The Hartley High School softball team isn't shying away from lofty goals this spring.
The last time the Hawks won the CCL championship, according to coach Meghan Zuercher, was 1990, and they'd like nothing better than to end that drought.
Hartley's opener March 29 against Licking Valley was postponed. The Hawks played Jonathan Alder on March 31.
"We've definitely got high hopes," Zuercher said. "Our first and primary goal is to win the league, which is something that hasn't been done in 24 years. We feel we can be competitive because we've got a schedule that will prepare us. We're going to be tested."
There are six seniors in the program, including three who will play collegiately in shortstop Sidney Melton (Louisville), catcher Cassie Plageman (Bowling Green) and left fielder Mariah Rock (Walsh).
The other seniors are Alexis Britford (1B), Kristen Culbertson (3B) and Nicole Weldon (RF).
Sophomore Maria Cegledy will pitch after seeing time there last year and also will play shortstop and center field. Freshman Tatum Wise also should see time in the circle.
Sophomore Lexi van Ooyen should start at second base.
Sophomores Hailey Johnson, Sarah LeMay and Jennifer Schrader will play in the outfield.
Last season, Hartley went 12-15 overall and tied Ready and DeSales for second (2-4) in the CCL behind Watterson (6-0). The Hawks lost to Granville 8-6 in the second round of the Division II district tournament.
Cegledy split time at pitcher last season with Tiffany Wolf, who was among a four-member 2013 senior class with Anna Kirk (SS), Allie Smith (CF) and Emily Davis (designated player). Kirk was district Player of the Year in 2012 but missed last season with a knee injury.
New baseball coach excited for season
Chad Young is happy to be back in a dugout this spring.
After coaching the Canal Winchester baseball program from 2003-07, Young decided to step down because of his growing family.
The coaching job at Hartley opened after Morgan Assmann stepped down after his 14th season, and Young was chosen to take over.
"We've got a great group of coachable guys," said Young, a 1989 Fairfield Union graduate who played at Ohio University. "We've got some guys with really good speed and I think we'll be able to score some runs. If we're able to limit walks and errors, we should be pretty good."
Hartley's opening doubleheader March 29 at Pickerington North was postponed. The Hawks played Columbus Academy on March 31.
The Hawks have five seniors back from a team that went 11-13 overall last season and was last (2-6) in the CCL behind champion St. Charles (7-1).
Senior Sam Montgomery is expected to be in center field and senior Drew Onega will be in left field after both hit better than .420 a year ago.
Senior Andrew Gilliland and sophomore Nate Moore both should see action at second base and as starting pitchers.
Others on the mound should be junior Pat Heinmiller and sophomore Adam Rose.
Rounding out the senior class are Zach Muetzel (utility) and Corey Wilbur (DH/utility).
Also expected to start are juniors Cameron Macioce (3B) and Adam Lowe (SS) and sophomores Sean Gilmore (C) and Austin Rawlins (1B).
Freshman Jake Ruby is expected to start in right field. Also looking to contribute in the outfield is junior Dominic Evans.
Hartley lost eight players to graduation from a team that lost to Columbus Academy 10-6 in the second round of last year's Division III district tournament, including four-year regular Luke Heinmiller (P/3B).
Lanza steps down from basketball post
The girls basketball program will have a new coach next season after Mike Lanza recently stepped down.
Lanza led the program for seven seasons and guided the Hawks to a Division II district championship in 2012, their first since 2001.
Hartley went 12-10 this season.
Lanza was named Grove City's football coach Jan. 13 but didn't make his decision about his Hartley coaching job until after the season.
He told the Hawks' players earlier this month.
"I'm excited about the opportunity (at Grove City), but I've really enjoyed my seven years at Hartley and I'm happy we were able to build it into a Division II contender in the Central District," Lanza said.
"All the players and parents have just been wonderful. I didn't know if I'd be able to do (both coaching jobs) because any head-coaching job anymore is a 12-month commitment."