Girls out to boost league record
The Ready High School girls volleyball team had a losing record in the CCL before emerging to make its first appearance in the Division III state tournament a year ago.
This season, the Silver Knights believe they could be even better.
Seniors Karley Kusan and Carly Culbertson are back to lead a team that has won three district titles in four seasons and has its sights on another set of championships this fall.
The Silver Knights open Saturday, Aug. 25, at Marion Pleasant and play their league opener Sept. 6 at defending Division II state champion Hartley.
“We are quicker than we were last year on defense, and that will be key to winning in the CCL,” said Mike Kusan, who is Karley’s father and has a record of 96-35 in five seasons as coach. “We have an opportunity to go back to state because we know how to do it. Last year was wishful thinking; this year it’s reality.”
Karley Kusan is a 5-foot-11 setter and outside hitter who has verbally committed to play for Akron. Culbertson is an outside hitter who has started the last two seasons.
Other key returnees are seniors Miranda Ball (outside hitter), McKaylynn Fleshman (right-side hitter) and Dani Mercer (defensive specialist/libero) and junior Lauren Rivera (defensive special-ist/libero).
Also looking to contribute are juniors Kaitlyn Keyes (setter), Elisabeth Palazzo (right-side hitter), Rose Thacker (middle hitter) and Sarah Warbis (defensive specialist) and sophomore Maggie Quinn (defensive specialist).
Last season, Ready was 22-6 overall and fourth in the CCL at 3-5, behind Hartley (7-1), DeSales (6-2) and Watterson (4-4) and ahead of Columbus School for Girls (0-8).
The Silver Knights beat Cardington (25-12, 25-6, 25-15), North Union (25-13, 25-8, 25-13) and Centerburg (25-15, 25-14, 25-21) to win a district title. They then defeated Lima Central Catholic (25-16, 25-17, 18-25, 25-22) and Milan Edison (25-23, 25-14, 21-25, 25-20) at the regional level.
In the state tournament, Ready lost to Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 25-22, 25-18, 25-22 in a semifinal.
Carleigh Green, who was the libero and now is playing for East Carolina, led a 2012 senior class that also included Katie Weilbacher.
Football team set to face Green Wave
The football team will play Newark Catholic for the first time since 2002 when it travels for its opener Saturday, Aug. 25.
The Silver Knights won the last meeting 28-21 in overtime.
Both Ready and Newark Catholic, which formerly was a member of the CCL-Gold Division before moving to the MSL-Ohio in 2003, are coming off non-winning seasons.
The Silver Knights were 4-6 last fall and have a new coach in Joel Cutler. His team has just three seniors in Doug Strickler (RB), Luke Hackney (OL/DL) and Michael Pozz (OL/DL).
Other key players should include juniors Kelly Culbertson (DB), Akili Taylor (RB), Brady Taylor (OL) and Matt Yoho (QB).
Newark Catholic won the 2007 Division VI state title but went 5-5 a year ago and has failed to advance to the playoffs three of the last four seasons.
The Green Wave returns eight starters on offense including junior Chayce Crouch, who was special mention all-district at quarterback. Senior Kevin Bourne, who was first-team all-district at defensive back, should be a key running back after finishing with more than 500 yards last season. Seniors Brock Cecutti (OL), Mitch Cox (WR/DB) and Zach Noth (OL) are other key players.
Girls soccer team out to build on last year
The girls soccer team took advantage of the OHSAA’s expansion to three divisions a year ago by advancing to a district final for the first time.
Players like senior Donovan Capehart, who has verbally committed to Ohio State and could see time at several positions, is among the reasons the Silver Knights believe another solid season could be coming.
Ready, which went 7-7-3 overall last season and has a new coach in Jason Montgomery, opens Saturday, Aug. 25, at Franklin Heights. Its CCL opener is Sept. 6 at DeSales.
“I’m going to be very optimistic, and the kids are working hard,” said Montgomery, who took over after Casey McKinney stepped down after her first season. “There’s a lot of skill with this group.”
Capehart is among a senior class that also includes Hailey Cartt (defender), Kim Lloyd (goalkeeper) and Brooke Ringel (midfielder). Also back are juniors Jordan Bair (defender) and Caroline Riewe (forward/midfielder).
Comprising the sophomore class are Angelique Bowman (forward/midfielder), Marina Sweet (forward/midfielder) and Ashlyn Szabo (forward/goalkeeper).
Freshmen Kathleen Colvin (midfielder), Delaney Cutteridge (midfielder), Annie Mesewicz (defender) and Rachel Neff (defender) also are expected to start.
Freshmen Morgan Capuano (forward) also is on the team.
Ready, which opened last season 0-5-1, beat Wellington 1-0 in the first round of the Division III district tournament, upset second-seeded Worthington Christian 3-2 in the second round and beat third-seeded Grandview 2-0 to move into a district final.
The Silver Knights’ season ended with a 3-2 loss to Columbus Academy.
Ready went 1-2-1 in the CCL to tie Hartley behind DeSales (4-0) and Watterson (3-1) and ahead of CSG (0-4).
Caitlin Graessle, who had seven shutouts and made ThisWeek Super 12 honorable mention, led the 2012 senior class.
Boys golf team returns strong, growing group
With 10 boys and five girls out this fall, golf coach Don Worstell is excited about the program’s growth as he begins his second season.
Ready opened Aug. 14 by placing seventh (344) in the 18-team North Union Invitational at Glenross behind champion Hilliard Davidson (305).
The CCL preseason tournament was Aug. 21 at Granville Golf Course.
The Silver Knights are led by senior Kris Clarke, who shot a team-best 83 in the Division II district tournament last season at River Greens to help his team to a sixth-place finish (354). St. Clairsville (326) won the title and Watterson (326) also advanced to state.
Senior Spencer Heselden, junior Nickell Siepel and sophomore Jason Horn also are back.
Sophomore Quentin Handley and junior Antonio Pulsinelli are others expected to contribute.
Senior Kelsey McFarland, who played on the boys team as a sophomore, and freshman Alicia Lundy give Ready a pair of experienced girls players.
Last season, Ready went 3-5-1 in the CCL as St. Charles won the title.
The Silver Knights were third (346) in the sectional at Granville Golf Course as Bexley (325) and DeSales (326) also advanced to district.
Brian Horn, a 2012 graduate, had the team’s second-best score at district with an 85, followed by Jason Horn (89), Siepel (98) and Heselden (104).
“We’re not as deep as we were a year ago,” Worstell said. “Right now we’re struggling with consistency. Kris is consistent and we’ve got a couple others who have been fairly consistent.”