility
Players must be homeschooled for 365 consecutive days before they are eligible to participate in MSHSAA games. *Note: Parents should not contact MSHSAA regarding their questions, complaints, or concerns. All questions to MSHSAA need to go through Blue Knights Athletic Director, Rick Tucker, via email at [email protected].

What should I do if I have an issue with a coach or with someone within the Blue Knights organization?
Please follow the Conflict Resolution guide found under the Registration Info > Agreements & Forms menu above.

I have more questions. Whom should I contact, and how?
Contact [email protected] with any additional questions that aren’t addressed here.

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