Ray Corbett is looking for the right combinations for his Grandview Heights High School boys tennis team.

Ray Corbett is looking for the right combinations for his Grandview Heights High School boys tennis team.

With seniors Nick Levitt and Kyle McLain returning to lead the singles courts, Corbett is seeking to fill the third-singles court as well as team the most effective tandems on the two doubles courts. Those will be his biggest decisions in his 22nd season leading the program.

"We have some kids back, but some kids are new to the program," said Corbett, whose team opened March 27 with a non-league match against Bloom-Carroll. "With our situation, it's an open door for some of the new guys."

The Bobcats finished 5-10 overall in dual matches last season and were fifth (15) in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio tournament behind Bexley (47), host Columbus Academy (43), Granville (29) and Fisher Catholic (17) and ahead of Whitehall (8) and West Jefferson (2).

In addition to Levitt and McLain, back from last year's team are juniors Luke Snider and Trevor Voelker and sophomores Peter Bonn and Nick Luckenbach.

Snider and Voelker are expected to form the first-doubles team, with the second-doubles team comprised of Bonn, sophomore Sam Brown, freshman Dylan Pham or freshman Tristen Rose.

"Right now there is a lot of competition with the kids getting after it," Corbett said. "The kids have been pretty business-like in how they have come out to the courts to work. They try to get better each day at practice."

Corbett will have extra help in assistant coach Kathy Kinnard, who recently retired as athletics director and was a former coach with the program.

"You can't underestimate the help I get from having Kathy as an assistant," said Corbett, whose team did not have a Division II district qualifier last year. "She is knowledgeable about the game and can really pick up on things to help improve their games."

Girls track team lost 'three great seniors'

The girls track and field program lost three seniors from last year's team, which tied Fort Loramie and Gates Mills Gilmour for eighth (21 points) in the Division III state meet at Ohio State behind champion Steubenville Catholic Central (41) as 71 teams scored.

"We only lost three seniors, but they were three great seniors," said coach Brian Schoch, who is in his fifth year leading both the boys and girls programs. "Hannah (Stefanoff) was our best distance runner and now she is running at Georgia State (in Atlanta). Sarah (Meier) was our top sprinter, and Karen (Daniel-Hamberg) led us in field events."

The top returnees include seniors Jordan Fitzgerald, Emily Lachey and Caitlyn Sarich, who joined Meier to place sixth at state in the 1,600-meter relay in 4 minutes, 4.63 seconds. Sophomore middle-distance runner Laura Satterthwaite ran on the 1,600 relay at regional.

Lachey, junior Anna Davis, sophomore Halli Bair and Stefanoff finished 13th at state in the 3,200 relay in 10:01.98.

Other seniors are Selby Gage (distance), Emma Haase (field events) and Elaina Vimmerstedt (throws). Key juniors also include Erica Jackson (sprints) and Julie Menke (hurdles).

"We have a lot of talent back in a lot of different areas," Schoch said. "We have good depth and a lot of hungry runners who can make contributions as freshmen. We have kids ready to step into leadership roles for us and we are hoping depth is our strength."

Last year, Grandview won the MSL-Cardinal Division meet for the fourth consecutive season. The Bobcats totaled 180.5 points to finish ahead of Fisher Catholic (128), Liberty Union (105.5), Licking Heights (79.5), host Berne Union (73), West Jefferson (43), Millersport (29.5) and Harvest Prep (10).

At district, the Bobcats won the title with 100.5 points. Mount Gilead (69) was runner-up as 26 teams scored.

Grandview was runner-up at regional with 57 points as 47 teams scored and Waynesfield-Goshen (71) won the title.

Distance events strength for boys track team

The boys track and field team's strength might be in the distance and middle-distance events, according to Schoch.

"It's good to have most of our distance and middle-distance returning," Schoch said. "It's also nice to have a good high-jumper like (senior) Brendan Cox back."

In last year's Division III state meet, the 800 relay of 2011 graduates Joe Trapp, John Dickson and Ryan Schofield as well as senior Evan Tillett finished 11th (1:32.08). The 400 relay of Trapp, Dickson, Schofield and senior Jason Franks finished 13th (44.95).

Franks did not return to the team because of a knee injury from football.

Grandview tied for 48th (4) with eight teams at state as 71 teams scored and McDonald (44) won the title.

The distance corps is led by sophomore Luke Evans, who finished 21st (16:26.78) in the Division III state cross country meet last fall. Also back are junior Chase Gage and sophomore Josh Smith. Seniors Joe Anderson and John Menke lead the throwers and senior Ben Mathes tops the middle-distance performers.

Ezra Baker, Riley Reese and Sam Thomas round out the senior class.

"We're inexperienced in our sprints because we had a big senior class of sprinters last year," Schoch said. "We're not bad, just inexperienced, and it will take a few meets before we see where we are at there. We have some new sprinters who can definitely help us."

Last season, the boys won their first league title since 1984. The Bobcats scored 139 points in the MSL-Cardinal meet to tie Liberty Union for first ahead of host Berne Union (129), Licking Heights (85), West Jefferson (80), Fisher Catholic (35), Harvest Prep (25) and Millersport (24).

At district, Grandview was runner-up with 68.5 points behind champion Academy (83.5) as 21 teams scored. The Bobcats tied Fredericktown for sixth (30) at regional as 46 teams scored and Academy (71) captured the title.