Junior Jack Begley is expected to lead the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys cross country team, but he should have plenty of help as five runners have returned from last season's postseason lineup.

Seniors Caleb Martin and Chris Valade and sophomores Gabe Knuth and Tanner Williams also are back.

"Jack Begley is one of the hardest-working kids I've met," first-year coach Justin Riffle said. "He devoted himself to putting in extra work this summer. He logged a lot of miles and had some really good workouts. I would expect to see him finish at the front of the pack at most races and be sub-16 (minutes) by the end of the season."

Kilbourne was seventh (223 points) in the Division I, district 3 meet at Watkins Memorial last season, as Dublin Scioto (120) earned the fifth and final regional berth. Begley (30th, 17:13.91) led the Wolves as the top 20 finishers advanced to regional.

Riffle, who replaced Tina Husted as coach, has 32 runners on the roster, but just three seniors. "We have a very young team, but still have the talent to place well at every meet," Riffle said. "We have good leadership. I see a very bright future for the program.

"Caleb has been a leader since the first day I met him. He works extremely hard at practice and has a great running IQ. He is looking to drop a lot of time this year and hopes to extend our season as much as possible. He is a great role model and a pleasure to coach."

Rounding out the early season lineup are junior Max Shafran and sophomore John Cuozzo.

After winning the Run for a Dream on Aug. 26 at Columbus State's Delaware campus, the Wolves placed third (68) behind Olentangy Liberty (34) and Olentangy Orange (48) in the 10-team Division I race in the Westerville North Classic on Sept. 2.

Begley finished seventh (16:55.13) in the Westerville North Classic, followed by Williams (11th, 17:18.98), Valade (15th,17:27.26), Martin (17th, 17:35.42), Cuozzo (18th, 17:37.56), Knuth (23rd, 17:53.45) and Shafran (29th, 18:17.09).

"Tanner is just a sophomore but has already shown he has great potential to achieve all his goals this year," Riffle said. "I wouldn't be surprised to see him place high at the (OCC-Cardinal Division) meet and be an individual regional qualifier, along with Jack and Caleb."

Smith, Bomser to
lead girls runners

Senior Keira Smith and sophomore Sasha Bomser again are expected to lead the girls cross country team, which finished 15th in the Division I regional meet last season.

Five of the top six runners in last year's postseason lineup are back, including senior Sydney Shannon, junior Caroline Watson and sophomore Maddie Allen.

Kilbourne, which earned the fifth and final regional-qualifying berth from the district 1 meet last year, lost its No. 3 runner in 2017 graduate Camille Rider.

Bomser and Smith both earned all-league and all-district honors for the Wolves, who placed third in the OCC-Cardinal meet behind Thomas and Hilliard Darby.

"Keira and Sasha have been working together all summer," 26th-year coach Melanie Williams said. "They push each other to be better. They have a race strategy that is beneficial to both of them and it's great they can work that well together."

Also competing for positions are junior Marisa Long and freshmen Chloe Emberton and Sylvia Long.

"We have just two seniors and two juniors in the program, so we're a young team that is working hard," Williams said. "We need to run more as a pack in order for us to get back to the regional as a team."

The Wolves finished first in the Run for a Dream at Columbus State's Delaware campus and placed third (93) in the 13-team Division I race in the Westerville North Classic, behind Upper Arlington (39) and Hilliard Bradley (78).

Smith (19:48.6) and Bomser (19:56.3) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Westerville North Classic. They were followed by Allen (18th, 21:17.5), Watson (28th, 21:46.6), Emberton (40th, 22:22), Shannon (49th, 22:46.3) and Marisa Long (65th, 23:48.9).

Girls soccer team
seeks improvement

The girls soccer team is looking to overcome small numbers this season for second-year coach Meghann Moore.

Six starters have returned for the Wolves, who finished 1-13-3 overall and 1-4-1 in the OCC-Cardinal last season.

"We are a very small program and that has led to unity between our j.v. and varsity programs," said Moore, whose team dropped to 0-3 with a 10-0 loss at Jerome on Aug. 29 in its league opener. "Our players trust one another and push each other to get better every day, and that's the goal. We want to improve daily.

"They are very young, but their soccer knowledge is mature and their aggressiveness on and off the ball will lead to their success."

Leading the way is senior forward Maggie Crozier, a fourth-year varsity player and third-year starter.

"Maggie is a co-captain that leads not only off the field, but by her tenacity and effort on the field," Moore said. "She is truly the hardest worker I have seen in a high school athlete."

Junior Emma Philipps will play up top with Crozier, who was special mention all-league last season.

Expected to play in the midfield are juniors Eleni Alexander, Kayla Morris, Courtney Ream and Grace Tefend.

Seniors Ranyah Chahine and Ashlyn Matto, sophomore Lauren Lickman and freshman Abby English are defenders in front of junior goalie Jill Baumgardner.

"Abby is a force to be reckoned with," Moore said. "She will not shy away from any tackle, and even as a freshman, she can lead and organize the back line. She commands respect through her actions and has made a huge difference in our team."

Others expected to contribute are seniors Ashley Carson (midfielder) and Ashley Laudermilch (defender), junior Natalie Guist (midfielder/forward), sophomores Sasha Estice (midfielder/defender), Ciera McKibben (defender) and Taylor Leachman (midfielder) and freshman Ella Bally (midfielder).

Kilbourne opened Aug. 22 with a 4-0 loss to Westerville North and lost to Gahanna 4-1 on Aug. 24.

Field hockey team has
12 letterwinners back

The field hockey team has returned 12 letterwinners after finishing 14-4 overall last season.

Among the returnees are senior Kate Pilcher and junior Gracie Burford, both of whom made second-team all-league last year when the Wolves went 5-2 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-East Division to place third behind Columbus Academy (7-0) and Watterson (6-1).

Kilbourne, which lost to eventual state champion Thomas 3-0 in a district semifinal, must replace three 2017 graduates, including Carolyn Haase and Allie Garvin. Haase was first-team all-league and was the third player in program history to earn all-state honors. Garvin was honorable mention all-league.

"We have a lot of talent this year," third-year coach Alexandra Street said. "We have a dominating junior class, which I am asking a lot from this year."

The other returnees are seniors Kaya Giorgione, Katie Harvey, Chelsea Kao, Lindsey Periatt and Paige Witherow and juniors Arianna Garver, Meredith Johnson, Leaighanne Jordan, Grace Karlock and Reilly St. Myer.

Garver is the team's goalkeeper, but the rest of the positions, as well as the starting lineup, were still being determined early in the season.

"The girls consistently work hard and push each other to get better," Street said. "If we can combine their hard work with consistency, I am looking forward to what we will accomplish. The team unity is strong. They work together and know they need each other to win games."

Rounding out the roster are seniors Courtney Ketter and Mary Oyer, juniors Alexa Burke and Amanda Keener, sophomore Meagan Rosenfeld and freshman Abby Periatt.

The Wolves were 1-1 overall and in the league before playing Hartley on Sept. 6. They defeated New Albany 3-0 on Aug. 23 and lost to Academy 4-2 on Aug. 30.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 26 -- Run for a Dream at Columbus State's Delaware campus

Sept. 2 -- Westerville North Classic

Sept. 9 -- McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial

Sept 16 -- Central Ohio Invitational at Three Creeks Metro Park

Sept. 23 -- Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster

Oct 7 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas

Oct. 14 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at Hilliard Davidson

FIELD HOCKEY

Aug. 23 -- at New Albany

Aug. 30 -- vs. Columbus Academy

*Sept. 6 -- vs. Hartley

Sept. 9 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty and Dublin Jerome

*Sept. 11 -- vs. Columbus School for Girls

Sept. 16 -- at Dayton Oakwood with Kettering Fairmont

Sept. 20 -- vs. Upper Arlington

Sept. 21 -- at Lancaster

*Sept. 25 -- vs. Bexley

*Sept. 27 -- vs. Granville

Oct. 2 -- at Olentangy Orange

*Oct. 4 -- vs. Watterson

Oct. 9 -- at Olentangy

Oct. 12 -- vs. Thomas

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 22 -- at Westerville North

Aug. 24 -- vs. Gahanna

*Aug. 29 -- at Dublin Jerome

*Sept. 5 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

Sept. 7 -- vs. Reynoldsburg

*Sept. 12 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley

Sept. 14 -- at Westerville Central

Sept. 16 -- vs. Whitehouse Anthony Wayne

*Sept. 19 -- at Dublin Scioto

Sept. 21 -- vs. Big Walnut

*Sept. 26 -- at Delaware

Sept. 28 -- at Westerville South

Oct. 3 -- vs. Buckeye Valley

Oct. 5 -- vs. Grove City

Oct. 7 -- at Upper Arlington

*Oct. 10 -- at Thomas

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne boys golf, girls golf, girls tennis, girls volleyball and boys water polo teams:

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 9 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside

Sept. 11 -- Steve Godvin Invitational at Zanesville Country Club

Sept. 13 -- OCC-Cardinal at Clover Valley

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 12 -- OCC-Cardinal at Cooks Creek

GIRLS TENNIS

*Sept. 7 -- Home vs. Thomas

Sept. 12 -- At Pickerington Central

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Thomas

BOYS WATER POLO

Sept. 9 -- Ohio Cup at home

Sept. 13 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington

*League contest