One of the motivational slogans displayed in the office of DeSales High School boys golf coach Tom Eckl reminds him of last year's team, which had a program-record third-place finish in the Division II state tournament at NorthStar.
"It says 'teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results,'" said Eckl, who is in his fifth season leading the Stallions. "It applied very well to what we did last year. I wasn't sure we had that kind of run in us until maybe a third of the way through the season, and then we put everything together. We'll need to work hard to do it again."
DeSales, which shot a 650 at state to place behind Dayton Oakwood (617) and East Liverpool (648), will move on with seniors Jacob Erwin and Chris Modie and junior Kyle Ransom, leading the way. Among the Stallions' three losses to graduation was Danny Helin, who qualified for state as an individual in 2011 and shot a 149 at state last year to place third of 72 golfers and earn first-team all-state honors.
"We have a lot of raw talent," Eckl said. "We were a little rusty early, but our overall talent is very good. We'll see where that takes us.
"Kyle and Chris are the leaders as far as scoring, followed by Jacob and a slew of others, depending on the day."
The rest of the roster consists of seniors Holden Chapman and Dominic Ridley, junior Sam Gray, sophomore Philip Coplen and freshmen Brett Hufflein and Alex Miller.
DeSales opened Aug. 8 with a 16th-place finish (319) in the 20-team Mount Vernon Invitational at Chapel Hill, behind champion St. Charles (297). Ransom shot a 74 to lead the Stallions.
DeSales will compete in the CCL preseason tournament Monday, Aug. 18, at Clover Valley. Last year, the Stallions finished second in the league, shooting a 318 in the postseason tournament behind champion St. Charles (304) and ahead of Hartley (328), Wellington (330), Worthington Christian (355) and Ready (448).
Bad weather forced the cancellation of the CCL preseason tournament a year ago.
Eckl said he hasn't had to remind his players that last year's achievements don't necessarily apply to this year's team.
"I haven't had to say that once," he said. "They realize it. To get back will take the same kind of effort we saw our guys put forth last year. They tasted success and enjoyed it, and they have a great motivation to get back."
Veteran trio to pace girls golf team
According to 10th-year girls golf coach Jeff Montenaro, the fact that his team played one tournament last week before competing in three during a four-day stretch this week was no accident.
Montenaro hopes that quirk in the schedule will give his younger players time to acclimate themselves to varsity play. DeSales has three returnees in seniors Kenzie Kotten and Gabby Marino and junior Kaelin Kelly, but Montenaro said only a handful of the other eight players have any experience.
"We'll be a young team," Montenaro said. "We will lean on (Kelly, Kotten and Marino) heavily. Kenzie is a long hitter, Gabby is more of the short-game, finesse player, and Kaelin is an overall good player. She doesn't have one particular strength that stands out."
Last season, DeSales was 42-38 overall and 29-12 in the Mid-Ohio Girls Golf League, placing second of 10 teams behind champion Watterson (41-0). Centerburg (28-13), Granville (22-19) and Watterson B (21-20) rounded out the top five
Turnout is down slightly for the Stallions this year, from 15 to 11.
The rest of the team consists of juniors Jenny Ciaciura, Sera Kitchen, Olivia Shade and Shaye Steele, sophomores Bella Imlay, Maddie Kleinhenz and Megan Thomas and freshman Kennedy Pannell.
"They are novice players to a point, but several of them have some rounds under their belts," Montenaro said. "Kennedy was a middle-school player who has played a lot of golf. I think she has a bright future. Sera came to golf after she had knee surgery. She's promising. I think she could contend for a varsity spot.
"I can count on Gabby, Kenzie and Kaelin. We must find a few other girls who can catch on quickly. The girls who already have some experience will be counted on to help us. We'll see if they can do that right away."
DeSales opened Aug. 6 by finishing fourth (396) of 12 teams in the first round of MOGGL play at Phoenix, behind Watterson (322), Granville (381) and Bexley (395) and ahead of Columbus School for Girls (400), Licking Valley (414), Watkins Memorial (414), Watterson B (425), Wellington (442), DeSales B (471), Ready (490) and Bexley B (597).
Girls tennis coach excited about season
Fourth-year girls tennis coach Anthony Tienprasid anticipates more stability throughout his lineup than last season, largely due to the return of seven letterwinners and having eight seniors on the roster.
DeSales, which went 3-12 overall and 2-2 in the CCL last year, returns its first- and second-singles players in senior Emma Clark and junior Taylor Gray, respectively, as well as seniors Bri Ellis, Catharine Kistner, Corrine McGoldrick and Alyssa Quinlan.
Last year, Clark and Gray alternated between first and second singles and Ellis played anywhere from second singles to second doubles. Kistner, McGoldrick and Quinlan all played doubles.
Clark and Gray recorded DeSales' only wins in the Division I sectional at Pickerington Central a year ago, as both went 1-1 in singles. Neither advanced to district.
Sophomores Emily and Erin Garrick round out the roster.
"This is the first time I've had a class all the way through from their freshman to senior years, and I have really noticed the improvement from our (returnees)," said Tienprasid, whose team opened Aug. 12 at Whetstone. "I think we'll have more of a regular lineup this year. I don't like switching lineups all the time. I know the girls' strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully we can have them in the same spots consistently more this year. This is the most excited I've been coming into a season since I've been here."
DeSales' CCL opener is Aug. 26 at home against Watterson. The Stallions finished third in the league last year, behind Watterson (4-0) and CSG (3-1) and ahead of Hartley (1-3) and Ready (0-4).
Aug. 8 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Chapel Hill
Aug. 11 -- Marysville Invitational at Moundbuilders
Aug. 12 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 18 -- CCL preseason at Clover Valley
Aug. 21 -- Reynoldsburg at Jefferson
Aug. 23 -- Kent Miller Colonial Fall Classic at Hiawatha
Aug. 25 -- Hilliard Davidson at High Lands
Aug. 30 -- Pinnacle Classic at Pinnacle
Sept. 2 -- Gahanna at Jefferson
Sept. 4 -- Pickerington Central at Champions
Sept. 6 -- Hilliard Invitational at Heritage
Sept. 8 -- Big Walnut at High Lands
Sept. 9 -- Watterson at Jefferson
Sept. 10 -- Westerville Central at TBA
Sept. 11 -- Reynoldsburg at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 13 -- Grove City Invitational at Hickory Hills
Sept. 15 -- Hartley at TBA
Sept. 16 -- Watterson at TBA
Sept. 17 -- Gahanna at Little Turtle
Sept. 18 -- Hartley at Jefferson
Sept. 20 -- CCL postseason at The Players Club at Foxfire
Sept. 27 -- Watterson Invitational at Tartan Fields
Aug. 6 -- MOGGL at Phoenix
Aug. 11 -- Early Birdie Invitational at Champions
Aug. 13 -- Centerburg at Table Rock
Aug. 14 -- MOGGL at Homestead
Aug. 18 -- Westerville North at Champions
Aug. 26 -- MOGGL at TBA
Aug. 28 -- New Albany at Winding Hollow
Sept. 2 -- Westerville Central at TBA
Sept. 4 -- Centerburg at Champions
Sept. 9 -- Columbus School for Girls at TBA
Sept. 10 -- MOGGL at Wyandotte
Sept. 16 -- New Albany at Champions
Sept. 18 -- Gahanna at TBA
Sept. 23 -- Gahanna at Champions
Oct. 4 -- Pickerington North Fall Classic at The Links at Groveport
Aug. 12 -- at Whetstone
Aug. 13 -- vs. Westerville Central
Aug. 16 -- Columbus School for Girls Doubles Davis Cup
Aug. 19 -- vs. Watkins Memorial
Aug. 20 -- at Olentangy Orange
*Aug. 26 -- vs. Watterson
Aug. 27 -- at Hilliard Davidson
Aug. 28 -- vs. Jonathan Alder
Sept. 2 -- at Worthington Christian
Sept. 3 -- at Bexley
*Sept. 9 -- at Columbus School for Girls
Sept. 10 -- vs. Granville
Sept. 11 -- vs. Olentangy
*Sept. 16 -- at Ready
Sept. 17 -- at Dublin Scioto
*Sept. 23 -- vs. Hartley
Oct. 1 -- at Dublin Jerome