REED CITY — Reed City coach Brad Smith is preparing to get the cross country season going with hopes of increasing the numbers  on the boys side and providing more experience for the girls team.

Reed City started practices last week with one boy and nine girls in the lineup.

The season starts this Saturday at Benzie Central for the Pete Moss Invitational, followed by the Chippewa Hills Invitational Aug. 26 and the Mason County Central Invitational Sept. 4. The first CSAA race is Sept. 9 at Big Rapids.

For the Reed City boys, Matt McGahey is leading the way.

The No. l  runner for the girls looks to be Joelynn Gamble-Brown.

The emphasis for Smith in the early days of practices has been to build up miles for his runners.

“We’re basically getting used to the heat,” Smith said. “It hasn’t been too bad. We’re getting kids use to running on hills. They’ve been running on the rough trails.”

McKenzie Cornelius, Lindsey Greer, Emily Nardone and Lindsey Kienitz are other key girl runners.

“Joelynn’s been running in the morning,” Smith said. “It’s a little different than running the afternoon.”

Cornelius, “was out most of last year with an injury,” Smith said. “She didn’t run a whole lot.”

It’s among the highest numbers the girls team has enjoyed in awhile.

The Coyotes will also be running invitationals at Lake City Sept. 27, Pine River Oct. 4, Manistee Oct.9, Newaygo Oct. 14 and Chippewa Hills Oct. 18.