MOORHEAD, MN-- Jack Newcomb knows a thing or two about determination.

“I’m a wrestler, weight lifter, and then I also participate in track along with football,” said Newcomb.

This motivated Moorhead senior isn’t even mentioning his newest sport though. This time of year Newcomb should be suiting up as linebacker for his final season on the Spuds football team, but instead now he’s trading in his cleats for running shoes as the newest member on the cross country roster.

“We’ve all had to adjust a lot without football in the fall. I mean ever since we were little kids in elementary school fall has always meant football. And now that that’s gone we’re just trying to find something new that we can enjoy,” said Newcomb.

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Once it was official that high school football season would move to the spring in Minnesota, Newcomb’s busy fall was suddenly open.

“I figured it out pretty quick (to run cross country), I’ve always enjoyed running and I just wanted to fill something for football. Obviously nothing will replace football but just something to do in the meantime,” said Newcomb.

“He’s always done a little bit of running on the side and so it didn’t necessarily surprise me that he wanted to come out. He’s a really motivated kid and in terms of his running ability, he’s pretty talented. He’s not your typical looking cross country kid but he’s got a huge motor and he’s got a big heart. Any kid with a big heart is one that we want on our team,” said Head Coach Isaac Lundberg.

Cross country also having a new and improved look this fall season as well. Only three schools can compete in each competition, there is also no word yet on if the MSHSL will hold a postseason or state tournament.

It’s Newcomb’s determination though that is already making him stand out on the course. It was shown last Thursday in his first ever cross country race.

“It was exciting, I was just trying to get across the finish line in front of him and give it my all at the end there,” said Newcomb.

Newcomb placed second in the JV race, but gained attention after making a head first dive at the finish line to try to finish on top.

“I think he was under the impression that if his head went across the line first that he was going to win and that’s not reality how the rule works, but he went for it,” said Lundberg.

It’s that motor though that keeps Newcomb driving to excel and get through an uncertain senior year.

“Jack is a super, super kid and I think one of things that we have been talking to all of our kids about over the last six months really is that opportunities are going to present themselves at some point and they’re going to reward the people who are ready for them.

“Jack is a super, super kid and I think one of things that we have been talking to all of our kids about over the last six months really is that opportunities are going to present themselves at some point and they're going to reward the people who are ready for them. And I think Jack is like a lot of our kids in that he found that opportunity in a little different way than some of our kids who are typically running year round, but he’s a great kid and it’s good to have him,” said Lundberg.

Once graduating from Moorhead this spring, Lundberg hopes to enlist in the military.