The Hartley High School girls soccer team looks to have a rebuilding season, as only four seniors return. In addition, the Hawks are moving to Division I.

The Hartley High School girls soccer team looks to have a rebuilding season, as only four seniors return. In addition, the Hawks are moving to Division I.

"It's a new dynamic this year," coach Keith Scarlett said. "It will be the first time since I've been here that we won't be ranked in the coaches poll and we won't get a high seed in the tournament.

"If we go out and obliterate every team, it won't matter because our schedule is not conducive to winning a lot of games and being represented well. Teams like Upper Arlington, Westerville North and (Hilliard) Davidson, they all play tougher schedules than we do. We need to beat the teams we should beat and beat some of the ones we shouldn't beat as well, or at least not lose to them."

Hartley must replace eight graduates from a team that finished 8-4-6 overall after losing to Olentangy Orange 2-1 in a Division II district semifinal. The Hawks were third in the CCL at 2-1-2.

Returnees include senior forward Kelsi Bobbitt, senior defenders Jillian Knox, Sarah Marcianda and Jenn Moore and junior defender McKenzie Long. The four defenders started in the back line last season and will be leaned on to provide solid play as the young team tries to jell on offense.

"Having so many new starters hasn't really been difficult," Moore said. "But we have had to adjust certain things."

"I think we'll be a team that's going to be a surprise," Bobbitt said.

Scarlett said the Hawks will use different lineups against different teams. He thinks freshmen forwards Molly Mackessy and Mallory Rhoads will provide speed and support Bobbitt on the attack. Also expected to contribute are forward Maya Pedersen and midfielder/defender Jessica Skelly.

"A lot of the underclassmen have started to step up already," Knox said.

In addition to a strong back line, the Hawks will rely on their speed. Scarlett said this is the fastest team he has coached at Hartley.

"We are very fast. I can put seven of the 11 girls on the field and they're all fast," Scarlett said. "We've had fast teams in the past, we've had teams that could move, but the overall team speed this year is very high.

"Another strength is the girls are willing to throw their bodies around everywhere and anywhere. Maybe that comes with youth but they play with reckless abandon and they cause a lot of chaos, and that's difficult for teams to deal with."

•The football team will open Friday at Centennial.

The Hawks would be satisfied with a similar result to last year when they beat the Stars 63-3.

Centennial finished 0-10 and has a shallow roster, but Hartley coach Brad Burchfield said last year has no bearing on how the Hawks view Centennial.

"Anybody who looks at last year's records and thinks they know what the result of this game will be is foolish," he said. "Everybody is undefeated in week one and we know they're going to give a good effort. The one thing we can control is how well we play."

Centennial is a run-heavy team but has changed up its offensive scheme. The Stars have abandoned the single-wing in favor of a pro-style scheme that better suits their personnel.

"They're an athletic football team," Burchfield said. "They've made a commitment to run the ball, which is good for the players they have. They've got a real good tailback, so we'll be pressured on defense."

The Hawks will face a defense scheme similar to what they utilize. Having seen it in practices, as well as from Centennial on film, the Hawks hope to spring running backs Geoffrey Whiteside and Noah Key free against the Stars.

"We made our fair share of mistakes (in the preseason) and we're still trying to develop our identity," Burchfield said. "There's still a lot of areas we need to improve in. We always want to make sure we improve our consistency and focus. We need to make sure we're focused on every play.

"We want to be physical, play mistake-free football, stick to our fundamentals and play with great effort. If we do all of that, then good things will happen."



Last Tuesday -- Played Lancaster

Today -- vs. Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown

Saturday -- vs.Chillicothe Zane-Trace

*Sept. 3 -- at Watterson

Sept. 7 -- vs. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary at Warsaw

Sept. 12 -- at Reynoldsburg

*Sept. 15 -- vs.DeSales

*Sept. 17 -- at Worthington Christian

Sept. 19 -- vs.Watkins Memorial

*Sept. 23 -- vs. Ready

Sept. 26 -- vs. Bexley

*Sept. 29 -- at Columbus School for Girls

Oct. 3 -- vs. Peebles

Oct. 6 -- at Zanesville Rosecrans

Oct. 12 -- vs. Grandview

Oct. 14 -- vs. Wellington at Upper Arlington