By Ray Hamill — The Corsairs are gearing up for a busy weekend in sports, with three of their teams set to host events on Saturday and two others playing on the road.
In cross country, the College of the Redwoods men’s and women’s teams will host the season-opening NorCal Preview Meet at Rohner Park in Fortuna.
The two races will serve as a preview for the NorCal championships, which the Corsairs will host for the first time in 25 years in early November.
“It’s a huge event,” CR head coach Reed Elmore said.
Familiarity with the hilly course could benefit the Corsairs, who have an experienced sophomore-heavy team this fall with several returners.
“They start to be more cohesive when they’re sophomores,” Elmore said. “And they work well together. We have a great team atmosphere.”
Track and field school record breaker Hannah Hartwell will lead an experienced women’s team that also includes locals Maggie Stacy and Kristin Bonomini.
The men’s team will be led by the experienced Kyle Bryne, who is in his third year with the program, as well as Eureka’s Thomas Becannon.
Saturday’s NorCal Preview starts with the women’s race at noon, followed by the men’s race at 12:45 p.m.
Also on Saturday, the Cal Poly Humboldt men’s and women’s cross country squads will host the Jim Hunt Humboldt Invitational at Beau Pre Golf Club.
The men’s 8K race is set for the 8:30 a.m,., with the women’s 6K at 9:15 a.m.
In addition to the host school, the event will also feature teams from Southern Oregon, Willamette University and Clackamas Community College.
The CR volleyball team will also be busy on Saturday, as the Corsairs prepare for their home openers.
The CR women are building momentum ahead of conference play after winning three of their last four matches and they have been strong defensively with a deep roster this year.
Redwoods will play Siskiyous at 10 a.m. and Mendocino at 2 p.m., with those two schools also playing each other at noon.
Two other CR teams will be on the road this weekend, including the football team, which plays at West Hills Coalinga.
The Corsairs are 0-2 after close defeats at Merced and at home to San Jose City College
West Hills is 1-1, bouncing back from a 51-3 loss to Foothill on opening weekend to edge Los Medanos 42-41 last week.
And CR head coach Jason White is confident his team can get its first win this week.
“I think we are progressing in the right manner, and I look for us to come together this week,” he said. “I mean, really for us it’s about execution. I think our effort has been there for the most part and we’re not going to back down from anybody.”
Saturday’s kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be streamed live through YouTube.
The CR men’s soccer team will also be in action this weekend and will play at Merritt on Friday afternoon.
The Corsairs will also field a women’s soccer team this fall but only for conference play, with the team’s first game at Shasta College next Friday.