Boys soccer team returns after year away
The Northridge High School boys soccer team has returned after not playing last season because of low participation numbers.
The Vikings are led by first-year coach Leonard Moffatt, a native of the African nation of Ghana. His assistant is Debbie Shedloski.
"It has been a big work in progress," Shedloski said. "We're still trying to find where the equipment is and figuring out who knows what and who plays where."
The program has 22 players including Alex Shedloski, a senior goalkeeper who had 143 saves in 17 games with seven shutouts as a sophomore, when he was first-team all-league and third-team all-district. The Vikings competed in the North Central Soccer League two years ago, but that conference no longer exists.
The other seniors are Parker Fox (forward), Tony Shore (defender) and Hayden Warner (midfielder).
The remainder of the roster includes juniors Alex Arnold (defender), Connor Johnson (forward), Kaitlin Piper (defender), Michael Travis (forward) and Connor Wood (midfielder), sophomores Bryce Curtis (midfielder), Emily Dalton (defender), Ashley Dean (defender), Daniel Neff (def-ender), Jack Roudebush (midfielder), Regan Turner (midfielder) and Trevor White (midfielder) and freshmen Noah Anderson (forward), Robi Patrick (midfielder), Hugh Prentice (defender), Kyle Stermer (defender), Noah Tornes (midfielder) and Jordan Wolfe (defender).
"It's going to be a big learning experience for all of us when we start playing games," coach Shedloski said. "The kids have a lot of heart. They are really committed and they want to be here."
The Vikings opened Aug. 23 with a 2-1 win over Millersport. Fox scored twice and both Johnson and Warner had one assist. Alex Shedloski had nine saves and Dalton added one save.The Vikings finished 9-7-1 in 2010. They lost to sixth-seeded Horizon Science Academy 3-1 in the second round of the Division III district tournament after defeating eighth-seeded Liberty Union 4-1 in the first round.
Eight runners ready for season
The cross country teams have eight varsity runners -- three boys and five girls.
The boys have two returnees in senior Nathan Wigal and sophomore Nathan Orcutt, in addition to freshman Collin Evans.
"Nathan Wigal can be a pretty good runner for us," said Gene Weil, who is co-coaching with fellow first-year coach Chad Elliott. "Both Collin Evans and Noah Orcutt have a lot of potential for us."
The girls team has one returnee in junior Kaitlin Garee. The newcomers are juniors Vivian Carney, Jana Choberka and Abby Reed as well as freshman Jillian Choberka.
"The girls have enough for a scoring team and I think we'll pick up some more kids after school starts," said Weil, who replaced Jennifer Ulery after her one season with the program. "Practices have been going well and we have seen a dramatic improvement in the first couple of weeks of practice."
The Vikings opened Aug. 22 in the New Albany Classic. The boys team did not have enough runners for a team score as New Albany (24) won the 13-team event. Wigal (47th, 19 minutes, 14 seconds) and Orcutt (240th, 27:55) competed.
The girls finished last (382) of 12 teams at New Albany behind champion Upper Arlington (38). Garee (100th, 27:20) led the Vikings followed by Jillian Choberka (144th, 31:40), Jana Choberka (152nd, 34:12), Carney (157th, 35:25) and Reed (158th, 35:27).
Last season in the Division II, district 1 boys meet at Watkins Memorial, the Vikings finished 11th (233) as Granville (21), Bexley, (89), Jonathan Alder (113) and London (132) advanced to regional. Wigal was 31st (19:12.86) and Orcutt was 75th (22:56.35).
In the Division II district girls race, the Vikings did not have enough runners for a team score. Their only participant was Garee, who finished 99th (25:54.8).
In the MBC meet at the Hartford Fairgrounds, the Vikings boys finished sixth (122) behind Fredericktown (49), Centerburg (57), Johnstown (98), Utica (107) and Loudonville (111) and ahead of East Knox (163). Wigal was 14th (19:10) and Orcutt was 54th (23:55).
Garee (25th, 26:41) was the only participant in the league race for the girls, who did not post a team score. Centerburg (36) won ahead of Johnstown (38), Fredericktown (50) and Loudonville (98).
Football team to take on Lancers
The football team opened Aug. 24 against Dayton Jefferson Township and plays a second non-league game Friday, Aug. 31, at Lakewood.
The teams have not played since 2008, when the Vikings won 30-7. Northridge also won 28-7 in 2007.
Northridge played Middletown Christian in the second week last season and won 25-0 en route to a 3-0 start. The Vikings entered this season on a seven-game losing streak after finishing 3-7 overall last fall.
Lakewood and Northridge will play in the Licking County League beginning next fall. The Vikings currently are in the MBC and Lakewood plays in the MSL-Ohio Division.