The Grandview Heights High School football team will face an inexperienced Centennial squad when the teams open Friday, Aug. 28, at Grandview.

The Grandview Heights High School football team will face an inexperienced Centennial squad when the teams open Friday, Aug. 28, at Grandview.

The teams are playing for the fifth consecutive season, and Grandview has won three of the four meetings. The Bobcats won 46-19 in 2011, 42-20 in 2102 and 14-7 last season, and the Stars won 20-7 in 2013.

"This is definitely a winnable game if we play well, but it's just as losable if we don't execute," said Centennial coach Donte Goosby, whose team finished 5-5 last season. "We've got a lot of first-year starters out there and the biggest hurdle we'll face early on is overcoming our inexperience."

Some of the first-year starters for Centennial's offense include senior quarterback Luke Fallon, senior slotback Dmitri Warner and junior wide receiver T.J. McCoy.

"(The Stars) are athletic and very quick," said Grandview coach Jason Peters, whose team finished 9-3 last season after losing to Lucasville Valley 27-21 in a second-round Division VI, Region 21 playoff game. "We have to do a good job controlling their athletes or we will be in trouble. They also have some good, big kids up front, like they always do."

The Bobcats return offensive firepower and experience in the trenches. Senior Andre Readey is back at quarterback after rushing for 861 yards and 12 touchdowns on 137 carries. He also completed 45 of 106 passes for 754 yards with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Senior running back Rhodes Jump returns after rushing for 738 yards and seven touchdowns on 129 carries and making 12 catches for 212 yards and one score. Seniors Thomas Stanley and Luke Treasure are back on the offensive line.

"We have stayed healthy and learned things about ourselves (in preseason scrimmages)," Peters said. "(In our final scrimmage Aug. 20, North Robinson) Colonel Crawford was a nice measuring stick for us to see where we need to go. We have to be ready to play Friday."

All five of the Stars' losses last season came to teams with winning records. They lost to the Bobcats, Beechcroft (49-7), Bexley (41-28), DeSales (42-0) and Northland (44-28). Only Northland did not qualify for the postseason.

There are some similarities between Centennial and Grandview in terms of experience and getting players to jell.

"We have a good mix of kids who are working their tails off and working to come together," Peters said. "A problem that we face every year is having the young kids and older kids coming together as a team to put us in a position to win."

Girls volleyball team aiming for league title

Four key players who helped the girls volleyball team finish 20-4 overall last season and win its second consecutive City League title have returned in senior middle hitter Jada Briggs, juniors Lloyana Hunter (middle hitter) and Emily Yoder-Tiedt (setter) and sophomore outside hitter Danea Ford.

Hunter was second-team all-City-North Division and Briggs and Ford were honorable mention all-league a year ago.

Rounding out the roster are senior defensive specialist Taryn Wells, junior middle hitter Ishiah Cooper, sophomores Sophia Carnevale (outside hitter) and Macie Simpson (opposite hitter) and freshmen Akea Hunter (middle hitter) and Cindy Jackson (outside hitter).

The Stars lost five starters to graduation in Danelle Easley (defensive specialist), Dru Ford (libero), Sierra Hawkins (outside hitter), Sam Meanor (setter) and Marissa Robertson (outside hitter). Also, senior opposite hitter Alyssa Dean didn't return to the team because she is focusing on basketball.

"The biggest strengths of our team are that we have a lot of athleticism and are starting to really become more disciplined," fourth-year coach Brenden Pence said. "The ball control with this group has really improved. We have an all-new lineup, so we have to cover a lot of ground fast to establish our offensive and defensive systems. But I know they will be up for the challenge."

The Stars opened Aug. 22 by losing to Central Crossing (30-32, 26-24, 25-21) and host Olentangy Orange (25-10, 25-9). They begin their City-North schedule Thursday, Aug. 27, by playing host to Mifflin.

Centennial finished 14-0 in the City-North last year before beating visiting Eastmoor Academy 25-22, 25-23, 25-20 in the City championship match.

"We would like to maintain our undefeated streak in City League play and win City championships at both the j.v. and varsity level," Pence said. "As always, I am sure that Whetstone, Columbus International and Northland will come prepared to play us. I am sure Eastmoor will be a strong team from the (City-South) as well. I know Briggs also has developed some strong players."