Christine Demas said her Northridge High School girls volleyball team remains a work in progress.

Christine Demas said her Northridge High School girls volleyball team remains a work in progress.

The Vikings have three starters - senior middle hitter Amy Boesch, junior outside hitter Dana VanDervort and junior outside hitter Kimber Hazlett - back from last season when the team finished 12-9 after losing to eighth-seeded Pleasant 10-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-8, 15-10 in the second round of the Division III district tournament at New Albany.

"We haven't developed a definite starting lineup so to speak," said Demas, who begins her ninth season. "We (had) scrimmages (last) Thursday against Granville and another (last) Saturday at the Newark Catholic Preview to kind of iron some things out."

Other seniors include libero Jessica Simmons, middle hitter Emily Scott, setter Chelsea Teitz. Juniors also include outside hitter Kara Barclay, outside hitter Remy Bennett, defensive specialist Courtney Denig, outside hitter Sarah Grindle and Jessica Holbrook, who is the team's tallest player at 5-foot-11 and plays both middle and outside hitter. Sophomore Hannah Shank will also see time at setter.

"We're inexperienced because we relied on a lot of seniors last season," Demas said. "One concern I have is with players who have not played together much before meshing on the court. They need to work out the kinks of running plays and communicating on the court."

And with the inexperience on varsity, several decisions are being made about the team's alignment on the court.

"We're still trying to figure out whether we're going to a 6-2 or a 5-1 and those are some of the things we are trying to work out," Demas said. "But they have been a fun group to work with and have been working hard to get better."

The Vikings finished third in the MBC at 9-5, behind East Knox (13-1) and Fredericktown (12-2), and ahead of Utica (8-6), Centerburg (7-7), Loudonville (5-9,) Danville (2-12) and Johnstown (0-14).

"It's really hard to say what to expect in the league because it could be anyone's game," Demas said. "There were a lot of seniors who graduated and teams will have to find ways to replace them. It could really go any number of ways."

The cross country programs will be coached by Mike Dudgeon, who is in his 32nd season.

The boys team has 14 runners and are led by junior Michael Derringer, sophomore Tyler Estep and sophomore Nathan Wigal. Derringer set the program record in 17 minutes, 23 seconds as a freshman, but injuries and illness plagued his sophomore season.

Other letterwinners include juniors Paul Hager, Joe Larson and Joe Pileski.

Newcomers include seniors Will Bogantz, Josh Brand, Jeff Kingery, Nick Klawitter and Ben Wagner, as well as sophomore Kirk Almendinger and freshman Ian Ware.

"I can't think of a time that I have had 14 runners on the boys team and we also have some strong runners," Dudgeon said. "We have a first-year runner in Will Bogantz who is running with our top three and then we have a nice group behind them so they are close enough to push one another in practice."

The boys team was 16th (438) in the 19-team Division III district at Watkins Memorial behind regional qualifiers Liberty Union (46), Fredericktown (80), Northmor (118) and Grandview (136).

Derringer was 44th in 19:19.42, followed by Estep (78th, 20:27.44), Wigal (84th, 29:40.99), Pileski (116th, 23:14.97) and Larson (126th, 24:37.31).

Northridge finished last (135) out of seven teams at the MBC meet at the Hartford Fairgrounds, behind Fredericktown (48), Loudonville (85), Utica (87), Centerburg (98) Johnstown (106) and East Knox (129). Derringer (sixth, 17:41) led the Vikings, followed by Estep (16th, 18:47), Wigal (32nd, 20:14), Hager (37th, 21:05) and Pileski (44th, 24:10).

The girls team has six runners, led by senior returnees Kelsey Garrabrant, Emily VanNess and Elise Ware. Newcomers are junior Karen Aston, sophomore Taylor Tackett and freshman Katherine Pileski.

"It's nice to have a full team for the girls," Dudgeon said. "They are a nice group of hard-working girls who are great to work with."

The Vikings finished eighth (199) of nine teams in the Division III, district 1 race, behind regional qualifiers Northmor (49), Centerburg (56), Fisher Catholic (109) and Grandview (109).

VanNess (50th, 25:59.94) and Elise Ware (56th, 27:35.48) competed for Northridge.

At the MBC meet, Northridge finished fifth (128) out of seven teams behind Johnstown (23), Centerburg (37), Fredericktown (103) and Loudonville (113) ahead of East Knox (152) and Utica (172).
Garrabrant was 27th (24:28) and VanNess was 39th (25:52).

The Vikings opened last Wednesday in the New Albany Classic. The boys team finished fourth (143) out of 12 teams behind champion New Albany (25). Derringer led the way in 18th (18:14) followed by Estep (19th, 18:16), Bogantz (20th, 18:23), Wigal (53rd, 19:54), Klawitter (66th, 20:19), Kingery (112th, 22:22) and Hager (113th, 22:22).

The girls team did not have enough runners for a team score as host New Albany won the 11-team event with 18. Tackett (110th, 26:08) led the Vikings.

Aug. 25 - New Albany Classic Aug. 28 - at Bryn Du Mansion for Newark Catholic Inv. Sept. 1 - Canal Winchester Inv. Sept. 8 - Fairfield Union Inv. Sept. 15 - at Johnstown Sportsman Club for Northridge Inv. Sept. 22 - Heath Inv. Sept. 28 - Fredericktown Inv. Oct. 2 - Centerburg Inv. Oct. 9 - at Tech Lake for Johnstown Inv. *Oct. 16 - at Hartford Fairgrounds for MBC Meet Oct. 23 - at Watkins Memorial for district GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
*Aug. 31 - at Fredericktown *Sept. 2 - vs. East Knox *Sept. 7 - at Centerburg *Sept. 9 - vs. Johnstown *Sept. 14 - at Danville *Sept. 16 - at Loudonville Sept. 18 - Granville Inv. *Sept. 21 - vs. Utica *Sept. 23 - vs. Fredericktown *Sept. 28 - at East Knox *Sept. 30 - vs. Centerburg Oct. 2 - vs. Northmor and Mansfield Ontario *Oct. 5 - at Johnstown *Oct. 7 - vs. Danville *Oct. 12 - vs. Loudonville *Oct. 14 - at Utica *MBC contest

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Northridge football, boys golf and soccer teams:

Last Friday - Played Columbus Academy in opener Friday - vs. Bexley. The Vikings lost 37-7 last season. Sept. 10 - at Millersport. Northridge won 24-7 last season. GOLF
Aug. 20 - Finished fifth (369) in six-team home Northridge Invitational behind champion Bexley (316). Sam Cox led the Vikings with a 88 followed by Connor Burke (91), Jacob Eckhardt (93), Brentlee McCrummen (97) and Austin Bilderback (101) *Last Monday - Lost to East Knox 176-184. Cox led with a 43 followed by Burke (44), Eckhardt (45), Tommy Petrushka (52) and Tyler Choate (53). *Last Wednesday - Lost to Centerburg 160-191. Cox led with a 45 followed by Burke (47), Eckhardt (49), Choate (50) and Chris Andrix 57. *Last Thursday - Lost to Utica 165-206. Burke led with a 48 followed by Cox (50), McCrummen (52), Choate (56) and Eckhardt (58). *Wednesday - Danville at St. Albans *Thursday - Fredericktown at St. Albans *Sept. 9 - Johnstown-Monroe at St. Albans *MBC contest

Last Tuesday - Tied Heath at 0 in opener *Tuesday - vs. Village Academy in NCSL opener Thursday - at Granville Saturday - vs. Zanesville Maysville *Sept. 7 - vs. Fairbanks *NCSL game