The Seasons that Never End!  An Essay on Crosscountry running Esteban Erik Stipnieks. 


Howdy folks this is the author Tales of the Dead Armadillo with an essay. I ran crosscountry at two high schools New Braunfels High School 1990, 1991 and for Denton High Ryan Camps 1992, 1993. As I am now over 30 and thankfully many of the relationships remain. The lessons can not be forgotten.

A friend posts on her face book wall she did a track workout she is getting in shape again. The cheer comes as echo from 1990, 1991 a teammate is maintaining her health and is working out. As surely as cheers emerged as she cut through near the top of the pack where we camped out at Medina Valley the cheer comes reflexive. “Just like the good old days in NB track” another comment emerged. Her fellow bullet is teaching at New Braunfels high her son Unicorn football. Echoes of a Coach reminding us about life time fitness and taking care of ourselves fill the action. Thank you Noel Hansen! If you read this essay the and the novel chuckle and take pride.  Pat yourself on the back. The loyalty you helped create remains! By the way you taught this dyspraxic to be a jock!

Corey Sanderford remains an older brother. His friendship continues long past. He is a fire fighter in Washington State. We chat the more things change the more things stay the same. I can not think of him and not smile. He was the mild mannered older brother and many of us remain in contact his role has not changed. His sense of humor his love for the outdoors his enthusiasm without being obnoxious.

In the midst of Tales research a weird bit emerged. I was teammates with a girl who grew up in Denton the picture on the index page has a bit irony. She was becoming a Unicorn and I would soon hit the crucible of Denton. Like me she straddles two classes. As the team photo was posted there were chuckles from Broncos who saw evidence of a relationship and the smallness of the world. A childhood friend was indeed teammates with a friend they came to know in high school. Their shock was OMG he truly was a Unicorn! The New Braunfels Ace in the novel loved would be an unbelievable world to a teammate in New Braunfels as I write the Prequel to Tales “Hoof prints The Making of Ace” I struggle to understand the Denton she knew it made Ace Ace. We share the bond of two worlds and 8 meets loving our hometowns different as they were and the high schools likewise different we graduated from quite against our will! It’s nice to have someone who understands even if the experience is mirror image of your own!

My Denton teams were different but the common loyalties of sweat remain. Victories are sweet still sweet especially if they are over old Coaches. Coach Ponsonby defeated Coach Puliattie! Verbal high fives were exchanged. The love of common purpose, effort and victory are shared. Coach Ponsoby defeated our track coach the high fives that flew at Northlakes, Lubbock, and Norbuck fly again! Two old teammates shared a howl of laughter and celebrated victory! This goes to former teammates who own restaurants!

The idea of being on a team with guys and gals sweating together busting tail together. Patrick Comisky who is defending our lives and our freedom tasted the joy as a runner and teammate. The chat about common purpose, common sacrifice and common glory was great. It is a joy undiminished by years. The love and common purpose is something both of us actively seek.

The grief of a teammate shared by Coach Ponsonby filling in on what became of a teammates parents changed my own actions. The call of former teammates to partially reconcile strained relationships meant. I got to say goodbye to an Uncle within 48 hours of his passing. The loyalty born at Northlakes remains. John Scott if you are out there thanks.

The years have past since meals at Fuddruckers, Clear Springs, CiCis. The events of four teams that became grist for the mill of the novel. The loyalty of sweat and friendship remain. The legacies of Coaches are now being replicated. The lessons learned from Northlakes to Medina Valley, Lubbock to UTSA, echo.

Cross-country runners welcome to the club if you are teenager be a loyal loving teammate keep in touch with your brothers and sisters in sweat. The effort you spent the comraderie you gave the love and encouragement you gave your fellow teammates can be a treasure for the rest of your life!


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