Despite low roster numbers, the Grandview Heights High School boys and girls cross country teams have been two of the area’s best in Division III year in and year out.
Both teams advanced to the state meet at National Trail Raceway last fall despite the boys team having only nine runners and the girls having seven. This year, the boys have 13 runners and the girls have nine.
“When we made it to state last season, I guarantee we were the only girls program there with seven runners, and the boys only had two more (runners),” coach Brian Schoch said. “We have a small school that has soccer, football, tennis, volleyball and golf in the fall, and that’s without mentioning band, choir and other activities.
“The runners that we do have are very determined. They don’t just want to run, they want to excel. And having 22 runners out is the most we’ve had in a while.”
Last season, the boys finished 15th (333 points) of 16 teams at state behind champion Attica Seneca East (101). They were led by senior Luke Evans, who took 13th (16 minutes, 10.92 seconds) to earn all-state honors with a top-25 finish.
Chase Gage, a 2013 graduate, finished 82nd (17:16.38), followed by senior Josh Smith (114th, 17:55.21), junior Peter Mathes (127th, 18:20.77), junior Eli Reed (128th, 18:22.49), junior Jon Faris (142nd, 20:32.38) and junior Owen McCormick (143rd, 21:02.82). Smith did not return to the team this season.
The girls team finished 14th (292) of 16 teams at state behind champion Liberty Center (101). Junior Ali Lachey (46th, 19:40.24) led the Bobcats, followed by junior Madison Osborne (64th, 20:00.01), senior Halli Bair (94th, 20:49.6), junior Emma Hecker (97th, 20:59.32), sophomore Emma Wheeler (120th, 21:46.16) and junior Emma Mihocik (141st, 24:34.58).
“I like that we have all of the girls back from state last year, which is a ton of experience,” Schoch said. “I like their daily work ethic. When you have a nice group of girls with experience and they work hard, that’s always a big positive.”
The Bobcats opened Aug. 28 in the Canal Winchester Invitational. Lachey finished second (19:52) behind Julia Rizk (19:49) of Columbus Academy as Grandview was fifth (150) of 18 teams behind champion Academy (62).
Bair (30th, 21:55) was next for the Bobcats, followed by Hecker (37th, 22:15), Osborne (39th, 22:38), Mihocik (52nd, 23.28), Wheeler (71st, 24:14), freshman Emma Amurgis (94th, 25:21), freshman Emma Berlin (101st, 25:37) and sophomore Abby Uhrig (187th, 33:28).
Evans won the boys race at Canal Winchester in 16:36, as Bexley’s Ian Kellogg was second (16:47). The Bobcats finished ninth (247) of 20 teams behind champion Bexley (64).
Reed was fourth (17:09) for Grandview, followed by Mathes (50th, 19:20), Faris (108th, 21:01), McCormick (122nd, 21:25), freshman Ben Rehbeck (130th, 21:44), junior Josh Clark (145th, 22:05), freshman Zach Martin (160th, 22:47), freshman Ben Hecker (197th, 24:30), freshman Jackson Spainhoward (229th, 26:55) and freshman Riley Whitfield (238th, 29:18).
“(The boys) are definitely returning some big talent, including Luke, and it might sound strange to say that he is also our most improved runner from last year,” Schoch said. “Luke is highly dedicated and he really had a good summer.”
Junior Jackson Bussey and freshman Caleb Akers round out the boys roster.
The Bobcats are competing in the MSL-Ohio Division this fall with Academy, Bexley, London, Madison Plains, West Jefferson, Whitehall and Worthington Christian.
Football team to face Minford
The football team will look for its first win of the season Friday, Sept. 6, at Minford. The Falcons opened Aug. 30 with a 40-6 victory over Ironton Rock Hill.
The Bobcats opened Aug. 30 with a 20-7 loss to visiting Centennial.
Minford finished 8-3 overall last season, losing to Piketon 49-27 in the first round of the Division IV playoffs.
The Falcons have size up front in senior tackle Jared McCray (6-foot-6, 325 pounds), who has verbally committed to Louisville, and sophomore tackle Cain Madden (6-3, 325).
Senior Cody Stapleton starts at quarterback in Minford’s wing-T offense, with senior Austin Carter and Zach Justice as running backs.
McCray and Madden also anchor the line in the Falcons’ 4-2-5 defense.
“(The Falcons) are a big team, and they have had a lot of success over the past few years,” coach Jason Peters said of Minford, which has reached the postseason five of the past six seasons. “The big thing this week for us is to take care of the little things.”
Grandview’s only score against Centennial came on a 56-yard touchdown reception by senior tight end Tim Murphy from sophomore quarterback Andre Readey.
“Andre had a good throw to give Tim a chance to get the ball and make a play,” Peters said. “Andre was in because (starting quarterback) Nick (Schopis) banged up his shoulder, but (Schopis) is all right and should be back (this) week. It’s football, and those things can happen.
“We have a young team and had six off-side penalties and two more for delay of game. We’ll work on stopping those, but our kids really went out and played their butts off. As long as they continue doing that, we’ll coach the same way and work to get some things figured out.”
Volleyball team changes coach
The girls volleyball team was 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the MSL-Ohio before playing London on Sept. 3.
The Bobcats replaced coach Scott Ebright after two matches, according to athletics director Jim Hall. The team will be coached by Ed Hine, an assistant the past few seasons.
“We decided the program needed to go in another direction,” Hall said. “Ed Hine has been an assistant for a while and he knows the kids pretty well.”
On Aug. 29, the Bobcats defeated Madison Plains 25-21, 25-15, 25-20 in league play.
“We were able to capitalize on outstanding team defense led by (junior libero) Emma Bulla and (junior outside hitter) Grace VanFossen,” Hine said. “(Sophomore setter) Libby Jump and (freshman opposite/middle hitter) Dareth Douglass each registered double-digit kills for us.”
Grandview lost a league match to Worthington Christian 25-11, 25-18, 25-18 on Aug. 31.
Boys golf team splits matches
The boys golf team was 4-5 in the MSL-Ohio before facing Columbus Academy on Sept. 3 at The Links at Groveport.
The Bobcats lost to London 154-176 on Aug. 27 at Mentel Memorial as senior Ben McCullough was medalist with a 38. Senior A.J. Pinyerd was next with a 45, followed by sophomore Tommy Damschroder (46), senior Jacob Hamilton (47), sophomore Jake Bush (48) and senior Keenan Burson (53).
On Aug. 29, Grandview defeated West Jefferson 183-214 at London Country Club. McCullough led with a 40, followed by Bush (42), Burson (50), Damschroder (51) and Pinyerd (52).
Girls tennis team wins five in a row
The girls tennis team was 5-2 overall – winning five consecutive matches – and 1-0 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Columbus Academy on Sept. 3.
Grandview defeated Hamilton Township 4-1 on Aug. 28 as seniors Kiley Kinnard and Ellie MacLeod and junior Emily Lolli won singles matches. The doubles team of seniors Brooke Berning and Hannah Jones also won.
The Bobcats defeated Bloom-Carroll 4-1 on Aug. 26 as Kinnard, MacLeod and Lolli won in singles and Berning and Jones won at second doubles.