Five runners with regional meet experience could help the St. Charles Preparatory School cross country team find success this season.
The Cardinals made their third consecutive trip to the Division I regional last season and finished 14th of 16 teams. Returning from that lineup are junior Nick Marino (72nd, 17 minutes, 31.96 seconds), junior Brendan Harty (77th, 17:34.38), senior Anthony Schneider (101st, 17:54.41), junior Nate Herriman (104th, 17:56.79) and senior Eric Taylor (18:07.6).
"Experience really helps, but these guys are well-seasoned and really on the ball," coach Damien Brandon said. "We're still trying to find our running order."
St. Charles finished sixth (169) in the 11-team Panther Division of the season-opening Pickerington Classic on Aug. 24 at Pickerington North behind champion Dublin Coffman (77).
Harty finished ninth (16:51.9) to lead the Cardinals, followed by freshman Kevin Hennessey (33rd, 17:40), Marino (41st, 17:54.4), senior Angelo Rivera (42nd, 17:55.8), Taylor (45th, 18:00.7), Schneider (49th, 18:07.7), junior Jacob Sekinger (56th, 18:26.9), Herriman (61st, 18:48.7), sophomore John Simmons (66th, 18:53.1) and sophomore Christopher Mitchell (87th, 19:19.2).
The Cardinals were third (104) in the 21-team Granville Invitational on Aug. 31 at Bryn Du Mansion behind Olentangy (76) and Pickerington North (82). Harty (seventh, 17:06.8) and Hennessey (ninth, 17:19.6) finished in the top 10.
On Sept. 7 in the 28-team Division I race of the McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial, St. Charles was fifth (186) behind champion Olentangy Liberty (51). Harty (16th, 16:51.01) led the way, followed by Hennessey (30th, 17:16.05), Marino (43rd, 17:35.03), Herriman (44th, 17:36.49), Schneider (53rd, 17:53.58), Taylor (54th, 17:54.99) and Simmons (56th, 17:57.65).
Last fall, the Cardinals won their sixth consecutive CCL championship and 13th in 14 seasons, scoring 19 points to win the league meet ahead of runner-up Watterson (56).
"Our goals every year are to win the CCL and to get out of district," Brandon said.
"We're not firing on all cylinders early on, but we should be pretty solid this year."
Water polo team finds tempo success
The water polo team was 10-3 overall before playing Upper Arlington on Sept. 11 thanks in part to a fast-paced style of play.
On Sept. 7, the Cardinals defeated Cincinnati Princeton 15-3, Toledo St. Francis 13-7 and Sylvania 20-4 before losing to host Thomas Worthington 14-8.
"We play very fast ... a lot like a basketball team on the fast break," said coach Geoff Gear, whose team finished 22-13 last season. "It's a unique system that the kids have bought into and it has been working well."
The returning starters also are the team's four seniors. Utility player Andrew Hoffman and center-defender Franz Kabelka started last season. Senior Casey Horan shared starting time at center with senior Dylan Hammon, who now is in goal replacing two-year starter Carl Calcara.
"Dylan was Carl's backup for the past two seasons," Gear said. "Andrew Hoffman (67 goals, 53 assists, 87 steals last season) is our top returning scorer and he had 34 goals in our first nine games."
Rounding out the roster are juniors Andrew Alfred (attacker), Adam Gryzbicki (utility), Joey Hickman (attacker), Brian Landers (goalie), Jack Lumpe (goalie), Noah Miller (attacker), Sam Smith (utility) and Tyler Welty (center-defender), sophomores David Allen (attacker), Austin Beam (utility), Colin Hawes (attacker), Joe Heller (utility), Adam Lieser (center-defender), Bryce Long (attacker), Derek Nguyen (attacker), Vincent Sears (goalie), Connor Timmons (attacker) and Nick Ward (attacker) and freshmen Jack Carlin (goalie), Stuart Decker (attacker), James Grodesky (attacker), Hannes Kalbeka (attacker), John Kostas (attacker), John Lewis (attacker), Patrick McCafferty (attacker), Wil Price (attacker), Alex Roderer (center) and Ben Sugar (attacker).
Football team to play Big Walnut
The football team is 1-1 entering its home game against Big Walnut on Friday, Sept. 13.
The Golden Eagles are 0-2, having scored 21 points in two games. They led Chillicothe 14-0 at halftime Sept. 6, but lost 21-14.
"Big Walnut is a good team that has had a couple of tough games, so we know they will be hungry," coach Jeff Pharion said. "We had scrimmaged them for the previous 12 seasons before putting them on the schedule this year, so we know what to expect. They like to establish the ground game and they always run downhill and hit you hard. They are always a hard-nosed football team."
On Sept. 6, the Cardinals defeated Eastmoor Academy 48-8 as senior quarterback Ryan Bailey rushed for 149 yards on 11 carries, including touchdowns of 10 and 3 yards. He also was 6-for-9 passing for 46 yards with a 20-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Jack Billman.
Senior running back Michael Hamrock had 61 yards rushing on nine carries and sophomore running back Jacob Nowell had 81 yards on seven carries.
"We're very happy to get the offense going," Pharion said. "Ryan Bailey played exceptionally well and our offensive line did a great job of blocking."
Senior running back John Quinn had a 5-yard touchdown run and junior quarterback Jacob Moehrman rushed for scores of 5 and 7 yards. Sophomore place-kicker Will Groeber had field goals of 32 and 22 yards and kicked six extra points.
The Cardinals lost their opener at Pickerington North 20-0 on Aug. 30.
"We improved offensively quite a bit (between the first two games), but I thought we played well defensively in both games," Pharion said. "I saw a lot of Cardinal helmets at the football. We had a lot of good gang-tackling."