Ryan Thomas believes he has an idea about what would make for a good experience for the Ready High School boys soccer team this fall.
Near the top of the list is having even a little success at the league level.
Formerly the boys coach at Dresden Tri-Valley from 1994-96 and the girls coach at Zanesville Rosecrans in 1997, Thomas has taken over a program that earned its last CCL win on Sept. 30, 2003, when it beat Hartley 2-0.
Ready, which opens Saturday, Aug. 23, at Williamsport Westfall and plays its league opener Sept. 9 at Watterson, has lost 31 consecutive league games since tying Hartley at 1 on Oct. 11, 2005.
"They haven't won a CCL game since Jesus was in diapers," Thomas said. "I want these kids to have a good four years to remember. I'm really happy with the efforts the boys have shown so far."
The top returnees are senior sweeper Brenden Kirby, sophomore goalkeeper Harrison VanTilburg and senior forward James Ley.
Ready, which went 2-13-1 overall last season and 0-4 to finish last in the five-team CCL, also will feature senior Drew Erama and sophomore Isaac Bowles on defense.
Junior Sean Atchison and seniors Steven Landy and Codi Platter are at midfielder, and freshman Jordan Gantz should be another key forward.
Thomas replaced Sam Sunseri, who led the program for four seasons.
"We did a lot of open gyms and started conditioning on June 1," Thomas said. "I'm really happy with our numbers and Brenden Kirby is an incredible leader."
Girls tennis team out to be competitive
The girls tennis team returns nearly its entire lineup for first-year coach Dan Skuce.
Senior Mallory Green is expected to spend most of the season at first singles but was out of town when the Silver Knights opened Aug. 14 with a 3-2 loss to Westland. Their original opener Aug. 11 at Wellington was postponed because of bad weather.
Ready, which went 5-9 overall and 0-4 to finish last in the CCL a year ago, opens league play Tuesday, Aug. 26, at home against Hartley.
"I'd like us to be one of the top teams in the CCL, put together a doubles team that will do well at the sectional and be above .500," said Skuce, a 1982 Toledo St. John's graduate who played for the University of Cincinnati. "We've got a few returning kids."
Senior Ashley Wright and juniors Allie Leidinger, Ellie McAndrew, Dawn Ritter and Elizabeth Wolf are returnees. Sophomore Kyra Bailey also is expected to be a key player.
In last year's Division II sectional, Green and McAndrew lost in quarterfinal singles matches and Wolf lost in a first-round singles match. The doubles team of Wright and Ritter lost in the second round and the doubles team of Leidinger and junior Leah Ruth lost in a quarterfinal.
Ruth is unable to play this season because of an injury, according to Skuce.
Skuce has taken over the boys and girls teams for Jen Donaldson, who had led both for seven seasons.
Boys golf team looking to improve
After taking third in last year's Division III sectional at Darby Creek, the boys golf team is hungry to take the next step.
"Only the top two teams go on from the sectional (to district) and our sectional is pretty tough because you've always got (Columbus) Academy and Wellington and they're pretty tough to compete with," coach Dave Whitt said. "We're really looking to improve on last year. They're willing to work and love golf. Our goal is to get to district, or at least get a couple kids there."
Ready opened Aug. 6 by placing seventh (361) in the 14-team Chuck Otte Memorial at Oakhurst, behind champion Hilliard Davidson (304).
The Knights finished last (385) in the five-team CCL preseason tournament Aug. 18 at Clover Valley behind Watterson (303), St. Charles (310), DeSales (339) and Hartley (340).
A year ago, they placed last (448) in the six-team CCL postseason tournament at Cooks Creek behind champion St. Charles (304).
The top player is senior Jason Horn, who shot 95 at sectional a year ago but missed action early last season because of a sports hernia.
Also back are sophomores Ryan Smith and Joey Centers, who shot 90 and 96, respectively, at sectional.
Senior Quentin Handley and sophomores Ian Binns and Ben Dawson also are returnees.
Junior Derek Lamb is new to the program.
Lost to graduation were Graham Green and Nick Seipel, who shot 92 and 97, respectively, at sectional.
Inaugural girls golf season begins
In addition to taking over the boys basketball program in May, Dan DeCrane is leading Ready's first girls golf team.
On Aug. 6 at Phoenix, the Knights opened by placing 11th (490) in the 12-team Mid-Ohio Girls Golf League tournament behind champion Watterson (322).
Ready, which also is competing in the OCC B League, finished 10th (488) behind champion Watterson (313) in the second round of the MOGGL on Aug. 14 at Homestead.
"We're (excited about) representing our school for the first time as a girls golf team," said DeCrane, who was Hartley's boys golf coach last season. "We just want to represent our school and establish our program."
Senior Kate Ferguson and juniors Alicia Lundy-Morse and Catie Woods each competed for the boys team last year. Lundy-Morse shot 120 and Ferguson 146 in a Division II sectional at Blacklick Woods.
Junior Ryann Scarberry and sophomore Mary Beth Mogan also are on the team.
Aug. 6 -- Chuck Otte Memorial at Oakhurst
Aug. 12 -- North Union Invitational at Glenross
Aug. 18 -- CCL preseason tournament at Clover Valley
Aug. 26 -- London at Oakhurst
Aug. 30 -- Pinnacle Classic at Pinnacle
Sept. 8 -- Hartley at Oakhurst
Sept. 9 -- Hartley at The Links at Groveport
Sept. 15 -- Circleville at Oakhurst
Sept. 18 -- London at London Country Club
Sept. 20 -- CCL postseason tournament at The Players Club at Foxfire
Sept. 22 -- West Jefferson at Oakhurst
Aug. 6 -- MOGGL at Phoenix
Aug. 7 -- OCC B at The Links at Groveport
Aug. 14 -- MOGGL at Homestead
Aug. 19 -- OCC B at Gahanna Golf Course
Aug. 20 -- Madison Plains at Locust Hills
Aug. 26 -- MOGGL at TBA
Aug. 28 -- Delaware at Oakhaven
Sept. 2 -- OCC B at Westchester
Sept. 9 -- Buckeye Valley at Oakhaven
Sept. 10 -- MOGGL at TBA
Sept. 16 -- OCC B at Royal American
Sept. 23 -- OCC B at TBA
Aug. 23 -- at Williamsport Westfall
Aug. 26 -- at Columbus International
Aug. 28 -- at Wellington
Aug. 30 -- at Grove City Christian
Sept. 2 -- vs. Delaware Christian
Sept. 6 -- vs. Horizon Science
*Sept. 9 -- at Watterson
Sept. 11 -- vs. Northside Christian
Sept. 13 -- at Tree of Life
*Sept. 16 -- at DeSales
Sept. 18 -- at Central Crossing
Sept. 22 -- at Granville Christian
*Sept. 23 -- vs. Hartley
*Sept. 30 -- vs. St. Charles
Oct. 2 -- at Briggs
Aug. 11 -- at Wellington
Aug. 14 -- at Westland
Aug. 21 -- at Hilliard Bradley
*Aug. 26 -- vs. Hartley
Aug. 27 -- at Grandview
Sept. 2 -- at Village Academy
*Sept. 4 -- at Columbus School for Girls
Sept. 8 -- vs. Jonathan Alder
*Sept. 9 -- at Watterson
Sept. 10 -- vs. Westerville North
*Sept. 16 -- vs. DeSales
Sept. 17 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll
Sept. 18 -- at Grove City