Christopher Costa, Zach Moore, Blake Weis, Ryan McNeal, Jessica Weems and Morgan Free are six of those reasons.
Adams, who coaches both the girls and boys teams at Sequoyah, said the boys may be a little more polished this season, but the girls still have plenty of potential.
Adams is eying a top-four finish in the Region 7AAAAA meet for both genders.
The Chiefs got things started in the right direction by winning Saturday’s Bob Blastow Early Bird Classic in Douglasville.
Costa was the individual medalist of the boys meet, finishing in 16 minutes and 37.14 seconds. Moore (15:35.24) was seventh, while Weis and McNeal also finished in the top 15.
“We are very excited,” Adams said. “We have had our three seniors (Costa, McNeal, Moore) all four years. A couple of them started as eighth-graders. They have gotten better and better each year. It’s been exciting to see them grow up into better runners.”
Weis and Robert Carter are juniors, and Adams said there are also some talented sophomores on the team who provide depth.
Adams attributes the strength of the boys team to good senior leadership and dedication during the summer.
“They really work hard,” he said. “And the teams are bigger than either of the last two years.”
Adams said the team’s goals for the season are simple.
“We want to do well in the region,” he said. “For the boys, we want to compete at the state. For the girls, we just want to make it to state. We haven’t made it to state for a while for the girls. We want to make top-four in the region and just get to state.
“The boys want to push. We want to compete for a region championship and see how good we can do at state.”
As for the Lady Chiefs, Adams said many of his runners are still new to the sport. Senior Sydney Webb provides leadership, while juniors Weems, Megan McNeal and Free have come on strong. Freshman Emily Fudge has also impressed.
“Last year, we got eighth out of 10 in the region,” Adams said. “We are just really young. We are getting there with the girls, but we are slowly getting better each year. It’s just a work in progress.”
Still, Adams said the Lady Chiefs’ goal of going to state is realistic.
“I’m not just saying that to make them happy,” he said. “We have a long way to go, but I think it’s something they can do.”
Boy or girl, Sequoyah’s runners treat one another as family. In fact, that’s what was printed on the back of their shirts for the season.
“They feel like they are a family,” Adams said. “They have really taken that on. They all seem to bond as a team. They spend time together and everything.”
They often gather at one’s house for dinner the night before a race.
Next on the schedule for Sequoyah is Saturday’s Clara Bowl at Berry College.
“It’s a huge meet,” Adams said. “It will provide some good competition.”