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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Wade named Newton’s next head cross country coach after Foster departs
Joana Godinez placed fourth in the varsity girls 5,000-meter run in the State Farm Opener on Aug. 14. (Photo credit: Stephen Foster) - photo by Special to The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. — After five years as Newton High School’s head cross country coach, Stephen Foster announced, via his personal Instagram, that he’ll be departing the Rams’ program. Scott Wade will replace Foster at the helm of the cross country program.

Foster expressed a message of gratitude in his parting remarks. 

“I spent the last five years teaching at Newton High School and it’ll be a time that I’ll definitely remember favorably forever,” Foster said. “Two months ago, we welcomed our beautiful baby boy into this world. Thank you to everyone. You definitely made me a better teacher, human and a better parent. Again, it’s not a goodbye but a thank you very much. Until next time.” 

Foster recognized how the class of 2022 that just graduated from Newton High School was the first class he coached and taught from their freshmen to senior years. 

And, even though their paths are separating, Foster has much anticipation for each graduate’s success post-high school. 

“It’s been exciting to watch you grow into the young men and women you are today,” Foster said.”I can’t wait to see what great you do in this world.” 

In his final year, Foster and the Rams made program history. On Aug. 14, 2021, Newton hosted the State Farm Opener — the Rams’ first ever home cross country meet. 

Wade, entering as the new head guy, pointed to such evidence as to why he’s excited about this new opportunity. 

“I know Foster was working on developing a program and was doing many good things,” Wade said. “He was optimistic and forwarded looking. When I’d see Newton at meets, you could see the team had a positive attitude. I hope to be able to build upon that foundation.” 

Wade comes from Heritage High School in Conyers where he spent two decades coaching for the Patriots. He is an alumnus of Salem High School in Conyers and Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. Wade ran cross country on both levels, too. 

As for goals for the upcoming season set to begin in the fall, Wade said he and the team will be focused on process and participation. 

“We are going to train safely, systematically and consistently,” Wade said. “We are going to encourage healthy habits. We are going to learn to race smart and allow our training to produce positive results. We are going to take a thoughtful approach to scheduleing to allow all athletes to develop, practice fundamentally sound race tactics and experience personal growth and team success.” 

No schedule has been released as of yet, but Wade said he’s hopeful for what the Rams can do in 2022. Wade also stressed how he hopes the positivity of the program will spread throughout the community. 

“It is my hope that each of the returning runners are so committed to the team and progress that they each share that enthusiasm with everyone in the Newton community,” Wade said. “And hopefully [that enthusiasm will] attracts at least two additional people to join Newton cross country.”