Tim Brown knew when he took over as the Worthington Christian High School girls basketball coach last season that he likely wouldn't hold the position long term.

Tim Brown knew when he took over as the Worthington Christian High School girls basketball coach last season that he likely wouldn't hold the position long term.

He realized shortly after taking over that the future of the program likely would end up in the hands of junior varsity coach Adam Heath.

"I was just grooming him last season," said Brown, who stepped down after last season to continue his work as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' school campus ministry director in central Ohio.

Heath, a 1999 Worthington Christian graduate who played for Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., served as an assistant with the Warriors' boys basketball program for five years before becoming the girls j.v. coach last year.

His first head varsity coaching job begins this season. Worthington Christian opens Saturday at Centennial and plays host to Wellington on Tuesday.

"It's a transition like any other job would be," Heath said. "This is the third different system in three seasons for these girls, and everything from their footwork to philosophy is different. But what I'm encouraged by is their all-around athleticism and that they've been coachable."

Heath also has a good place to start because of a talented group of sophomores.

Stacy Hecker made honorable mention all-district in Division IV and averaged 10.5 points last season. Classmates Audrey Rettstatt (6.5 ppg), Abbie Moss (3.4 ppg) and Kelsey Morgan (2.6 ppg) also are back after being regulars last year.

The only senior is Taylor Lanning, who saw limited action a season ago. Junior Marissa Grant played for the Warriors two years ago before spending time with her family in California last year and has returned. The other junior is Allie Custer, who averaged 4.7 points.

Also on the team are sophomore Courtney Prior and freshmen Ashton Parsons, Alli Spayde and Janelle Wilcox.

Hecker is at point guard with Custer and Moss also in the backcourt, while Rettstatt is at forward and the 5-foot-10 Morgan is in the post.

The Warriors lost three players who saw action last season to transfers including sophomore Megan Beidelman, who averaged 4.9 points but is now at Olentangy.

"We've really only got one player, Kelsey Morgan, who will be a (center) for us, so we're going to try to get up and down the floor and spread the floor," Heath said. "Kelsey does a good job positioning herself and has the skill set that pulls bigger girls away from the basketball. Stacy will be our point guard, although we'll probably move her off the ball if we're struggling to score. We've also got Allie Custer and Abbie Moss back at guard, so that's a lot more experience than we started with last year."

•The boys soccer team should return a strong nucleus of talent after making it to its third consecutive Division III state final appearance and finishing 16-5-2.

In addition to ThisWeek Super 12 selection Brett Elder, a junior forward who finished with 33 goals this season, the Warriors will return five starters.

Two of the biggest losses will be seniors Josh Petrel and Trent Smith, who started at sweeper and midfielder, respectively, the last two seasons. The other seniors were Sam Willer (goalkeeper), Conor Holland (midfielder), Alex Richards (forward) and Matt Rickly (defender.

Junior midfielder Ben Tjoelker, who scored one of the Warriors' goals during a 3-2 overtime loss Nov. 12 in the state final against Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, will be one of the top returnees. Also eligible to return are juniors Alex Lombardo (defender) and Ben McKenzie (defender) and sophomores Albert Miller (midfielder), George Miller (midfielder) and Quinn Miller (forward).

Sophomore Thomas Holman could be the heir apparent in goal.

The Warriors were 10-4-2 during the regular season and received the second seed for the district tournament. They then beat Gahanna Christian 6-0 on Oct. 23, Tree of Life 5-1 on Oct. 27 and Horizon Science 7-2 on Oct. 30 to win district. Worthington Christian defeated Bloom-Carroll 2-0 on Nov. 2 and Berlin Hiland 2-1 on Nov. 6 at the regional level and Springfield Catholic Central 2-1 on Nov. 9 to reach the state final.

"They're going to be hungry," coach Dan Roads said. "They know what it takes to get there, and the guys are already talking about starting to run next week."

"I don't see anything changing next year," Tjoelker said of his team advancing to the state tournament each of the past six seasons. "Some people said we might not be as good this year as we have been, but we proved them wrong."