Coach Ray Corbett is trying to figure out the best courts to place the members of his Grandview Heights High School boys tennis team after battling rainy, chilly weather and a spring-break layoff.
"It's early, so we're still trying to determine what courts our people will be landing," said Corbett, who is in his 24th season. "We're far from being a finished product. We have some kids who may be better in singles than doubles or vice versa. We have to get enough days when we are out there hitting and get some matches under our belts."
The Bobcats are coming off a season in which they finished 12-6 overall and fourth (17 points, 3-3) in MSL-Cardinal/Ohio Division behind champion Columbus Academy (51, 6-0). They will compete in the MSL-Ohio this season with Academy, Bexley, London, West Jefferson, Whitehall and Worthington Christian.
Grandview opened April 2, losing to Bloom-Carroll 3-2. Sophomore Jay Huff won 7-5, 2-6, 6-0 at first singles, and the first-doubles team of senior Nick Eaton and sophomore Micah Miller won 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
Huff moved to Grandview from Virginia, where he attended Stuart (Va.) Patrick County.
"Jay has some good strokes and it was nice what I saw from him (against Bloom-Carroll)," said Corbett, whose team opens MSL-Ohio play Thursday, April 10, at London. "He came out with a game plan and he had to make a couple of adjustments to get the win. You don't always see that, and we felt pretty good after that match."
Senior Nick Luckenbach lost at second singles 6-3, 6-1 in the opener, and senior Jon Sterneker lost 6-0, 6-4 at third singles. Senior Ben McCollough and sophomore Luke Treasure lost 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 at second doubles.
Rounding out the roster are junior Lucas Smith, sophomores Ross Carter, Tim Jenks and Isiah Lloyd and freshmen Caleb Akers and Peter Beals.
"The kids have been competitive and having fun," Corbett said. "Our skill level is pretty solid, but the biggest thing is making the other team work for points and making them make another hit. At our level, most matches are lost, not won. You have to make them make that extra hit."
The doubles team of 2013 graduates Luke Snider and Trevor Voelker reached last season's Division II district tournament but lost in the first round.
Seasoned track teams expecting success
The boys and girls track and field teams return a mix of state qualifiers and young talent that could be integral to any success as the Bobcats move to the MSL-Ohio.
Last season, the girls team won the MSL-Cardinal meet with 180 points, ahead of runner-up Licking Heights (138.5). The boys were third (104) behind Liberty Union (156) and Licking Heights (119).
Leading the boys team is senior Luke Evans, who finished 10th in the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 27.99 seconds) in last year's Division III state meet. He also was on the 11th-place 3,200 relay (8:19.31) with 2013 graduate Chase Gage, junior Ryan McHugh and senior Josh Smith.
Junior Grant Varner finished 13th at state in the shot put in a personal-best 49 feet, 9 1/2 inches.
"We have a good, strong, experienced group of guys back," said seventh-year coach Brian Schoch, whose team opened April 8 against Columbus Academy, Fairfield Union and host Hamilton Township. "You have Luke Evans leading the distance group and Grant Varner in the shot and discus. We have experience in a lot of different areas and with guys who have had a lot of success."
Junior Ali Lachey returns for the girls team after finishing ninth in the 1,600 (5:19.88) at state. Lachey also was on the 3,200 relay (14th, 10:00.51) at state with 2013 graduate Anna Davis and seniors Laura Satterthwaite and Halli Bair. The 800 relay of junior Emma Hecker, 2013 graduate Lindsey Smith, Davis and junior Emily Burns was 14th (1:51.58) and the 1,600 relay of Bair, 2013 graduate Julie Menke, Lachey and Burns was 15th (4:14.19).
"It's the same on the girls side," Schoch said. "We have a lot of girls who have scored big at important meets in the past. It's nice to have that coming back."
The girls team also returns juniors Morgan Ettrich and Madison Osborne in the pole vault. Ettrich was fifth (8-3) and Osborne tied for sixth (8-0) at regional last year, as the top four advanced to state.
Junior Grace Palmer was runner-up in both the shot put (31-2) and discus (91-0) in the league meet.
Rounding out the girls roster are seniors Tenley Aufdencamp, Claire Holliday and Josie Pommering, juniors Maria Albon, Meredith Cox, Alexis Lower, Megan McCauley, Emma Mihocik, Morgan Taylor and Allison Voelker, sophomores Maria Murphy, Emma Pommering, Kayleigh Stelling, Abbey Urig and Emma Wheeler and freshmen Emma Amurgis, Adrienne Bechtel, Emma Berlin, Laura Brannan, Evelyn Brown, Dareth Douglass, Lily Feast, Cassie Freeman, Riley Henningsen, Alex Joseph, Molly Smith, Courtney Swihart, Lizzie Van Duesen and Edie Workman.
Also competing for the boys are seniors Zach Brannan, Sam Claypool, Pat McHugh, A.J. Pinyerd and Alex York, juniors Jackson Bussey, Willis Day, Spencer Hawk, Peter Mathes and Quinn Williams, sophomores Kevin Daniel-Hamberg, Brendan Fitzgerald, Jackson Furbee and Rhodes Jump and freshmen Jordan Beight, Ben Hecker, Zach Martin, Ben Rehbeck and Matt Smith.
"We have some younger kids who can help us out a lot," Schoch said. "We're trying to figure out who can do what and find what is best for both the athlete and the team. It's a fun challenge."
Baseball team drops first three games
The baseball team was 0-3 after losing to Whetstone 2-0 on April 5 and before starting MSL-Ohio play April 9 against West Jefferson.
The Bobcats lost to Jonathan Alder 18-2 in five innings March 31 and 15-0 in five innings to Hartley on April 2. Jon Faris took the loss against the Hawks.
Softball team falls in first three games
The softball team was 0-3 after losing a doubleheader against Utica 11-0 in five innings and 7-4 on April 5 and before beginning MSL-Ohio play April 9 against West Jefferson.
The Bobcats lost to Hamilton Township 10-2 in their opener April 1. Morgan Ramey took the loss.