The Hartley High School boys soccer team is hoping an injury-riddled preseason won't put a damper on its hopes for the season.
Junior Brandon Dressel, an expected key returnee, has been lost for the season because of a concussion, but a few other players who have been banged up are expected to be back.
"We've had a really unfortunate bout with injuries, so our 100 percent No. 1 goal is to get healthy," coach Chris Kowalski said. "The positives that come with injuries is that someone else has an opportunity to step up, and guys are stepping up and competing. I think we're going to be very competitive."
Hartley, which went 7-11-1 overall last year but advanced to a Division II district semifinal for the second consecutive season, has nine seniors.
Expected to lead the Hawks are seniors Collin Barringer (midfielder), Jacob Croswell (center back), Josh Deslich (defender), Josh Routte (goalkeeper), Cheikh Tandiang (midfielder) and John Thiel (defender), junior Michael Anthony-Wood (midfielder) and sophomore Joe Andress (midfielder).
Others looking to contribute are seniors Geno Gasbarro (midfielder), Andy Price (defender) and Daniel Supino (midfielder), juniors Galen Kaple (defender) and Demba Sene (forward) and sophomores Ben Hawk (midfielder) and Cole Wieging (midfielder).
A year ago, the Hawks were fourth (1-3) in the CCL behind champion St. Charles (4-0).
Girls soccer team fielding young roster
In addition to losing nine seniors from the team that went 10-6-2 overall and reached a Division II district semifinal last season, the girls soccer program had 10 other players transfer.
The Hawks were third (1-1-2) in the CCL last fall behind Watterson (4-0) and DeSales (2-1-1).
"We've got four seniors this year, and in all likelihood only one will be a starter," coach Scott Dempsey said. "The good news for us is that when I moved over to Hartley three years ago, my entire coaching staff moved over with me and the younger kids are well prepared."
Senior Nicole Weldon (defender), juniors McKenna Welsh (forward) and Alex Orkis (midfielder) and sophomores Ally Dempsey (midfielder) and Kate Duffy (midfielder) should lead the way. Ally Dempsey is the coach's daughter.
Welsh had 19 goals and six assists and made first-team all-district and first-team all-league last season.
Others looking to contribute are seniors Maddison Wilcox (goalkeeper), Chelsea Craft (goalkeeper) and Tiffany Steel (defender) and juniors Kaileen Mitchell (defender/midfielder) and Kiersten Boyd (midfielder).
Among last year's seniors, Jessica Skelly had 14 goals and is playing for Denison University. Skelly and 2013 graduate Molly Mackessy were first-team all-league and classmates Kacy Kern and Samantha Burgess made the second team.
Girls tennis team features new lineup
Among the nine players the girls tennis team lost to graduation was Rachael Morales, a four-time Division II state qualifier who won the state singles championship a year ago and now is playing for Marshall University.
Stepping in at first singles is sophomore Madeleine McDonald.
"We lost nine seniors, so we're rebuilding this year," coach Lynn Winters said. "We'll miss (Morales) definitely, but it'll be a good opportunity for some other girls to step up."
Hartley opened by beating Grandview 3-2 on Aug. 14.
Its CCL opener is Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Watterson, which won the league at 4-0 a year ago. The Hawks were fourth at 1-3.
Also playing singles are junior twins Annie Resetar (No. 2) and Megan Resetar (No. 3).
Seniors Carlissa Fells, Jalissa Howard and Christy Murtha, sophomore Abby Gold and freshman Katherine Crosswell are other key players.
Hartley also lost regulars Kim Osborn and Reese Walaszek to graduation. They reached the district tournament last fall and lost in the first round in doubles.
Boys golf team off to solid start
Despite having to replace four of its top five players from last season, the boys golf team finished second (325) in the 13-team Teays Valley Invitational on Aug. 7 at The Players Club at Foxfire as Watterson (325) won on fifth-player score.
The Hawks then won the five-team Grandview Invitational on Aug. 8 at Oakhurst with a 334. The next day, they competed in the CCL preseason tournament at Granville Golf Course, but it was not completed because of bad weather. The tournament was rescheduled for Aug. 21.
On Aug. 16 in the 14-team Jonathan Alder Invitational at Buck Ridge, Hartley finished second (316) behind Caledonia River Valley (309).
Sophomore Chris Williard didn't compete in the postseason last fall but has taken over the No. 1 spot.
Junior Jack Casebolt also is back after being the No. 5 player last season as Hartley shot 324 to finish second behind Watterson (312) in a sectional at The Players Club.
Hartley then settled for fifth (328) behind champion East Liverpool (314) at district at Granville Golf Course as 2013 graduate Kevin Tillery shot 78 but missed qualifying individually for state by three strokes.
Other key players are seniors Cameron Ball and Nick Ozarzak and freshmen Jared Ozarzak and Bryce Twente.
"We've got 10 guys and a couple girls in the program, and we've only got two seniors so everyone else is young," said Dan DeCrane, who took over as coach after Bill Green stepped down after one season. "Division II is a little bit wide open, so hopefully we can get in there to compete for a sectional title."