Hinsdale South’s switch to 2A changes perspective

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A major change to postseason assignments has given the Hinsdale South boys cross country team a new outlook to the season.

Instead of hoping to advance just an individual or two, now the Hornets believe their entire team can qualify for a sectional after being reassigned into Class 2A from Class 3A.

“This summer, I told them I thought we might be in 2A,” first year coach Jim Dickerson said. “It motivated them. They had a really good summer.”

The shift to 2A means Hinsdale South will compete in the Wheaton Academy Regional Oct. 26 against schools such as Lemont and Benet at Keppler Park in West Chicago. Hinsdale South’s girls soccer program also dropped a classification.

Junior Joe Eilbert likes the changes the program, primarily Dickerson’s emphasis on long-distance training. Eilbert said many workouts in the past had included sprint work, but the Hornets are now putting in far more miles.

Dickerson was an assistant coach under David Jackson for the past two years after previously coaching at Neuqua Valley for 10 years. He is a guidance counselor at Hinsdale South.

“With Mr. Dickerson, he’s worried about the whole team by going out there and having fun and improving, instead of just focusing on the varsity,” said Eilbert, a Darien resident.

Eilbert missed most of last season with a stress fracture in his right big toe. He likely suffered the injury during freshman track season. He wore a boot this summer and said he’s fully recovered.

Eilbert has been running as Hinsdale South’s No. 3 behind Roman Drabchuck and Vicente Perez. Eilbert was 67th at the Hornet-Red Devil Sept. 3, 31st at the Reavis Invitational Sept. 14 and placed 265th in the massive Spring Invitational Sept. 21 at Peoria’s Detweiller Park, the site of the state meet Nov. 9.

Hinsdale South competes at Niles West’s Savage Invitational at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Skokie.

“I am looking for running a personal best and supporting the guys on the team,” Eilbert said. “My more important goal is to run with the guys on the varsity.”

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