Many kids focus on one sport, hoping specialization will allow them to compete at the next level.
Molly Smith didn't have that philosophy at Grandview Heights High School, and she doesn't plan to limit her opportunities in college.
The senior has played basketball and soccer for the Bobcats and also competes in track and field. Smith has made Denison her college of choice, and she plans to run track and play soccer for the Division III Big Red beginning this fall.
"I always liked soccer best, but I also like track and never thought about doing both until my junior year," said Smith, who was first-team all-MSL-Ohio Division as a midfielder in soccer last fall. "I was playing basketball and a coach from Capital came up to me after a game. She said she saw me running on the court and thought I could run track in college. That was the first time that even crossed my mind. I like track a lot. I like to run."
Smith is versatile on the track, running anything from the 100 meters to the 1,600 and all four relays for the girls team. Coach Brian Schoch said Smith's teammates rely on her for pointers, so it's like having another coach on staff.
"Molly has experienced success in a lot of different events, so with that expertise the younger runners look to her," Schoch said. "They can ask her about steps in relays or how they should approach events like the 400 or 800. She's a big help in practice and in meets."
Smith's top time in the 400 is 1 minute, 0.14 of a second. She has run 2:25.0 in the 800. She said she's probably better-suited for the 400 because of her problem with pacing.
"I go into the 800 with a time in mind, say a 2:25, but I'm not the best at pacing so I have to hear a time," Smith said. "I need to know that if I go out fast. If I go 1:10 on the first lap then I need about a 1:15 in the second. I like to be able to kick in for the last 100 meters."
Smith and her teammates will be the host program for the Bobcat Booster Invitational on Friday, April 21. Last year, the girls team had an eight-year winning streak snapped, finishing second (114 points) behind Liberty Union (147) and ahead of Mount Gilead, (111), Jonathan Alder (69), West Jefferson (58) and Madison Plains (19).
The boys team placed third (79.5) behind Mount Gilead (171) and Liberty Union (113.5) and ahead of Jonathan Alder (73), West Jefferson (25) and Madison Plains (21).
"In soccer you probably have eight home games and you have about 11 in basketball, but you only have two in track," Smith said of the Booster Invitational and a meet May 2 against Fairbanks. "This is the big one because it's on a Friday night and everyone from the community comes to watch. It's great to have them here cheering for you."
Last spring, Smith won the 200 (27.4) and was runner-up in the 400 (1:02.4) in the Booster Invitational.
"Molly is a competitor and she has the drive to be good," Schoch said. "As a coach, that's a wonderful thing for an athlete to have."
Smith has a 4.1 GPA and plans to major in business at Denison. She likes the team aspects of soccer, but also enjoys the individual focus of track.
"That's one of the good things about track is that it's all you out there," Smith said. "If you don't do well, it's your own fault. You can't blame anyone else.
"You can come out and work hard at track and run in college, or you come out for track and socialize. You can make of it what you want. It mimics life in that way."
Baseball team plays
well in tight games
The baseball team played four consecutive close contests before losing to Bexley 13-7 on April 17 to fall to 6-8 overall and 1-4 in the MSL-Ohio.
The Bobcats defeated Whitehall 6-5 on April 10 before losing to Columbus Academy 3-1 on April 12 in a pair of league games. They then defeated Rittman 9-8 on April 13 before falling to Northridge 5-2 on April 14.
"We were in a lot of close games last year and didn't win them," coach Tyler Fitzgerald said. "It was nice to win two close ones."
Sophomore Gavin VanHorn was the winning pitcher against both Whitehall and Rittman.
He also drove in the winning run with a double in the bottom of the seventh against Rittman.
"Gavin had a great week for us at the plate and on the mound," Fitzgerald said.
Junior Cameron Richards took the loss against Academy, but Fitzgerald was impressed with the performance.
"Cameron stepped up for us in a big away against Academy," Fitzgerald said. "He kept the ball down in the zone and allowed our fielders to make plays."
Bush's grand slam
sparks softball team
Makenzie Bush hit a grand slam to lift the softball team to its second win of the season.
Bush's homer highlighted a 12-run fourth inning April 11 as the Bobcats defeated Franklin Heights 15-5 in five innings. Claire Bower earned the victory.
Grandview was 2-9 overall and 0-3 in the MSL-Ohio after losing to Bexley 10-3 on April 17.
The Bobcats lost to Delaware 14-3 in five innings April 12 and Liberty Union 12-0 in five innings April 13.
They lost a doubleheader to Sparta Highland 6-5 and 8-4 on April 15.
make college choices
In addition to Smith, five other student-athletes announced their college decisions April 12.
Lily Feast will compete in women's swimming and diving at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California, Grant Hartman will play men's basketball at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, Luke McCollough will compete in men's golf at Capital, Patrick Taylor will play football at Marietta and Hope Wulliger will compete in women's volleyball at Seton Hill in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.