The Grandview Heights High School football team sets out to record a shutout every time it takes the field, and the Bobcats were able to reach that goal in their opener.
After defeating host Centennial 27-0 on Aug. 24, Grandview aims to come away with another shutout Friday, Aug. 31, in its home opener against Africentric.
"It's what we have been working for all summer," said Hudson Jump, a senior running back and defensive end. "We have been saying all along that we want shutouts, and that's what we got.
"I thought we played pretty well as a team. Getting a shutout the first time out is nice. We have a lot to improve on and we have a lot of weapons on offense. I just thought we played well."
The Nubians lost their opener to Bainbridge Paint Valley 46-0 on Aug. 24.
"They have the same coaching staff as they did as last year so that gives us an idea of what to expect," said coach Jason Peters, whose team defeated the Nubians 44-14 last season in the first meeting between the programs. "They have athletes and their athletes can beat you, so we have to make sure those athletes are kept under control."
Jump led the Bobcats on both sides of the ball against Centennial, including rushing for 182 yards with touchdowns of 59 and 22 yards. Darrion Davis had 58 yards rushing with a 5-yard score, and Sam Speaks added a 10-yard touchdown run.
"They are a hard-running and disciplined team," Africentric coach Clarence Daniels said. "We stopped them when they tried to spread us out last year, and they just slowed down the game and came right at us. Their depth also helped them in the fourth quarter."
The Nubians trailed Paint Valley 40-0 at halftime.
"I think teams improve the most from the first week to the second," Daniels said. "With all the hustle and bustle of starting school and trying to get acclimated to a new schedule, it can be difficult. That second week is when everyone gets locked in and more focused. You will see big differences for everyone both offensively and defensively."
Peters said the Bobcats played well, but still had room for improvement.
"We did some good things and there are some things we need to improve on, just like always," he said. "Our kids played hard and that was good to see. We have some mental things to work on, but those things are easy to fix."
Boys soccer team needs 'guys to step up'
The boys soccer team will be using a young lineup as it pursues a fifth consecutive district championship.
The Bobcats finished 17-1-4 overall last season, losing to Cincinnati Summit Country Day 3-2 in a Division III state semifinal.
Grandview lost several key players to graduation, but third-year coach James Gerdes believes his team has the talent to continue its success.
"We lost a lot but at the same time it's a good opportunity for some of the guys to step up for us," said Gerdes, whose team finished second (2-0-3) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind Columbus Academy (3-0-2). "It's a very different team. Last year, we had a lot of speed, but this year we're more of a hard-working team. They have a great attitude and they are playing for each other."
Seniors Manny Day (second-team all-league; 28 goals, 21 assists) and Sam Freeman (7 goals, 2 assists) are returning starters at forward. Juniors Ross Day (3 goals, 11 assists) and Charlie Ferguson are back as starters in the midfield.
The Bobcats also have several players who received key minutes during their postseason run. They include seniors Graham Dilley (defender) and Joel Samuels (midfielder), juniors Sam Amurgis (forward), Ravi Kumar (defender) and Ethan Page (defender) and sophomores Adam Bechtel (midfielder) and Kai Iisaka (defender).
Junior Lance Trares has replaced 2018 graduate Jake Kelley as goalkeeper.
Senior forward Derek Tullis, junior defenders Jack Freeman and Jack Kessler, sophomores Mason Gastesi (defender) and Henry Murphy (forward) and freshman midfielder Jack Mollette round out the roster.
"We're still getting used to playing with one another," said Gerdes, whose team opened league play Aug. 29 against Worthington Christian. "We're still making too many defensive mistakes in terms of communication. We need to understand each individual role on the team."
The Bobcats were 3-1 after defeating Fairbanks 5-0 on Aug. 25. Manny Day and Sam Freeman both had one goal and one assist.
They opened by defeating Mifflin 4-1 on Aug. 17 as Manny Day scored five times and Sam Freeman added three goals. Trares had seven saves.
Trares has six saves as Grandview lost at Troy Christian 3-0 on Aug. 18.
Sam Freeman, Gastesi and Iisaka scored in a 3-0 win over Madison Christian on Aug. 21. Trares had eight saves.
Girls soccer team faces tough schedule
The girls soccer team is looking to get out of an early season funk caused by a difficult schedule.
The Bobcats were 0-2 heading into their MSL-Ohio opener Aug. 29 against Worthington Christian. They finished 18-3-1 overall last season, losing to Summit Country Day 3-1 in a Division III state semifinal.
Grandview opened with a 3-0 loss to Summit Country Day on Aug. 18 then fell 4-1 to Worthington Kilbourne, a Division I program, on Aug. 23.
"When we played Summit (Country Day) and Kilbourne, it was an eye-opener," said 15th-year coach Mike Merna, whose team finished third (4-2-1) in the MSL-Ohio last fall behind Academy (6-0-1) and Worthington Christian (4-1-2). "In the long run it will be a good experience for us because we saw how fast they played. Hopefully it will help us get better."
The Bobcats return a strong nucleus in senior midfielders Maddie Arndt (third-team all-district, second-team all-league; 7 goals, 8 assists) Olivia Girardi (6 goals, 2 assists) and Whitney Schaefer (7 goals, 9 assists), juniors Adelle Bechtel (defender), Hallie Georskey (defender) and Emma Hall (midfielder) and sophomore forward Tayler Pierce (second-team all-district, first-team all-league; 18 goals, 5 assists).
Senior goalie Ruby Gentile also returns. She had 11 saves against Summit Country Day and 12 against Kilbourne.
Also back are sophomores Lindsey Bertani (midfielder; 4 goals, 1 assist), Carlie Orr (midfielder; 5 goals, 2 assists), Signe Slaughter (forward; 7 goals, 2 assists) and Tia Thomas (midfielder; 6 goals, 5 assists).
"I feel like we have a lot of balance and a lot of players back from last year," Merna said. "We're not quite there yet, which is OK because you want to be playing your best in October.
"Our schedule really has been upgraded, so we'll have to be good. The talent will be there, but we need to get better."
Juniors Izzy Evans (midfielder), Addy Holcomb (goalie), Claudette Moul (defender) and Julia Ryan (defender), sophomore Layla Slaughter (defender/goalie) and freshmen Abbie Baxter (defen-der), Maya Burchfield (midfielder), Zoey Miller (midfielder) and Sasha Pomerants (defender) complete the roster.
Aug. 17 -- vs. Mifflin
Aug. 18 -- at Troy Christian
Aug. 21 -- vs. Madison Christian
Aug. 25 -- at Fairbanks
*Aug. 29 -- vs. Worthington Christian
*Sept. 5 -- at Whitehall
Sept. 8 -- at Centennial
Sept. 12 -- vs. Wellington
Sept. 15 -- at Grove City
*Sept. 19 -- vs. Bexley
Sept. 25 -- vs. Cristo Rey
Sept. 27 -- vs. Central Crossing
Sept. 29 -- at Cincinnati Summit Country Day
*Oct. 3 -- vs. Columbus Academy
Oct. 6 -- at Zanesville
Oct. 3 -- vs. Mansfield Christian
Aug. 18 -- at Cincinnati Summit Country Day
Aug. 23 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne
*Aug. 29 -- at Worthington Christian
Sept. 1 -- at Mansfield Christian
*Sept. 5 -- vs. Whitehall
Sept. 10 -- at Fairbanks
Sept. 12 -- vs. Marion Pleasant
*Sept. 15 -- vs. Zanesville Rosecrans
*Sept. 20 -- at Bexley
Sept. 22 -- vs. Cristo Rey
*Sept. 26 -- vs. Wellington
Sept. 29 -- at Columbus School for Girls
Oct. 1 -- vs. Londonville
*Oct. 3 -- at Columbus Academy
Oct. 9 -- at Hartley
Oct. 11 -- vs. Zanesville
Below are the coming schedules for the Grandview Heights girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 30 -- Home vs. Ready
*Sept. 4 -- At Whitehall
*Aug. 30 -- At Bexley