CHURCH HILL, Tenn. (WJHL) – In middle school, Evan Glass had already taken up running the distance events in track competition. So, in eighth grade he decided to try cross country.
“I ended up trying it and I liked it – so I kept in it,” he said.
It was a simple start to his cross country career, and the motivation to continue into his senior remains simple.
“I just enjoy running and being able to compete with other people,” he explained.
Volunteer head cross country coach, Jim Ailshie, is glad to have had Glass as a member of the team for four years.
“He’s on time, he does what you tell him to do, he never questions anything,” Ailshie said. “He just gets along with others and is kind to others – I wish they were all like him.”
The Falcons senior is more than just a good teammate, however. He earned All-Conference and All-Region honors last season, in addition to qualifying for the state track & field meet.
“He’s a tremendous leader and he leads by example,” Ailshie said.
Glass’ athletic success isn’t limited to the track or the cross country course – it extends to the wrestling mat, as well. Encouraged by the wrestling career of his two cousins, it took some time, but finally Glass began grappling in middle school.
“I had always wanted to try it, but I was too light in sixth grade,” he smiled. “So, then seventh grade I was finally heavy enough to actually wrestle.”
Now, soon to enter his final season at Volunteer, Glass has already qualified for the state wrestling meet three times at 113 pounds.
On the surface, the combination of track and cross country with wrestling seems a bit unlikely. But, Glass believes it’s what they have in common that draws him to all three sports.
Wrestling and cross country are both kind of individual,” he said. “They are team sports, but they’re also individual and so I really like the competitiveness and the individuality.”
Glass explained that his cross country and track training keep him in great shape once wrestling season rolls around. It’s not the only thing that translates well between all three competitions.
“It’s the mental fortitude,” he said. “Even when you’re in pain, tired and stuff, you’ve got to keep going and keep fighting.”
Glass does it all while being ranked Top 10 in his academic class – putting the student in student-athlete.
“We have high expectations, not only on the cross country course, but also in the classroom,” Ailshie explained. “”He’s just a great, great young man and we’re very fortunate to have him at Volunteer.”