No Homecoming is No Problem

The Florida A&M men’s cross-country team is solely committed to entering this year’s homecoming week with a “win-now” philosophy.

The team is scheduled to travel to Orlando for the 16th Annual Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic on Saturday, the same day as the homecoming football game.

In spite of the distraction, the team is confident in its ability to focus on what it has worked hard to achieve – success.

Such confidence derives from the team’s “win-now” philosophy, which is an acronym for “what’s important now.” It entails being conscious of what is essential academically, socially and athletically.

Head coach Wayne Angel said if his men enter this year’s homecoming week with this perspective, everything should flow easily.

“As far as the homecoming festivities, they won’t be a distraction at all. The team is disciplined and are aware of what they need to do,” Angel said. “That was a part of the deal, to be disciplined enough to take care of their academics and their training despite the distractions. I feel that these guys live up to that very well.”

Sophomore Degion Craddock agrees with, and said the homecoming festivities aren’t the main priority for him and his teammates this week.

“We know our boundaries and limits,” Craddock said. “Homecoming is nothing more than a minor obstacle that can be overcome with ease.”

During last year’s Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship, FAMU walked away with a 120-point fifth-place finish. Two runners placed in the top 15; Shuaib Winters (24:31.30) set a course record with his first-place finish. Teammate Lamere Buchanan (26:04.40) came in 11th.

The results of the championship, which took place during last year’s homecoming, showed a big improvement in the team’s performance compared to the previous year. During the 2009 championship, the team placed seventh with two members ranking in the top 20.

Angel said team members are welcome to participate in the festivities – as long as they act responsibly.

“As long as they’re mindful of what they have to do, and as long as they use common sense and good judgment, I don’t have a problem with them enjoying all that homecoming has to offer,” Angel said. “I trust my athletes.”