With three of its top four scorers back from a team that extended its City League-North Division winning streak to 60, Northland High School girls basketball coach Bill Spencer knows what his program represents.
Ryan Cannon was one of the DeSales High School boys soccer team's mainstays on defense all season, but coach Domenic Romanelli noticed he wasn't having one of his best nights during the Division II state final against Bay Village Bay on Nov. 8 at Crew Stadium.
Knowing that a playoff berth already had been locked up unofficially, the DeSales High School football team's regular-season finale Nov. 1 at Wheeling (W.Va.) Linsly provided a chance to re-establish the offensive success that had helped it reach the postseason after a two-year absence.
In 2010, the Northland High School football team beat Beechcroft 12-7 in its regular-season finale to earn a share of the City League-North Division championship with the Cougars and clinch its first playoff berth.
Leading by one goal at halftime in a Division II district final against Bexley on Oct. 25 and waiting for its chance to pounce, the DeSales High School boys soccer team exploited a potentially important tendency.
When Beechcroft High School boys soccer coach Shane Huey encouraged his players to yell "City championship" before entering the field throughout the preseason, junior midfielder Peter Darko thought the idea was wishful thinking.
The DeSales High School girls soccer team followed up what coach Matt d'Auteuil called the team's worst stretch of the season with what he said might have been its best performance in a scoreless tie against Dublin Coffman on Oct. 4.
When Antonio Romanelli of the DeSales High School boys soccer team scored on a free kick with 24 minutes, 45 seconds to play Sept. 30 at Hartley, it gave the Stallions a two-goal lead and all but clinched at least a tie for their first CCL championship in four years.
After putting one streak behind it a year ago, the St. Charles Preparatory School football team will try to start one and take a step toward another when it travels Friday, Oct. 3, to DeSales in the CCL-Silver Division opener for both teams.
Enough things went amiss last year to keep the DeSales High School football team from making the Division III playoffs for the second consecutive season, but coach Ryan Wiggins wouldn't categorize it as a lost season.