By Marty Gordon
Christiansburg has a new cross-country coach. On Friday, the school announced that Andy Sayers, who had coached at Floyd County High School, has been hired.
“I applied for the job because the tradition and culture of running that has been created at CHS over the years is the type of running community I want to be a part of,” Sayers said. “More than that, however, I am excited to be teaching social studies at CHS this year. I love to relate the stories of history and current events to the students. Watching students come to understand the vastness of history and then find their space within it never fails to inspire me.”
Sayers coached for four years at Floyd and previously coached middle school track in Roanoke at James Breckinridge Middle School for three years. “Running has been a lifelong pursuit for me. It is a sport that matters a great deal in my family,” he said.
Sayers ran cross country and track at Buffalo Gap High School and at Roanoke College.
“My goal for the team is to help this group reach its potential,” the new head coach said. “If each student-athlete performs to the best of his or her ability, our goals will sort themselves out. Probably the biggest goal for coaches of every sport this year, however, is to have a healthy and as close to normal season as we can.”
In looking across the board, the girls and the boys, according to Sayers, have very talented runners returning from last year’s teams.
“The boys will be carving out their own niche as we have several young runners poised to make the leap into the varsity seven,” Sayers said. “The girls have returned most of their top seven and are hungry to compete. Our goal is to compete at the highest level within our district, region, and state. The kids have worked hard over the summer, and the first week of practice was no different.”
Sayers’s wife, Shelli Sayers, is the Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at Radford University. He said absolute joys of his life are watching her lead the young women and men at RU to reach their athletic peak, but also to grow into confident, strong people.
“She and I talk track and cross country at the dinner table, on car rides, and when we are out and about,” the new Blue Demon coach said. “Though we would love for our kids to run, we support them in their own interests outside of running and racing. Shelli is the best coach I know, and I’m excited to see where she leads the Highlander program in the future.”
Sayers will teach U.S. history, psychology, and government at CHS.