The preseason hasn't been an easy time for coach Ray Corbett to evaluate his Grandview Heights High School boys tennis team.
The weather kept the Bobcats off the court heading into spring break, which began March 29. That has made evaluating players difficult with the season to begin Monday, April 8, at home against Bloom-Carroll.
"The cutoff (for being on the courts) is 40 degrees because that's where the (MSL) sets the minimum temperature," said Corbett, who is in his 23rd season. "You would like to get out some and have three (scrimmage) matches in before the season. We're trying to get a ladder established and evaluate our kids."
Last season, the Bobcats finished 7-8 overall in dual matches and placed fifth (2-4, 17 points) in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio Division behind Columbus Academy (5-1, 36), Bexley (6-0, 35), Granville (4-2, 23) and Fisher Catholic (3-3, 19) and ahead of Whitehall (1-5, 4) and West Jefferson (0-6, 2).
"They are a lot like last year in that I'm happy with their work ethic and that they come out and work hard to get better," said Corbett, whose team did not advance anyone to district from the Division II sectional at Columbus School for Girls. "Our kids have a good feeling of what's expected of them. They come out and work pretty hard at it and that's all I can ask of them."
In the mix for playing time are seniors Joe Huggins, Luke Snider and Trevor Voelker, juniors Peter Bonn, Nick Eaton, Austin Lewis, Nick Luckenbach and Jon Sterneker and freshmen Micah Miller and Luke Treasure.
"I think we'll mix some things up this year," Corbett said. "Instead of having the one guy who will be (the No. 1) singles player, we will move them around.
"Trevor Voelker appears to be our best singles player, but he's also pretty good with Luke Snider in first doubles, so he will likely rotate on both courts."
Girls track team returns talented group
The girls track and field team returns five Division III state qualifiers in senior Anna Davis, junior Laura Satterthwaite and sophomores Emily Burns, Emma Hecker and Ali Lachey.
Davis, Satterthwaite, Lachey and 2012 graduate Emily Lachey teamed to finish eighth at state in the 3,200-meter relay in 9 minutes, 48.52 seconds. The top eight finishers earn all-state honors.
The Bobcats tied for 72nd (1 point) behind champion Versailles (39) as 78 teams scored.
Also competing at state were the 800 relay of Hecker, Burns and 2012 graduates Caitlyn Sarich and Jordan Fitzgerald (14th, 1:51.32), Ali Lachey in the 1,600 (11th, 5:23.3) and Satterthwaite in the 800 (11th, 2:21.92).
"We definitely have a lot of talent back from a really successful season last year and the girls are poised to have another," said coach Brian Schoch, who is in his sixth season leading the boys and girls programs. "It's nice to have a group of girls back with not only state experience but also big-meet experience."
In the regional, Grandview finished fourth (37) behind champion Mount Gilead (56) as 46 teams scored.
Senior Julie Menke returns after finishing sixth at regional in the 100 hurdles (16.87).
The Bobcats finished second (77) in the 29-team district meet won by Academy (83).
Grandview captured its fifth consecutive MSL-Cardinal championship by scoring 167 points in the league meet to outdistance Licking Heights (135), Fisher Catholic (106), Berne Union (86), Liberty Union (71), West Jefferson (49), Millersport (35) and Harvest Prep (5).
"The strength of the girls team is well-roundedness," said Schoch, whose squad opens Tuesday, April 9, at Hamilton Township in a meet with Academy and Fairfield Union. "We can score points in a lot of different ways and we have lot of talent in a lot of different areas.
"We're trying to figure out who goes where, what are the best events (for the girls) and who fills what relays. We're also seeing if they can also throw or jump. We're working to get those things answered."
The team also includes seniors Sara Berning, Erica Jackson and Lindsey Smith, juniors Tenley Aufdencamp, Halli Bair, Hanley Baird, Claire Holliday and Josie Pommering and sophomores Maria Albon, Meredith Cox, Morgan Ettrich, Alexis Lower, Megan McCauley, Emma Mihocik, Grace Palmer and Jessica Umbarger.
Boys track team expects success
The boys track team has a pair of returnees with Division III state-meet experience in juniors Luke Evans and Josh Smith.
Evans and Smith joined 2012 graduates Brendan Cox and Ben Mathes on the 3,200 relay that finished 13th (8:21.4) last year at state. Smith also finished 13th in the 1,600 (4:37.43).
The Bobcats did not score at state. Academy (64) won the state title as 73 teams scored.
"The strength of the boys team looks to be the middle distance and distance (runners)," Schoch said. "Luke and Josh ran on the (3,200 relay) at state and Josh qualified as an individual. We have a really strong corps of distance runners coming back."
Also returning are seniors Chase Gage (distance), Payton Jones (sprints, jumps) and Tyler Mosier (sprints, jumps) and juniors Pat McHugh (hurdles) and Alex York (middle distance). Key sophomores include Spencer Hawk (sprints, relays), Peter Mathes (middle distance, relays), Eli Reed (middle distance, relays) and Grant Varner (throws).
"We have some sprinting talent with Payton Jones and Tyler Mosier leading the way," Schoch said. "We have a good core group of guys back, but maybe not the depth we would like to have. I also think Pat McHugh will have a good season in the hurdles.
"We have some gaps to fill in the field events. Grant Varner made significant strides last season in the shot (put) and discus, and Tyler is our best returning high-jumper. We have some prospects in the high jump."
Grandview finished ninth (21) at regional last year behind champion Academy (113) as 44 teams scored.
The Bobcats won their first district championship since 1989, scoring 125 points in the 17-team district 2 meet to finish ahead of runner-up Galion Northmor (87).
The boys were second in the MSL-Cardinal meet with 135 points, finishing behind Liberty Union (192.33) and ahead of Berne Union (79), Licking Heights (71), Harvest Prep (57), Fisher Catholic (53.5), Millersport (34.83) and West Jefferson (33.33).