The Marysville and Jonathan Alder high school football teams will renew their rivalry when they open the season Friday, Aug. 29, at Marysville.
The teams have met each of the past four seasons, with the Monarchs winning 13-0 last year. The Pioneers won 30-10 in 2012, 21-0 in 2011 and 30-21 in 2010.
"It's a great rivalry," Marys-ville coach Morgan Cotter said. "The kids see each other in the community. They see them at the (Union County) fair. They see them around. It's become a good rivalry for our kids and their kids. It's basically a county rivalry."
Last season, Jonathan Alder, which competes in Division IV, finished 3-7 overall. Marysville went on to qualify for the Division I, Region 1 playoffs before losing to Austintown Fitch 31-21 in the first round to finish 7-4 overall.
The Monarchs will have a new look on both sides of the ball, having lost 21 players to graduation.
Senior Aron Mowery (5-foot-8, 185 pounds) emerged as the starting quarterback in the preseason. He should have several weapons to work with in the team's spread offense, including senior Desmond Johnson (5-11, 175), who Cotter said can play running back, wide receiver or quarterback.
Marysville's 4-2-5 defense will rely on seniors Kyler Cline (6-3, 210) and Keano Smith (6-5, 225) on the line and senior Seth Kidd (5-9, 210) at linebacker.
Johnson should also play a key role in the secondary.
"We're going to have to play sound on defense and control the ball offensively," Cotter said.
Brett Glass is in his first season as Jonathan Alder's coach after serving as defensive coordinator the past five seasons. Glass, who replaced Steve Coate, is a 2003 Jonathan Alder graduate and was a two-year starter and a three-year letterwinner for the Pioneers.
"Our kids are looking forward to playing a rival to get the season started," Glass said.
After running a spread offense the past two seasons, the Pioneers have switched to a scheme that will feature two running backs. Senior Luke Nees (6-2, 190) will be at quarterback, and key running backs are senior Jesse Beachy (5-10, 185) and sophomore Austin Fooce (6-0, 215).
Senior lineman Troy Caldwell (6-2, 250), a second-team all-district selection last season, should lead the team's 4-3 defense.
"I know that they were young last year (and) they played a lot of young kids," Cotter said. "You know that they're going to be athletic, they're going to be well-coached. Coach Glass has been on the staff and he's been involved with that program for years, so it's not going to be a wholesale change. They're going to do good things."
Girls soccer team opens with three wins
The girls soccer team got out to a good start under first-year coach Steve Reymann, as it defeated St. Marys Memorial 6-1 on Aug. 16 and Grove City 1-0 on Aug. 19 in a game stopped midway through the second half because of bad weather.
Against Grove City, junior forward Lindsey Sullivan scored and freshman goalkeeper Anna Weigand had nine saves.
Sullivan scored four goals against St. Marys.
The Monarchs defeated Westerville North 3-1 on Aug. 21. They open OCC-Central Division play Tuesday, Aug. 26, at home against Westland.
Reymann replaced Jim Daugherty, who stepped down after two seasons to become coach at Olentangy Orange.
Last season, the Monarchs won their first district title before losing to Pickerington North 3-2 in overtime in a Division I regional semifinal to finish 12-7-1 overall.
Reymann coached at Wellington last season, guiding the Jaguars to a 6-11-1 record. He was an assistant at Upper Arlington in 2012 and previously coached with the Classics Eagles club program (2005-13) and in the Olympic Development Program (2007-09).
Reymann is a graduate of the University of Akron, where he played four years and was an assistant for one year.
"It was an opportunity that I thought was too good not to pursue," Reymann said of the Marysville position. "You look at the facilities here, the feeder programs they have, the year they were coming off in which they were district champs, it was a great time and then when I interviewed I even got more excited about it."
Along with Sullivan, other returnees are seniors Tess Cox (midfielder), Cassie Fisher (midfielder), Erin Geraghty (midfielder), Lauren Hampton (defender) and Erin Sweeney (defender) and juniors Megan McIntosh (defender), Cassidy Nichol (defender/midfielder), Kayla Penrod (goalie) and Kaitlyn Walters (defender).
Hampton was special mention all-league last season.
Others looking to contribute are junior Brianna Zedekar (defender), sophomore Rose Stanley (midfielder) and freshmen Grace Alsop (midfielder), Julia Dickman (forward), Abby Jacobs (defender/midfielder), Madison Keator (forward/midfielder) and Celia Soller (midfielder/forward).
"The players are starting to understand what you have to do to play at a high level and (the Grove City) game is an example of that," Reymann said. "That was a playoff-caliber match."
Last season, the Monarchs finished fifth (3-3-1) in the OCC-Central behind champion Dublin Coffman (6-0-1).
They lost to Coffman 2-1 during league play, but defeated the top-seeded Shamrocks 2-0 in a district final.
The Monarchs lost five players to graduation, including Kaela Kovanda, who was named first-team all-league and all-district after totaling 19 goals and 15 assists.
Girls volleyball team led by new coach
The girls volleyball team also has a new coach, as Randy Cline has replaced Jennifer Burton, who resigned after four years with the program, including the last three as head coach.
Last season, the Monarchs went 11-12 overall and 7-7 in the OCC-Central, fourth behind champion Coffman (14-0).
"I'm hoping to improve on our record," Cline said. "Of course, all coaches are. My big goal for this season is make the Marysville program and the kids at Marysville love volleyball. I love volleyball. I want the volleyball program to be known at Marysville High School."
Cline, who is coaching his first high school team, owns Integrity-Elite Performance Center in Plain City.
The Monarchs opened Aug. 16 by finishing second (2-1) behind Jonathan Alder (3-0) in the eight-team Marysville Spike-off Tournament. They lost to the Pioneers 25-11, 25-12 in the title match after defeating Dublin Jerome 20-25, 25-14, 25-12 and Olentangy 17-25, 25-21, 25-20.
Junior outside hitters Veronica George and Monica Miller were named to the all-tournament team.
Marysville, which was 4-1 before playing in the Marengo Highland Invitational on Aug. 23, defeated Worthington Christian 25-23, 25-20, 25-14 on Aug. 19 at home and Westland 20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 26-24 in its OCC-Central opener Aug. 21 at Westland.
Against Worthington Christian, senior middle blocker Emily Bucklin had nine kills, four blocks and three aces and Miller had seven kills and two aces.
"We played a good match (against Worthington Christian) and stayed within ourselves," Cline said. "We didn't panic."
Last season, Miller had 123 blocks and 40 aces and was named first-team all-league and second-team all-district.
George was special mention all-league and Bucklin was honorable mention all-league.
Also back are seniors Madison Brandfass (libero), Jenna Lee (defensive specialist) and Morgan Thompson (setter), junior Anna McNabb (setter) and sophomore Hunter Rivers (middle blocker).
Other players are senior Emily Gibson (defensive specialist) and juniors Logan Carper (right-side hitter), Taylor Elms (outside hitter/right-side hitter) and Audrey Hazelbaker (middle blocker).
Aug. 16 -- vs. St. Marys Memorial
Aug. 19 -- vs. Grove City
Aug. 21 -- at Westerville North
*Aug. 26 -- vs. Westland
Aug. 28 -- at Olentangy
*Sept. 2 -- at Dublin Coffman
Sept. 5 -- at Delaware
*Sept. 9 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty
*Sept. 16 -- at Thomas Worthington
Sept. 18 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 20 -- at Jonathan Alder
*Sept. 23 -- at Upper Arlington
Sept. 25 -- vs. Hilliard Darby
*Sept. 30 -- vs. Central Crossing
*Oct. 7 -- at Hilliard Davidson
Oct. 9 -- vs. Watterson
Aug. 16 -- Marysville Spike-Off Tournament
Aug. 19 -- vs. Worthington Christian
*Aug. 21 -- at Westland
Aug. 23 -- Marengo Highland Invitational
*Aug. 26 -- vs. Dublin Coffman
*Aug. 28 -- at Olentangy Liberty
*Sept. 2 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
*Sept. 4 -- vs. Upper Arlington
*Sept. 9 -- at Central Crossing
*Sept. 11 -- vs. Hilliard Davidson
*Sept. 16 -- vs. Westland
*Sept. 18 -- at Dublin Coffman
*Sept. 23 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty
Sept. 25 -- vs. Shekinah Christian
*Sept. 30 -- at Thomas Worthington
*Oct. 2 -- at Upper Arlington
*Oct. 7 -- vs. Central Crossing
*Oct. 9 -- at Hilliard Davidson