Coach Jacob Daniel wants to make the most of what he has on the roster of his St. Charles Preparatory School basketball team.
The Cardinals are not blessed with height, so Daniel expects to utilize a four-guard attack with one post player as the team tries to improve on last season's finish of 5-15 overall and 1-7 in the CCL.
Three juniors expect to make a big impact in 5-foot-11 shooting guard Spencer Martin, 5-10 point guard Roland Rowe and 6-6 post player Victor Searls, who is the team's tallest player. Martin averaged 7.4 points and 2.3 assists last season, while Rowe averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 assists and 1.7 steals and was second-team all-league.
"Victor will be a post player and Spencer and Roland will be two of our guards," Daniel said. "After that, the other two guard spots change every day.
"We graduated four seniors who were 6-2 or taller, and we're really going to have a hard time replacing their size and their toughness. That was definitely their best attribute. They were tough guys who had some size and were willing to compete. This year we're going to be much smaller, but we could be a little more skilled."
The Cardinals opened Nov. 30 with a 70-64 win over visiting Eastmoor Academy, as Searls led with 20 points and Martin scored 14 with four 3-pointers. Freshman Jared Frey, a 6-3 guard, had 12 points and Rowe added nine.
Frey is one of two freshmen on the roster along with 5-8 guard Doogie James.
"This is the biggest mix we have ever had in my 10 years here because we have never had freshmen before on varsity to start the season," Daniel said. "We have brought kids up like (2017 graduate) Braden Budd, who we brought up midway through the season when they were ready."
The Cardinals have three seniors in 6-2 guards Grant Tiefenthaler and Nick Welch and 6-3 post player Alec Lohiser, who averaged 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds a year ago.
Juniors Eli Burkey (5-10, guard) and Cam O'Neal (6-2, post player) and sophomore guards Tommy Cloran (6-3), Andy Somodi (6-1) and Ryan Utt (6-2) round out the roster.
"We did a lot of work in the summer, and we're working with the younger guys to get them ready," Martin said. "I think we're a strong shooting team. We have three or four good 3-point shooters, and we have a good point guard who can drive and kick the ball out a lot."
The Cardinals begin CCL play Friday, Dec. 7, at home against Ready.
"This year we will have a ton of ups and downs, and we'll face some adversity that will help us down the road," Daniel said. "We have a tougher schedule, and (CCL foes) Hartley, Watterson and DeSales combine to lose one player. We have many guys who are coachable, they are hard-working and they are from good families. I can't complain about that. They come ready to go."
Young hockey team ready for challenge
The hockey team is looking to bounce back from falling short of a Capital Hockey Conference division title last winter.
The Cardinals had won five in a row before finishing third (24 points, 11-3-1-1) in the CHC-Red behind Dublin Jerome (30, 15-1) and Olentangy Liberty (27, 13-2-1).
"It's tough because we won two-thirds of our games and that's considered a bad season," said seventh-year coach Rob Sangster, whose team finished 20-12-1-1 overall. "I like the energy we have and our kids have something to prove.
"A lot can be made of the fact that we're young, but it's good to have something to prove. I like being the team that people think can be pushovers because we're young. That's good for us."
The Cardinals have three seniors on varsity in forwards Matt Martin and Matt Silva and defenseman Nic Zimmerman.
Junior forward Marco Giambrone had 10 goals and eight assists in league play a year ago. Junior defenseman Nick Demers and junior forward Joe Kanowsky also return.
"We have a lot of juniors that have had to work hard and bide their time until enough kids in front of them graduated so they could get their chance," Sangster said. "We have some guys who have worked hard to come back into this season in really good condition.
"Marco, (junior defenseman) Trey (Willis) and (sophomore forward) Diego (Pitones) all hit the weights, and they came back in great condition and ready to make names for themselves."
St. Charles graduated both of its goaltenders in Jacob Badger and Ben Carey. Now, junior John Martin and freshmen Lennon Alydia, Cooper Tyson and Grant Wolf are vying for time in goal.
The Cardinals started 4-0 while winning the Blue Division of the Chiller Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 23-25 at Chiller North. Giambrone had six goals in the first four contests, junior forward Owen Zimmerman scored three times and Willis and freshman defenseman Erich Schoettmer both scored twice.
St. Charles started 1-1 league play by defeating Watterson 10-0 on Dec. 1 and losing to Cincinnati Moeller 6-2 on Dec. 2.
St. Charles athletes select colleges
Three St. Charles student-athletes announced their college decisions Nov. 14.
Christian Buendia will play soccer at Saint Louis, Karson Burkey will play lacrosse at Cleveland State and Owen Sullivan will play lacrosse at Ohio State.
Nov. 29 -- at Eastmoor Academy
*Dec. 7 -- vs. Ready
Dec. 8 -- at Westland
Dec. 11 -- at Olentangy Berlin
Dec. 15 -- vs. Columbus East
*Dec. 21 -- vs. Watterson
Dec. 22 -- vs. Briggs
Dec. 27 -- at Fairfield Union
Dec. 28 -- at Watkins Memorial
*Jan. 4 -- at Hartley
Jan. 5 -- at Bexley
*Jan. 11 -- at DeSales
Jan. 12 -- vs. Willoughby Andrews Osborne Academy
*Jan. 18 -- at Ready
Jan. 19 -- vs. Groveport
Jan. 22 -- vs. Whitehall
Jan. 25 -- vs. Logan
*Feb. 1 -- at Watterson
Feb. 2 -- vs. Cincinnati College Prep
*Feb. 8 -- vs. Hartley
Feb. 9 -- at Centennial
*Feb. 15 -- vs. DeSales
Nov. 23 -- Dayton in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller North
Nov. 24 -- Olentangy Orange and Hilliard in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin
Nov. 25 -- Chagrin Falls Kenston in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin
*Dec. 1 -- Watterson at Chiller Dublin
*Dec. 2 -- Cincinnati Moeller at Northland Ice Center
*Dec. 7 -- Olentangy at OhioHealth Ice Haus
*Dec. 8 -- New Albany at Chiller Easton
*Dec. 9 -- Dublin Jerome at OhioHealth Ice Haus
Dec. 14 -- Parma Padua in Parma Padua Holiday Tournament at OBM Arena in Strongsville
Dec. 15 -- Lakewood St. Edward and Shaker Heights in Parma Padua Holiday Tournament at OBM Arena in Strongsville
Dec. 16 -- TBA in Parma Padua Holiday Tournament at OBM Arena in Strongsville
*Dec. 22 -- Dublin Coffman at OhioHealth Ice Haus
*Dec. 23 -- Olentangy Liberty at OhioHealth Ice Haus
Dec. 26 -- Rocky River in Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit Warrior Shootout at Kent State
Dec. 27 -- Sylvania Northview in Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit Warrior Shootout at Kent State
Dec. 28 -- Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit in Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit Warrior Shootout at Kent State
*Jan. 4 -- New Albany at OhioHealth Ice Haus
*Jan. 5 -- Olentangy Orange at Chiller North
*Jan. 6 -- Olentangy Liberty at Chiller North
*Jan. 11 -- Upper Arlington at OhioHealth Ice Haus
*Jan. 13 -- Cincinnati Moeller at OhioHealth Ice Haus
*Jan. 27 -- Springboro at Chiller Springfield
*Feb. 1 -- Upper Arlington at OhioHealth Ice Haus
*Feb. 3 -- Dublin Jerome at Chiller Dublin
Below are the coming schedules for the St. Charles bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 10 -- Independence at Eastland Lanes
*Dec. 12 -- Hartley at HP Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 7 -- Hunting Valley University School and Toledo St. Francis at Columbus School for Girls
Dec. 8 -- Ned Reeb Invitational at Ohio State
Dec. 8 -- Worthington Kilbourne Wolfpack Duals