The Columbus Academy boys soccer team is seeking another deep run in the Division III postseason.
Last season, the Vikings finished 14-5-1 overall after losing to Worthington Christian 3-1 in a regional semifinal.
With a strong nucleus back, coach Ron Leach believes his team has the potential to reach its goal.
"You get so you're building and building and hopefully you're playing your best soccer when it comes tournament time," he said. "We would like to see what we're able to do in the district."
Academy opens Thursday, Aug. 21, at DeSales.
The Vikings also hope to contend for an MSL-Ohio Division title after tying Worthington Christian for second (5-1-1) last season behind Bexley (5-0-2). Academy had won the previous three league titles.
"It's a tough league," Leach said. "Worthington Christian is in there, Grandview is in there, and Bexley. Hopefully we're going to be a competitor in that group."
Senior defender Marcel Knopp was first-team all-league and second-team all-district last season.
Senior forward Tim Leathery is the top returning scorer, as he had 11 goals and seven assists and was honorable mention all-league.
Junior Sam Tuckerman is looking to replace 2014 graduate Tyler Kohman in goal. Also back are seniors Chris Laskovski (defender), J.P. Perrini (midfielder) and Wes Terveer (midfielder), juniors Logan Baker (midfielder), Ryan Cullen (defender) and Andrew Kennedy (midfielder) and sophomore Nate Goldfarb (midfielder).
Other players are seniors Theo Milenkovic, Taylor Smallridge and Max Smith, juniors Mitchell Lange (defender), Emad Pervez (midfielder), Conner Poulin (forward) and Calvin Wuorinen (defender) and sophomores Matt Cea (midfielder) and Kyle Vorys (midfielder).
The Vikings lost 11 players to graduation, including Jack Lint, who had 13 goals and six assists and was league Player of the Year and first-team all-state and all-district. He is on the track and field and cross country teams at the University of Virginia.
"The biggest issue is we lost some really good players last year and when kids show themselves as willing to step into those shoes, which I think they are already getting there, we'll be OK," Leach said.
Girls soccer team eyes strong postseason
The girls soccer team returns 15 letterwinners, including nine starters, from a squad that lost to Middletown Fenwick 2-0 in a Division III regional semifinal to finish 11-4-6 overall.
The Vikings open at home Thursday, Aug. 21, against Gahanna.
Senior midfielders Jenna Berlet and Annie Meacham were first-team all-league last season. Also back are senior midfielder Kelly Brown and sophomore forward Brianna Abell, who were second-team all-league.
Junior goalie Neve Adler, junior midfielder Louise Rosler and sophomore forward Sophie Krings were honorable mention all-league.
Other players are senior Riley Ransom (midfielder), juniors Taylor Bates (defender), Savannah Cofer (midfielder), Miriam Knopp (midfielder), Christina Lee (forward), Nida Pervez (midfielder), Lily Rizk (defender) and Allegra Solomon (forward) and sophomores Audrey Grammel (defender) and Betsy Wallace (defender).
"I'm optimistic," coach Kelly Snead said. "We have a lot of returners, a lot of starting returners."
Last season, Academy finished fourth (3-2-1) in the MSL-Ohio behind champion Worthington Christian (6-0).
The Vikings are looking to replace 2014 graduate Katerina Weikert, who led the team with 24 goals and 23 assists. She was district and league Player of the Year and first-team all-state for the second consecutive year, and now is playing at Cornell University.
Ballinger expected to lead tennis team
Senior Andrea Ballinger of the girls tennis team is seeking another berth in the Division II state tournament.
She was 1-1 at state last season after teaming with Hannah Wexner to win the state doubles title in 2012.
The Vikings have a new coach as Megan Schembechler replaced Megan Martzolf, who resigned after two seasons.
Schembechler, who is the daughter-in-law of former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, has been the Upper Arlington junior varsity boys coach for eight years and is an instructor at Olympic Indoor Tennis Club and Northam Park Tennis.
Schembechler said senior Katherine Guan and freshman Georgia Tuckerman are competing for the second-singles spot, with senior Libby Sirak and junior Makela Hughes expected to play first doubles.
Sophomore Sarah Wexner also is vying for a doubles spot. Other players are sophomores Deeksha Bathini and Jacinta Crestanello and freshmen Neena Baliga and Lexis Hughes.
"They have great talent, they're nice players and they're great girls," Schembechler said. The Vikings opened by defeating Lexington 5-0 on Aug. 14 at home. Academy lost to Lexington 3-1 in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division II state team tournament consolation match last season.
"Everyone has their individual goals ... but mostly what I'm hearing is they want to win the team tournament," Schembechler said. "First, we'd like to take the (MSL-Ohio title) and then you look towards the team tournament."
Boys golf team has new coach
The boys golf team is under new guidance as Craig Yakscoe has replaced Steve Evans, who resigned after his 10th season.
Yakscoe, who also is Academy's swimming and diving coach, inherits a team that finished second (659) in the Division III state tournament behind Toledo Ottawa Hills (647).
Senior Carter Kistler shot a 153 at state to finish fifth of 71 golfers. He was first-team all-state.
Senior Ted Loper and junior Vincent Dong also played at state.
Other players are senior Nabeel Khan, sophomore Michael Zhang and freshmen Tejas Sinha, Sam Vogel and Cole Walter.
Academy finished first (293) in the MSL-Ohio preseason tournament Aug. 11 at Darby Creek ahead of Bexley (317), London (324), Worthington Christian (337), Madison Plains (377), Grandview (379) and West Jefferson (390). Kistler was second (72) of 43 golfers, behind Hunter Roberts (70) of Bexley.
Last season, Academy won the MSL-Ohio at 17-1, ahead of runner-up Bexley (14-4).
Seniors Chloe Bradburn and Allison Wallace and freshman Alyssa Kim will participate with the boys during the regular season, but compete against girls in the postseason. Last season, Bradburn and Wallace competed in the Division II girls district tournament.
Aug. 7 -- Warrior-Jaguar Classic at NorthStar
Aug. 9 -- Garaway Pirate Invitational at Willandale
Aug. 11 -- MSL-Ohio preseason tournament at Darby Creek
Aug. 12 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 16 -- Cincinnati Sycamore Invitational at Blue Ash
Aug. 18 -- Columbus Academy Shootout at Columbus Country Club
Aug. 23 -- Hunting Valley University School at Windmill Lakes
Aug. 25 -- Marysville at Clover Valley
*Aug. 26 -- Bexley at Clover Valley
*Aug. 28 -- Worthington Christian at Glenross
Aug. 30 -- Pinnacle Classic at Pinnacle
*Sept. 2 -- Grandview at Columbus Country Club
*Sept. 4 -- West Jefferson at TBA
Sept. 6 -- St. Charles at Brookside
*Sept. 9 -- London at London Country Club
*Sept. 11 -- Madison Plains at Columbus Country Club
Sept. 16 -- MSL-Ohio postseason tournament at Darby Creek
Sept. 17 -- Pickerington North at Columbus Country Club
Sept. 20 -- Rodney Butt Classic at Granville Golf Course
Aug. 21 -- at DeSales
Aug. 23 -- vs. Columbus International
Aug. 24 -- at Watterson
*Aug. 28 -- at West Jefferson
Aug. 30 -- vs. Berlin Hiland
Sept. 2 -- vs. Jonathan Alder
*Sept. 4 -- vs. Grove City Christian
Sept. 9 -- at Hartley
*Sept. 11 -- at Worthington Christian
*Sept. 18 -- vs. London
*Sept. 23 -- at Whitehall
Sept. 27 -- vs. Tree of Life
*Sept. 30 -- vs. Grandview
*Oct. 2 -- at Bexley
*Oct. 7 -- vs. Madison Plains
Oct. 9 -- at Granville
Aug. 21 -- vs. Gahanna
Aug. 23 -- at Columbus School for Girls
Aug. 24 -- at Watterson
*Aug. 28 -- vs. West Jefferson
Aug. 30 -- at Licking Heights
Sept. 4 -- at Westland
Sept. 6 -- vs. Chillicothe Zane Trace
*Sept. 11 -- vs. Worthington Christian
Sept. 16 -- at Worthington Kilbourne
*Sept. 18 -- at London
Sept. 20 -- vs. Pickerington Central
Sept. 23 -- vs. Ready
Sept. 27 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
*Sept. 30 -- at Grandview
*Oct. 2 -- vs. Bexley
Oct. 9 -- vs. Marion Pleasant
Aug. 14 -- vs. Lexington
Aug. 16 -- Dayton Chaminade Julienne Invitational
*Aug. 19 -- at Whitehall
*Aug. 21 -- vs. Bexley
Aug. 23 -- at Cincinnati Sycamore
*Aug. 28 -- at Worthington Christian
Sept. 2 -- vs. Columbus School for Girls
*Sept. 4 -- vs. Grandview
Sept. 9 -- vs. Granville
*Sept 11 -- at London
Sept. 15 -- at Dublin Jerome
Sept. 16 -- at Dublin Coffman
Sept. 17 -- at Watterson
Sept. 20 -- MSL-Ohio tournament at Worthington Christian
Sept. 22 -- vs. Upper Arlington
Sept. 23 -- at New Albany
Sept. 29 -- vs. Wellington
Oct. 8 -- vs. Pickerington Central