Wellington School baseball coach Craig Jones believes his team has all the parts it needs to have a successful season. He just needs to figure out where they fit.

Wellington School baseball coach Craig Jones believes his team has all the parts it needs to have a successful season. He just needs to figure out where they fit.

"We have so much uncertainty," said Jones, whose team finished 6-18 last season after losing to Gahanna Christian 7-3 in the first round of the Division IV district tournament. "We have 10 returning players, but we haven't had much chance to work with each other. I don't know where everyone is going to play."

The Jaguars open Thursday, March 31, against Orangeburg (S.C.) Preparatory School at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. They are scheduled to play four games in Florida before returning home Saturday, April 2.

"This is the first time we've done this, and I think it's going to be a nice team-bonding experience," Jones said. "We're going to be seeing teams from other parts of the country and that's going to help us tremendously. It's going to be a benchmark of where we need to be."

Jones will be experimenting with different combinations in the infield. Junior Sam Zacher, who was second-team all-district last year, is expected to be the starting catcher. Sophomore Shawn Meddock, who played first base last year before being injured early in the season, returns to that position. Seniors David Connell, Matt Sorrels and Tanner Zaas, juniors C.J. Hansen and Austin Holland and sophomore Billy Brisk are competing for the second base, shortstop and third base positions.

Zaas batted .292 with 16 RBI last season and had the team's lone home run. Zacher hit .373 with eight RBI and had 22 stolen bases on 22 attempts.

One area of concern for Jones is the pitching. The pitching staff is comprised of Brisk, Hansen, Meddock, Sorrels, Zacher and freshman Anthony Davis.

"We have to reduce the number of walks we gave up last year," Jones said. "It's not just a matter of throwing strikes, but keeping the ball down and hitting their spots."

Connell and seniors Nick Bruno and Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura will provide experience to the outfield.

Senior Jaime Grinch, who played as a freshman but not his sophomore and junior years, will be a utility player. Freshmen Taff Anderson (OF), Joe Campbell (C), Michael Doran (2B), Josh Laino (OF), and Josh Roseler (OF) are expected to contribute.

•The softball team also is starting the season in Florida.

Coach Randy Saxour, whose team finished 5-16 last year after losing to Fisher Catholic 18-8 in the first round of the Division IV district tournament, hopes his team finds a way to close out games on its trip to Cocoa Beach, Fla.

The Jaguars are scheduled to play five games in Florida before returning home Friday, April 1.

"It's spring training, not a pleasure cruise for us," Saxour said. "We're going to be practicing three hours in the morning and playing games every night. We're going to talk about the games and what they need to improve on.

"The thing I remember about last year is our inability to score runs at the right time and stay ahead after we had a lead. We'd have 5-1 leads going into the fifth inning and we'd have these 'Wellington innings' where we'd give up five or six runs. We can't do that this year."

The infield will be anchored by senior Casey Fleeter (2B) and junior Andrea Flowers (1B), but Saxour said he may rotate players at shortstop, third base and catcher. Senior Brooke Bryant and junior Sophie Knowles are expected to split time at shortstop, with Bryant, Knowles and senior Jess Fuller splitting time at third base and Knowles, junior Brea Porter and freshman Katie King vying for time behind the plate.

Last season, Knowles hit .321 with 18 RBI and 26 runs and had 21 stolen bases on 22 attempts. Flowers batted .377 with 18 RBI and 22 runs and had 18 stolen bases on 20 attempts.

Senior Alison Smith, junior Courtney Wayman and freshman Abby Fleeter, who is expected to split time between varsity and junior varsity, will share pitching duties. Last year, Smith was 2-12 with 57 strikeouts and Wayman was 3-4 with 27 strikeouts.

When not in the circle, Smith and Wayman could play in the outfield. Others vying for time in the outfield are seniors Charity Jackson and Abbe Kaplan, junior Victoria Guinn and freshman Emily Hammett.

Senior Negesti Kaudo, juniors Brittany Johnson and Kim Roseler and freshmen Zoe Case, Donnette Cox, Gab Smith, Emily Swartz and Becca Vrabel also are expected to get playing time.

"Everyone will get a chance to play," Saxour said. "We're just going to be trying to find the right combination of players.

"Every year it's the same thing. We need to be consistent offensively and defensively to win games. I think if we can hit well, we're going to do well. If we have a good year offensively, we will have a lot of wins."

•The boys tennis team has had plenty of individual success in recent years, but first-year coach Tom Haddow's goal is for the Jaguars to find team success.

"We've got a strong group of guys and I think everyone wants to move forward," said Haddow, who inherits a team that finished 3-12 last year. "We're going to be trying to improve on last year's year this season."

The Jaguars return seniors Ian Wagner and Leo Pedicelli, junior Aashish Katapadi and sophomores Will Gross and Vishal Sharoff.

Wagner is a three-time Division II state qualifier in singles, placing fourth as a freshman, third as a sophomore and being a quarterfinalist last year after losing to Cincinnati Country Day's Joey Fritz 6-3, 6-3. Fritz went to finish second.

Pedicelli lost to DeSales' Myles Harris 6-0, 6-0 in the first round of the district tournament.

Wagner will play first singles with Pedicelli and Katapadi competing for the second and third singles spots.

Freshman Lincoln Ficek and Shabach Tyus could make a big contribution at doubles. The duo is expected to play first doubles, with Sharoff and Gross slated for second doubles.

"We're trying to find the right combinations at doubles," Haddow said. "That's what we struggled with last year. Hopefully, (Ficek and Tyus) can contribute right away."