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RE: What F-M coach Bill Aris knows that no one else knows...
I spent my first two years of HS in upstate NY from '06-'07, right around when they really started to dominate. This was the Tommy Gruenwald/Owen Kimple/17:18 4xMile era for those of you from the area.
I spoke with the coach several times, really really nice guy, as well as his son.
Despite being one of the higher ranked runners in the section, I can tell you from my experience when we got to meets and saw FM we looked in awe. Most of this was from being a nerdy 9th grade runner, but there's something to be said for how important the intimidation factor can be when a team has such a great history of success. I can imagine being on the other side of things, on their team, it must have been a major confidence boost to show up to meets knowing you were going to dominate. The culture of "we're going to win, there's no doubt about it, and we are going to do the work to be able to do it." is very effective with young adults, obviously. I couldn't get my teammates to stop playing hide-and-seek during practice the week before our state qualifiers..
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