Jason Peters saw his Grandview Heights High School football team as a work in progress.

Jason Peters saw his Grandview Heights High School football team as a work in progress.

The 10th-year coach had several returning players from last season's state semifinal squad, but some of those standouts had to learn different roles. The Bobcats split their first six games during that transition and finished 6-4 overall.

"We had several kids back, but a lot of them were in new positions with different expectations," said Peters, whose team lost to eventual champion Kirtland 13-9 in a Division VI state semifinal last fall. "It took them some time to settle in, but on a positive note, we were playing our best football at the end of the season."

The Bobcats missed the Division VI playoffs after qualifying the past two seasons. They finished 12th in Region 23, four spots out of the postseason.

Grandview finished fourth (3-3) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind Bexley (6-0), Columbus Academy (5-1) and Whitehall (4-2) and ahead of West Jefferson (2-4), London (1-5) and Madison Plains (0-6).

Senior running back Jordan Beight (honorable mention all-district, first-team all-league) led the team in rushing with 588 yards and eight touchdowns on 82 carries. He also had 12 receptions for 141 yards and two scores.

Senior Hunter Holland (27 tackles, 1 interception) was first-team all-district at defensive back and first-team all-league. At wide receiver, he had 13 receptions for 245 yards and four touchdowns.

Senior Joey Landusky (27 tackles, 2 interceptions) was second-team all-district at defensive back and second-team all-league. He also played quarterback, rushing for 419 yards and four scores on 137 carries and completing 47 of 99 passes for 706 yards with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Donny Casey (OL/DL; special mention all-district, honorable mention all-league), Ben Fultz (OL/DL; league's Ernie Godfrey Award winner for academic and athletic excellence), Matt Smith (OL/LB; special mention all-district, honorable mention all-league) and Patrick Taylor (OL/DL; second-team all-district and all-league) also were standouts in a 12-player senior class.

"This senior group leaves as one of the all-time winningest classes, which is saying something when you're at a school that has had football for 102 years," Peters said. "We went 6-4 and we were disappointed. It wasn't that long ago that people would have been ecstatic if we would have gone 6-4. This group helped change the perception of Grandview football."

The Bobcats expect to return several key players on defense. Junior defensive lineman James Lachey (63 tackles, 10 sacks) was the district's Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-league. At tight end, he had 24 catches for 280 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 197 yards and three scores on 12 carries.

Also expected back is leading tackler Luke Sterneker (84 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception), a junior linebacker who was special mention all-district and honorable mention all-league.

Junior two-way lineman Brandon Spaulding (51 tackles, 8 sacks) was first-team all-district and second-team all-league. Sophomore linebacker/running back Hudson Jump (honorable mention all-district) had 51 tackles and two interceptions along with 458 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on 89 carries.

Junior linebacker Bryce Stanley (honorable mention all-district) had 45 tackles, four sacks and one interception. At fullback, he rushed for 274 yards and three scores on 35 attempts.

"I learned that you can't get caught up in what happened last year," Stanley said. "You have to buy into what the coaches want and be ready in case you have injuries. You have to be accountable for yourself and be ready to play."

Girls volleyball team showed consistency

First-year coach Meredith Shifley knew the girls volleyball team had talent, and she was impressed by its ability to convert that potential into on-court success.

Seeded 12th for the Division III district tournament, the Bobcats finished 13-10 overall, losing a first-round match to fourth-seeded Fairbanks 25-16, 25-14, 25-19 on Oct. 18.

"This team stayed pretty steady throughout the sea-son," Shifley said. "We fought quite a few close, tough battles. The girls consistently worked together to prove to all of the teams we played that we were a force to be reckoned with."

Grandview finished third (7-5) in the MSL-Ohio behind London (12-0) and Worthington Christian (10-2) and ahead of West Jefferson (5-7), Academy (4-8), Whitehall (4-8) and Bexley (0-12).

Senior outside hitter Hope Wulliger (first-team all-district and all-league) led the team in kills (164) and had 176 digs, 42 aces and 19 blocks. Senior right-side hitter Dareth Douglass (second-team all-district and all-league) had 147 kills, 149 digs, 20 aces and 37 blocks, and senior libero Ali Riggs (honorable mention all-district and all-league) had 243 digs and 21 aces.

Rounding out the senior class were setter Cassie Freeman (138 assists, 15 blocks) and middle hitter Chloe Wernet (94 kills, 18 aces, team-high 50 blocks).

Expected to return are juniors Jayla Coplan (setter; team-high 252 assists, 57 aces, 110 digs), Olivia Girardi (defensive specialist) and Claire Osborne (outside hitter; 50 kills, 19 aces, 10 blocks) and sophomores Makenzie Bush (setter), Sydney Narcelles (defensive specialist) and Katherine Taylor (middle hitter; 32 kills, 38 blocks).