DeSales High School girls tennis coach Tom Snyder faces a few major differences between last season and this, and those differences seem to be double-edged swords.
"There is a lot of uncertainty with the lineup," said Snyder, whose second season began Aug. 11 with a 4-1 win at Central Crossing. "At this time last year, we knew we had eight girls who could play varsity. This year, that (number) is nearly doubled. We have so many players with unique skills who are going to fight for time."
One of the few certainties entering the season for the Stallions was that senior Alex Foos and junior Izzy Arbona would top the lineup at first and second singles, respectively. As for who else would help replace 2017 graduates Emily Garrick, Erin Garrick and Melissa McCabe, who combined for 31 of the team's 35 match wins last year, Snyder expected to take awhile figuring that out.
Foos is the only senior among the program's top 16 players. DeSales, which finished 9-9 overall and 1-3 in the CCL last year, has 27 players overall.
"(First singles) is a natural transition for her," Snyder said of Foos, who also participates in cross country, gymnastics and track and field. "She went 11-11 last year and played mostly doubles. She is so athletic that she is never out of a point. She has great placement with her shots and because of that doubles experience, she is comfortable at the net.
"Izzy came out of nowhere last year for us. It was her first year playing and she ended up being a pleasant surprise. She's athletic with a consistent groundstroke. She is a great competitor and wants to be better."
Other returnees are juniors Miranda Draminski, Annie Hazelton and Erin Miller and sophomore Caite Leithauser.
Rounding out the roster are juniors Allison Goetz and Aubrey Wilcox and sophomore Megan Husslein.
"It could be two weeks of trying to figure out our doubles teams before we get something sort of permanent in place," Snyder said. "Allison is more comfortable at singles and doesn't have as much experience in doubles, so she may well end up challenging for that third singles spot.
"In most of our wins last year, we were so reliant on Emily, Erin and Melissa. We must get better at securing wins on the doubles courts. I don't want a few players having that pressure on them every match of having to win so the team gets a win."
DeSales' home opener was Aug. 15 against Worthington Kilbourne. The Stallions begin CCL play Tuesday, Aug. 22, at home against Columbus School for Girls.
boys golf team
The boys golf team returned virtually its entire lineup from last year, but second-year coach Mike McGoldrick still finds himself learning about the team as it prepares for the CCL preseason tournament Thursday, Aug. 17, at New Albany Links.
Senior Rob Landis holds the top spot early, followed in no particular order by seniors Brett Husslein, Alex Miller and Andrew Richards and sophomore Michael Cummins.
The CCL preseason tournament will be the Stallions' third 18-hole event of the year and fourth overall. DeSales opened Aug. 4 with a 10th-place finish (274) in the 17-team Granville Shootout at The Links at Echo Springs behind co-champions Bexley and Olentangy Orange (245).
Because the event was delayed three times by bad weather and five teams were on the course after sunset playing with the aid of flashlights, teams were scored through 14 holes.
"It was an unusual start, for sure," McGoldrick said. "The guys have been here a long time and they're used to competing at this level. I joined the program their freshman year, so I feel like I've seen them grow up.
"Their personality and mentality is going to help them this year. They have short memories. If they have bad holes, they move on. Nothing keeps them down that much, and that goes back to that senior leadership."
Junior Joe Valentine began the season as the sixth player.
DeSales, whose 2016 season ended with a second consecutive 10th-place finish in a Division I sectional, hopes for a longer postseason run now that it has dropped back to Division II. The Stallions haven't advanced to district as a team since 2014.
"We still must play our game no matter what, but we're happy to be back in Division II," McGoldrick said. "Division I around here is a meat grinder. In Division II, we feel like we have a better chance to make some noise."
Girls golf team
has young lineup
This is the youngest girls golf team third-year coach Charlie Mitchell has fielded, but he was quick to note many of the golfers are not new to the sport.
Three of the Stallions' top five golfers to begin the season were underclassmen, and there are only two seniors among the program's top 12 players.
"They are young and talented, and they are not new to golf," said Mitchell, whose team opened Aug. 7 by winning the first round of the MOGGL tournament at Champions. "I've gotten to know the younger girls some through their parents when there was a possibility they'd come to DeSales, and they have been playing for a while. They're all shooting consistently below 50 (per nine holes). It's a solid top five right now."
Senior Kennedy Pannell had the top spot to begin the season, ahead of sophomores Paige Verfurth and Faith Corn, junior Stephanie Circelli and freshman Amanda Pancake to round out the top five.
The program's other senior is Morgan Wolfe.
"Paige has played competitively for four years and she hits the ball a long way," Mitchell said. "Amanda is a softball player who's just beginning to scratch the surface (of how good a golfer she can be. Kennedy is really steady; she's usually shooting in the upper 40s. She will not be nervous as our No. 1."
Pannell shot a 97 on Aug. 7 to lead DeSales, which shot 423 to finish ahead of CSG (427), CSG's B team (485), Centerburg (489), Wellington (491), DeSales B (569) and Licking Valley (570). Defending champion Newark Catholic had only three players and did not record a team score.
DeSales went 12-9 in the MOGGL last year to finish third behind the Green Wave (21-0).
The first two rounds of the league tournament -- the second was Aug. 14 at Raymond Memorial -- were 18-hole events. The final two are nine holes each.
Aug. 4 -- Granville Shootout at The Links at Echo Springs
Aug. 7 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 10 -- Hilliard Davidson at The Lakes
Aug. 17 -- CCL preseason tournament at New Albany Links
Aug. 19 -- Kent Miller Colonial Fall Classic at Hiawatha
Aug. 24 -- Tree of Life at Champions
Aug. 28 -- Reynoldsburg at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 2 -- Bexley Invitational at West-chester
Sept. 7 -- Hilliard Davidson at Thorn-apple
Sept. 9 -- Worthington Christian Invitational at Turnberry
Sept. 11 -- Westerville South at Champions
Sept. 14 -- Big Walnut at Royal American
Sept. 18 -- Reynoldsburg at Champions
Sept. 19 -- Watterson at Medallion
Sept. 20 -- Westerville South at Blackhawk
Sept. 21 -- Hartley at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 23 -- Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley
Sept. 24 -- CCL postseason tournament at The Players Club at Foxfire
Sept. 26 -- Canal Winchester and Pickerington Central at Turnberry
Aug. 7 -- MOGGL at Champions
Aug. 9 -- Pickerington North B at Turnberry
Aug. 10 -- Thomas Worthington at Mentel Memorial
Aug. 14 -- MOGGL at Raymond Memorial
Aug. 16 -- Centerburg at NorthStar
Aug. 17 -- Columbus School for Girls at NorthStar
Aug. 18 -- Hartley at Blacklick Woods
Aug. 21 -- Delaware and Dublin Scioto at Buck Ridge
Aug. 24 -- Centerburg at Table Rock
Aug. 29 -- Jonathan Alder at NorthStar
Aug. 31 -- Delaware at Oakhaven
Sept. 5 -- Pickerington North B at Turnberry
Sept. 6 -- Westerville North at NorthStar
Sept. 7 -- Columbus School for Girls at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 12 -- MOGGL at Village View
Sept. 14 -- Jonathan Alder at Rolling Meadows
Sept. 18 -- Dublin Scioto at NorthStar
Sept. 19 -- MOGGL at Village View
Sept. 25 -- Thomas Worthington at NorthStar
Sept. 26 -- Hilliard Darby at Rolling Meadows
Sept. 27 -- Delaware at NorthStar
Sept. 30 -- Canal Winchester Invitational at Westchester
Aug. 11 -- at Central Crossing
Aug. 12 -- Kokosing Valley Invitational at Kenyon College
Aug. 15 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne
Aug. 16 -- at Granville
Aug. 21 -- at Hamilton Township
*Aug. 22 -- vs. Columbus School for Girls
Aug. 28 -- vs. Reynoldsburg
*Aug. 29 -- vs. Ready
Aug. 31 -- at Bexley
Sept. 5 -- vs. Worthington Christian
Sept. 6 -- at Buckeye Valley
*Sept. 7 -- Hartley at Ohio Dominican
Sept. 9 -- Reynoldsburg Doubles Tournament
*Sept. 12 -- Watterson at Park of Roses
Sept. 13 -- at Westland
Sept. 14 -- at Westerville North
Sept. 19 -- Centennial at Atrium Park
Sept. 21 -- at Whetstone
Sept. 26 -- vs. Grandview
Sept. 28 -- at Hilliard Darby
Oct. 2 -- vs. Whitehall
Oct. 3 -- at Worthington Kilbourne
Below are the coming schedules for the DeSales cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 21 -- New Albany Classic
Aug. 19 -- Home vs. Canal Winchester
Aug. 18 -- Home vs. Olentangy
Aug. 21 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty