As Buena Vista junior Seth Moss took to the starting line for his first cross country race, he noticed a glaring difference between him and the other runners.
It was just that they naturally looked like they belonged at the starting line of a foot race. That much was obvious. It had more to do with the fact that when Moss is typically running in the fall, it's to deliver a downfield block for his quarterback or running back.
Moss is an offensive lineman now living in a distance runner's world.
Wanting to maintain a level of competition in the fall, he decided to take on cross country as a new adventure. And as he walked up to the starting line, it was easy to see that he was well outside his comfort zone.
"I was probably the only person over 150 pounds there," Moss said. "I'm around 180, 185 and I started laughing when I got to the start line."
But he's keeping a good attitude about it. Looking at the unique year that's ahead of him he wanted to do something that would keep his competitive interest alive and potentially serve him well in prepping for the wrestling and football seasons, seasons that he cherishes as a high school athlete.
He even tried to encourage some of his football teammates to go out with him, but it went to no avail.
He did get the opportunity to let Demons head football coach Matt Flavin know that he was going to taking on distance running this fall.
"He thought I was kidding at first," Moss said. "He was happy that I'm doing it. He thinks it's going to be great for me. All of the coaches have been supportive which is super cool."
That's been the prevalent theme for most coaches throughout the year. With a lot of traditional fall sports being played at a different time of year, coaches just want their kids staying involved with athletics especially if it's tied to the school.
Moss sees another added benefit. There is some worry that distance running and a general increase in a cardio sport could lead to him shedding weight for both wrestling and football. He believes that he can get the weight back on once cross country ends, but is excited about what running will do for his overall endurance for those two sports.
"It's tough," he said. "With football once the play is over you get into the huddle and get that quick breather. This is just 24 minutes and if you slow down it means you're losing and if you start too fast you're not going to have anything left in the tank. But hey, if I can get out and run a 5K, I'm going to be fine come the fourth quarter of a football game."
Moss spends his spring playing baseball for the Demons so he's now prideful that he gets to go through this year a four-sport athlete. And he has no regrets over trying something outside of his comfort zone because of the way things have shifted with the calendar this year.
"I would recommend if this situation ever came up again," he said. "We should try to get as many people as we can doing something like this."