Brian Schoch is back in a familiar role, leading the Grandview Heights High School boys and girls track and field teams.
After coaching the Bobcats for eight seasons, Schoch took a year off. He returned after Chris Craig's only season.Video •Watch an interview with Grandview Heights track and field coach Brian Schoch.
"There are some familiar faces and some new faces as well," Schoch said. "I like that we have a good mix of experience and youth. We have a great senior class that has a ton of experience and a lot of young kids eager to show what they can do."
The boys team will be led by seniors Jordan Beight, Jordan Butler and Zach Martin. Beight had a historic 2016 season, winning MSL-Ohio Division and Division III district and regional titles in four events -- the long jump, 100 meters, 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles.
In the state meet, the Cornell recruit was runner-up in the long jump (program-record 22 feet, 3 3/4 inches) and 300 hurdles (program-record 38.27 seconds). He also was sixth in the 100 (11.11) and ninth in the 110 hurdles (15.31).
"The numbers (for the boys team) are way up (with eight more kids) and we have a lot of good young kids," Beight said. "We're pretty optimistic that we can do well."
Beight scored all 19 of the boys team's points at state. The Bobcats tied for sixth behind champion Louisville Aquinas (36) as 79 teams scored.
Junior Eli Hall returns after finishing 11th at state in the 1,600 (4:34.58).
Butler competed in three regional events, placing sixth in the high jump (5-10), seventh in the 300 hurdles (41.19) and ninth in the 110 hurdles (16.61).
Senior Dareth Douglass, the only state competitor for the girls team, finished 10th in the discus (124-9) and 15th in the shot put (34-1 1/2).
Cassie Freeman, Molly Smith and Courtney Swihart round out the senior class for the girls team.
"When I was a freshman, I didn't push myself as much as I should have," said Smith, who will compete in soccer and track at Denison. "Now I'm a senior, I want to make sure that the younger kids don't do that.
"It's great to see the results come. When you either get first or get a (personal record), you realize that you're getting better and better."
Leaders for the boys team in the sprints and hurdles include the three seniors -- Beight, Butler and Martin -- and sophomore Harrison Morosky. Douglass, Freeman, Smith, sophomore Whitney Schaefer and freshman Maddy Morosky will lead the way in those events for the girls.
Hall, Evans and freshmen Luke Lachey and Chris Miller will lead the boys middle-distance runners. Junior Sarah Marrone and freshmen Emma Hall and Annie Volker will pace the girls.
In the boys field events, Beight and Butler will lead the jumps with junior James Lachey and sophomore Jack Wallace as throwers. Junior Ben Murphy and freshman Iain McCormick compete in the pole vault.
Douglass and Swihart will lead the girls throwers while the jumpers and vaulters are "a work in progress," Schoch said.
"Like any time early in the season, we're in the process of putting together the pieces," Schoch said. "We have a lot of kids working hard and getting better. We just need to see who fits best where."
The Bobcats opened April 3 at Worthington Christian in a meet that also included Columbus Academy, Newark Catholic and Northside Christian. The boys team won with 127 points, ahead of runner-up Worthington Christian (110), and the girls team won with 70 points, ahead of second-place Newark Catholic (58).
Boys tennis team
learning on court
Kathy Kinnard has taken over the boys tennis program from Ray Corbett, who decided not to return as coach after 26 seasons.
Kinnard has been the girls tennis coach for the past four seasons. She was a girls assistant from 1979-82 and was the head coach of both programs from 1985-87 before serving as athletics director from 1994-2012.
The Bobcats lost all three of their singles players to graduation after finishing 12-4 overall and 4-2 in the MSL-Ohio. They tied Worthington Christian (3-3) for third (23 points) in the league behind Academy (40 points, 6-0) and Bexley (38, 5-1).
Sophomore Sam Speaks is at first singles after playing second doubles last season.
"It's a big jump from second doubles to first singles," said Kinnard, whose team was 0-2 before opening MSL-Ohio play April 4 against West Jefferson. "Sam's playing well, but he's also going up against the other team's best player every day. That can be tough."
The program has just nine participants and returns only two letterwinners in Speaks and sophomore Brett Holcomb.
The Bobcats have two seniors in Caleb Akers and Ben Hecker, both of whom have j.v. experience.
Rounding out the roster are sophomores Nate Pommering and Patrick Rowland and freshmen Bryan Gilleland, Calvin Horning and Aidan Papandria.
"This kind of reminds me of the girls senior class we had last fall," Kinnard said.
"They came in as freshmen young and inexperienced but they stuck with it and kept getting better."
Rounding out the lineup behind Speaks in the first two matches were Horning at second singles and Hecker at third singles. Akers and Pommering were at first doubles, and Gilleland and Papandria played second doubles.
Horning was Grandview's only winner in a 4-1 opening loss to Hamilton Township on March 29. The Bobcats lost to Columbus West 5-0 on March 30, and their match with Jonathan Alder on March 31 was postponed because of bad weather.
"We just need to hit the ball because it's been tough (in the preseason) to get outside," Kinnard said. "We need to hit the ball and play matches. We learned a lot (in the first week of matches).
"The kids are eager. They just need some experience. I hope they stick with it."
March 29 -- at Hamilton Township
March 30 -- vs. Columbus West
March 31 -- at Jonathan Alder
*April 4 -- vs. West Jefferson
April 5 -- vs. Teays Valley
*April 6 -- vs. Worthington Christian
April 10 -- vs. Hartley
April 12 -- at Grove City
*April 18 -- vs. Columbus Academy
April 19 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll
*April 20 -- vs. Bexley
*April 24 -- at Whitehall
*April 25 -- at London
April 26 -- at Ready
April 27 -- vs. Canal Winchester
April 29 -- MSL-Ohio tournament at Columbus Academy
May 1 -- at Central Crossing
May 2 -- vs. Logan Elm
May 3 -- at Whetstone
May 4 -- vs. Eastmoor Academy
May 9 -- at Fisher Catholic
TRACK & FIELD
April 3 -- at Worthington Christian with Columbus Academy, Newark Catholic and Northside Christian
April 6 -- Dick Houston Relays at Licking Valley
April 11 -- at Central Crossing with Hilliard Davidson and Worthington Kilbourne
April 17 -- at Thomas Worthington
April 21 -- Bobcat Booster Invitational
April 28 -- Ranger Invitational at Hamilton Township
May 2 -- vs. Fairbanks
May 9, 12 -- MSL-Ohio meet at Whitehall
Below are the coming schedules for the Grandview Heights baseball and softball teams:
April 8 -- Home vs. Eastmoor Academy (DH)
*April 10 -- Home vs. Whitehall
April 11 -- Home vs. Westland
*April 12 -- At Columbus Academy
April 6 -- At Bloom-Carroll
*April 10 -- Home vs. Whitehall
April 11 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights
April 12 -- At Delaware