by Jim and Anita Lister
On October 4, 2019, runners from the 1994 and 1995 State Championship Cross Country teams gathered at the SHS school cafeteria and football field. Current coach/teammate Steve Allison began coordinating the reunion plans over a year ago and contacted all members from across the country; they came from California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Washington DC, and, of course, Michigan. Thirteen runners and coaches Jim and Anita Lister attended the event as well as former runners, former coaches, families, and supporters. The event included a dinner, tour of the school, half time recognition, and opportunities to reunite and reminisce. Some even ran on the trail behind the Lister’s Stockbridge home where many practices were held.
This celebration honored both teams that won the Class B State Championships two years in a row. Not only did these teams excel on the course, but they also excelled in the classroom. Many individuals from both teams were awarded Academic All State. At the time, Stockbridge was one of the smallest high schools in Class B with just over 500 students. Class B included student enrollment of 500-1100.
The following year, in 1996, the boys team finished 2nd in a highly contested race at MIS. The year after that, they were 4th in the state. Stockbridge has continued to have great Cross Country programs boasting many conference and regional champions as well as many All State runners and Academic All-Staters.
Coach Jim Lister noted, “It was hard to believe it has been 25 years since the CC teams accomplished this feat. They still remain the only State Championship team in the history of Stockbridge HS.”
Pat Heeney began the boys Cross Country program. Later, Jim Brown, John Prescott, and Dan Steffey coached the boys. Back in 1990, the Listers took over the boys team and regrouped the girls team. Jim and Anita coached Stockbridge Cross Country for 15 years before passing the torch to Steve Allison. Besides the Listers, the girls teams have been coached by Mike French, Susan Lockhart, Luke Thorburn, and Jeff Trapp. Both the boys and girls coaches have developed many great teams as well.
Coaches Jim and Anita Lister want to thank all of their former runners for their efforts to make program so successful. Led by Steve Allison, the event took such a huge effort from so many to make it come together. Many had to travel long distances, take off work, and arrange for families and lodging.
Both coaches agreed, “There is a special bond and love we will always have for this group of young men. It was more of a celebration of this close “family” of athletes than the banners on the walls. What was shared 25 years ago helped to mold us all into the individuals we are today. We were so amazed to see the accomplishments of all of these boys that are very successful men now. Thank you for all that you gave us! RUN HARD!!!”
1994 & 1995 Boys Cross Country Teams:
-Maurice Pendell*-stat man
-Jim & Anita Lister-coaches
*Unable to attend