With his top two players from a year ago back in the lineup, Grove City boys golf coach Eric Joreski is confident "good things are going to happen" for his team this season.
Senior Ian Johnston and junior Jeremiah Bane both shot 79 and tied for 23rd in the Division I district tournament last season. Bane had a 78 average in OCC-Ohio Division play and was first-team all-league, and Johnston was honorable mention all-league with an 81.5 average.
"Ian and Jeremiah have established themselves as the No. 1 and No. 2 players," said Joreski, who is in his 13th season. "If we are locked in and we play to our potential, good things are going to happen."
Johnston got out to a good start, earning medalist honors with a 75 in the Teays Valley Invitational on Aug. 5 at The Players Club at Foxfire. Bane tied for fifth (80) and junior Thatcher Wilson tied for eighth (82), helping the Greyhounds finish first (317) of 12 teams ahead of runner-up New Albany B (326).
"We have me and Jeremiah from last year, who are solid, and we have three sophomores so we're super young," Johnston said. "It's a young team. We have two kids who can shoot low and three kids who can shoot 80 or better."
Johnston is hoping he and Bane can earn their first state berths.
"We have to make it to district first like we both did last year, and then at district shoot par or better, which should be the number to make it to state," Johnston said.
Grove City opened the four-round OCC-Ohio tournament Aug. 6 at Darby Creek by finishing fourth (323) behind first-place Pickerington Central (315), which defeated Gahanna by fifth-player tiebreaker.
Bane led the Greyhounds with a 77, followed by Johnston (79), sophomores Trent Ruffing (82) and Nash Linder (85) and Wilson (87).
Rounding out the team are senior Connor Estep and sophomore Jackson Ware.
"Ian and Jeremiah push each other and they're going to be pushed by some other guys, too," Joreski said. "There's some really good competition within and you can't ask for anything more. You get that competition within and that drives everybody to become better."
The second round of league play was held Aug. 12 at Apple Valley.
Last season, the Greyhounds went 7-13 in the league to finish fourth behind champion Gahanna (20-0).
Joreski hopes to improve on that effort this fall.
"Our league is tough," he said. "There's going to be some tremendous golf. Gahanna has won it two years in a row and they're just as good as they have been, if not maybe better. Pickerington Central finished second last year. They're loaded. Pick North is always good. There's going to be some great golf within our league and it's going to be fun to watch."
Grove City finished seventh in the 12-team New Albany Invitational on Aug. 7 at New Albany Links behind champion Akron Hoban (290). Johnston led the Greyhounds with a 75.
Saur expected to lead girls golf team
Junior Lizzie Saur is seeking her third consecutive Division I district berth for the girls golf team after tying for 23rd (84) last season and tying for 33rd (85) as a freshman.
"Lizzie has made tremendous improvement in the offseason," said coach Megan Blaney, who is in her seventh season. "She has some high goals for herself and I think it's going to be a good year for her."
The Greyhounds opened by finishing ninth (368) in the Gahanna Invitational on Aug. 5 at Jefferson behind champion New Albany (297). Saur tied for eighth (76) and senior Abby Jones tied for 19th (81).
"We did pretty well for our first tournament this season, especially considering the day started off very hot and it was a very long day because of the (weather) delays," Blaney said. "The girls handled it pretty well, so I was happy about that."
Other players are senior Alexis Hyder, junior Ysabel Gomez, sophomores Samantha Paduchik and Katie Thrun and freshmen Rachael Jones and Chloe Seeley.
Grove City opened the four-round OCC-Ohio tournament Aug. 7 at Blacklick Woods by finishing second (354) behind Gahanna (351) as Saur was medalist with a 75 and Jones shot 80.
Last season, the Greyhounds went 9-11 in the league to finish fourth behind champion Pickerington North (20-0).
"They're anxious to see where we come out against some of these other teams," Blaney said. "They have high goals for themselves, so they're excited."
Norbut back to lead girls tennis team
The girls tennis team should feature added depth this year with senior Olivia Norbut returning after missing the second half of last season with a right wrist injury.
Norbut was playing first singles before sustaining the injury Sept. 12 in a 4-1 win over Westerville South.
"I'm feeling really strong and confident about this season," Norbut said. "Because of my wrist injury last year, this year is definitely my time to come back and finish strong. I'm hoping to play college tennis."
Also back are seniors Lexi Townsend, Emma Smith and Josie Susi. Townsend and Smith are expected to join Norbut on the singles courts.
Other players are juniors Bre Bellar, Emma Burke and Taryn Mitchell, sophomores Kathlyn Lutz and Grace Schaffer and freshman Julie Moore.
"We have some good talent," assistant coach Art Susi said. "What we're really happy about is our leadership and the girls get along really well, so it's going to be a great team to build and to work with."
The Greyhounds opened Aug. 10 by playing host to the South-Western City Schools tournament. They scored 15 points to finish first ahead of Central Crossing (9), Westland (5) and Franklin Heights (1).
Grove City begins OCC-Ohio play Aug. 22 against Lancaster.
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 19 -- New Albany Invitational
Aug. 17 -- Watkins Memorial Classic at Cumberland Trail
Aug. 19 -- Olentangy Berlin at Bent Tree
Aug. 20 -- Hilliard Bradley at Hickory Hills
Aug. 19 -- Bradley at Mentel Mem-orial
Aug. 16 -- Home vs. Fairbanks
Aug. 16 -- At Watkins Memorial
Aug. 20 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
Aug. 15 -- Home vs. Central Crossing
Aug. 19 -- At Worthington Christian
Aug. 20 -- At Westland
Aug. 21 -- Home vs. Teays Valley
Aug. 20 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights