Senior Cesar Arellano is back to lead the Dublin Scioto High School boys cross country team in a season that 23rd-year coach Kevin Foley and his runners hope will end with postseason accolades.

Arellano competed in his first Division I state meet last season, finishing 21st of 186 runners in 15 minutes, 43.7 seconds to earn all-state honors as the top 25 finishers were recognized. He is hoping to return to state this year.

Prior to last season, Scioto had not been represented at state since 2010 when Luis Carbajal, a four-time state qualifier, placed 12th (15:41.4).

Arellano is off to a good start this season, as he finished fourth (15:50.46) of 488 runners in the Pickerington Classic on Aug. 26 at Pickerington North. He was followed by freshman Trevor Page (19th, 16:52.75), senior Tyler Mielke (21st, 17:04.55) and sophomore Sam Thomas (34th, 17:24.38).

Mielke placed 34th (17:00.26) at district last season.

"We want to place as high at state as we can," Mielke said. "These young guys are really talented and they're ready to work hard, so we want to work hard, too."

Senior Brian Briones and junior Jordan Sopher also are competing for top five spots in the lineup. Also looking to contribute are seniors Joel David and Mitchell Thomas, sophomore Antonio Loor and freshman Ali Latif.

Last season, the Irish earned their first regional berth as a team since 2005, finishing 14th (280 points) of 15 teams, behind champion Thomas Worthington (71).

Scioto finished fifth (111) in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet a year ago, behind champion Thomas (27).

"We have upgraded our schedule," Foley said. "We need to challenge ourselves more to get better, so we made a few alterations to the schedule."

Young runners to
lead girls team

The girls cross country team should be led by a strong group of underclassmen, led by freshman Audrey Bannister, who has emerged as the No. 1 runner early in the season.

Bannister finished fifth (19:41.3) of 114 runners in the 11-team Cincinnati Moeller Primetime Invitational on Aug. 25 at Mason, as Scioto finished 10th (262) behind champion Springboro (69).

"I like what I see so far," 15th-year coach Matt Suttle said. "We're an extremely young team, but I like where we're at right now. We have two freshmen in the varsity lineup."

Suttle expects junior Molly Sarver and sophomore Ashley Carr to compete for the No. 2 spot, followed by sophomore Felicity Paez and freshman Allison Thornbloom.

Senior Yosolajesu Olujide-Ajibade and junior Lauren Chapman are returnees who are competing for top six spots.

"We have a lot of new girls who came from the middle school who are trying to get into the vibe of things," Olujide-Ajibade said. "We have a pretty young team. I'm hoping to make it pretty far this season."

Last season, Scioto finished fifth (118) in the OCC-Cardinal meet behind champion Thomas (34).

"I think by the end of the year we're going to be fairly competitive, somewhere in that top three (in the league)," Suttle said.

Field hockey team
has new coach

The field hockey team has a new coach in Megan Kinnison, who replaced Hannah Hunt during the offseason.

Hunt stepped down after three seasons.

Kinnison, 28, was an assistant coach at Columbus Academy the past four seasons and previously served as an assistant at Upper Arlington for one season.

The Irish were 0-4 overall before playing Lancaster on Sept. 6.

Scioto began Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division play with losses to Jerome (8-0 on Aug. 21), Olentangy Liberty (11-0 on Aug. 23) and Olentangy (3-0 on Aug. 30).

Freshman Christina Redfox has played well at goalkeeper, according to Kinnison. She had 15 saves against Olentangy.

"They played awesome," Kinnison said of her team's effort against Olentangy. "They're definitely improving. Our defense has been playing strong, but our offense is definitely a learning process."

Scioto entered its game against Lancaster looking for its first goal of the season.

The Irish have returned 10 players, including seniors Kennedie Lomax (mid-fielder/defender/forward), Osheen Oommen (defender), Merari Pablo-Solano (defender) and Kerrin Reyes (mid-fielder/defender).

Also back are juniors Andrea Nieves-Diaz (defender), Joy Olobatuyi (midfielder/forward) and Kailee Sikorski (midfielder) and sophomores Adrianna Pablo (defender/midfielder), Kasmira Shopshire (forward) and Michelle Zavala (forward).

Other players are senior Harmeet Bhachu (forward), juniors Komal Khan (forward), Cierra Meade (forward/def-ender/midfielder), Emily Oetter (midfielder) and Emily Schmidt (midfielder/forward), sophomores Keira Hubschman (forward), Rowan Mohamed (forward) and Aarya Patel (forward) and freshman Kayanaat Chaudhry (forward).

Last season, Scioto went 1-7 in the COFHL-West to finish eighth, behind champion Thomas (8-0).

Boys golfers sit
second in league

The boys golf team is second in the OCC-Cardinal standings heading into the fourth and final round of the league tournament Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Clover Valley.

Scioto is 14-4 through three rounds, behind Jerome (18-0) and ahead of third-place Thomas (13-5).

The Irish shot a 324 in the third round Aug. 30 at Darby Creek to place third, behind Jerome (298) and Thomas (320). Matt Magno led Scioto with a 76, followed by Nic Rath (80) and Braytton Krock (82).

"After a shaky start, we have settled in to become a consistent team posting a team average around 320," coach Todd Hardesty said.

"Losing a player of Austin (Dyson's) caliber to graduation is not easy, but finding four scores near 80 during most events recently has been a rewarding achievement. We're working hard to hold our top three spot in the league and earn a return trip to the district tournament in October."

Girls golfers prep
for final OCC round

The girls golf team is fourth in the OCC-Cardinal standings entering the fourth and final round of the league tournament Tuesday, Sept. 12, at Cooks Creek.

Scioto is 7-11 through three rounds, behind Jerome (18-0), Delaware (14-4) and Bradley (13-5).

The Irish finished fourth (448) in the third round Aug. 29 at Royal American, behind Jerome (313), Bradley (404) and Delaware (410). Breanna Santosa led Scioto with a 92.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

Schedules

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 19 -- Boys: OHSAA Preseason Invitational at National Trail Raceway

Aug. 21 -- at Jerome with Coffman

Aug. 26 -- Boys: Pickerington Classic at Pickerington North; Girls: Cincinnati Moeller Primetime Invitational

Sept. 2 -- Boys: Ashland Invitational; Girls: Westerville North Classic

Sept. 9 -- Boys: McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial

Sept. 16 -- Boys: Galion Cross Country Festival at Amann's Reservior; Girls: Otterbein Invitational

Sept. 23 -- Boys: Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster; Girls: Celtic Clash Invitational at Jerome

Sept. 30 -- Boys: Midwest Meet of Champions at Hilliard Bradley; Girls: Buck Creek Invitational

Oct. 7 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington

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

FIELD HOCKEY

*Aug. 21 -- vs. Jerome

*Aug. 23 -- at Olentangy Liberty

Aug. 29 -- at Granville

*Aug. 30 -- vs. Olentangy

Sept. 6 -- at Lancaster

Sept. 11 -- vs. Hilliard Lynx

*Sept. 14 -- vs. Upper Arlington

Sept. 18 -- vs. New Albany

*Sept. 20 -- at Thomas Worthington

*Sept. 25 -- at Olentangy Orange

Sept. 27 -- vs. Columbus School for Girls

*Oct. 4 -- at Coffman

Oct. 5 -- at Bexley

Oct. 9 -- vs. Hartley

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Scioto boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 7 -- Grove City at Glenross

Sept. 9 -- Grove City Invitational at Hickory Hills

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

Sept. 13 -- OCC-Cardinal at Clover Valley

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 7 -- Delaware at Oakhaven

Sept. 11 -- Pickerington North JV at Turnberry

Sept. 12 -- OCC-Cardinal at Cooks Creek

Sept. 13 -- Pickerington Central at Safari

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 8 -- At Big Walnut

*Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 9 -- Home vs. Mount Vernon

*Sept. 12 -- At Hilliard Darby

GIRLS TENNIS

*Sept. 7 -- Home vs. Jerome

Sept. 12 -- At Marysville

Sept. 13 -- Home vs. Westerville Central

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Jerome

*League contest