During his previous tenure as Ready football coach, Joel Cutler lost just five games in two seasons.

Genoa Area, which ended Cutler's first season with the Silver Knights with an opening-round Division IV, Region 14 playoff win, will try to spoil his first game back with the program when the teams face off Friday, Aug. 30.

The host Comets are coming off one of their best seasons, opening last year with a 28-0 win over Ready on their way to a 12-1 finish that included them being ranked No. 1 in the final Division V state poll.

While the Knights finished 4-6, Genoa lost to Liberty Center 43-40 in the Region 18 final.

Cutler led Ready to a 19-5 record and back-to-back postseason appearances in 2012 and 2013 before going 29-21 the past five seasons at Upper Arlington.

"We played (Genoa) in my first year and we went up there," Cutler said. "They've got a heck of a running back and linebacker back and they always do a nice job. They're wing-T oriented."

The running back/linebacker whom Cutler was referring to is senior Daniel Novotney, a 6-foot, 250-pounder who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last fall.

Genoa is in its sixth season under coach Paul Patterson and has made three consecutive playoff appearances.

"We're still going to hand (Novotney) the ball because he's a load to take down," Patterson told WTVG-TV in Toledo.

Senior Rylen Stoner is expected to take over at quarterback for Jacob Plantz, a 2019 graduate who was first-team all-Northwest District last year along with Novotney and senior punter Sam Witt. Patterson was district Coach of the Year.

Junior running back Ray Gomez, who emerged late last season to provide an offensive boost, likely will play a bigger role this season.

Seniors Daniel Baker and Grant Goodman are returnees on the offensive line.

Ready went 1-6 against playoff teams last season and has five opponents on its schedule that made the 2018 postseason, including Genoa.

The Knights enter the season with senior running back Jack Foley returning after he rushed for 1,640 yards and 17 touchdowns on 265 carries last fall.

They have a new quarterback in junior Darius Parham, who is new to the team but is one of the top athletes in the school.

Seniors Josh Baum, Gabe Hawkins, Jacob Robinson and Thomas Stiltner lead the offensive line, while Stiltner also is a returning starter on the defensive line.

"We definitely have the team chemistry and spend time outside of football," Stiltner said. "It's coming together. On the defensive side, it's definitely about trusting the process."

Girls soccer team looks to build on '18

With a three-game winning streak that included a 2-1 win over Amanda-Clearcreek in the first round of the Division III district tournament, the girls soccer team secured a winning record last fall.

The Knights' 8-6-2 finish came a year after they had gone just 3-13.

It was a big step forward under Chris Byrum, who is hoping to continue that progression during his second season as coach.

"I have 24 girls on my roster now, so (last season's improvement) definitely drummed up a lot of freshmen," Byrum said. "I have eight freshmen on my roster this year."

Ready opened Aug. 16 with a 5-0 victory over Liberty Union and begins CCL action Sept. 12 at Hartley.

Senior midfielder Lindsey Bair, who had two goals against Liberty Union, is the top returnee after finishing with nine goals and six assists last year.

Genesis Lopez (forward), Katelyn Paul (defender) and Maureen Scott (midfielder) are other top seniors.

Junior Alyssa Sanders has returned at goalkeeper.

Freshman forward Lyla Hurd scored twice against Liberty Union and should be a key player along with sophomore forward Abigail Grundei, who had seven goals and four assists last season, and sophomore midfielder Caroline Buendia, who had four goals and five assists. Hurd also is the backup goalie.

Junior midfielder Ava Hurd, who Byrum said "anchors everything" for the Knights, had five goals and six assists last season.

Seniors Michaela Kopczewski (defender/forward), Lauren Schlosser (defender) and Lexie Siemer (forward), junior Cielo Lopez (defender/midfielder), sophomore Sophia Bowman (midfielder) and freshmen Ava Baker (midfielder), Natalie Morocho (midfielder) and Jesica Saldana (defender) are others looking to contribute.

Sophomore Allison Bair, who is Lindsey Bair's sister and was expected to be a key player, is competing for a club team this fall.

"I've scheduled opponents that will push us to play better," Byrum said. "I made sure to schedule a lot of Division III teams from the Central District."

Maynard hopes to grow boys soccer team

The boys soccer team has a new coach in Ronnie Maynard, who has been an assistant boys basketball coach at the school and is coaching soccer for the first time.

A 2007 Ottawa-Glandorf graduate who played both sports in high school, Maynard inherits a team that went 1-12-1 last season and won a combined nine games in three seasons under Cameron VanTilburg.

As a senior, Maynard helped the Titans win a Division III district boys soccer title.

"We basically had athletes playing soccer and ended up making it to the regional semifinals my senior year," he said. "(Ready has) around (20) players now because I brought some basketball players over, so we should be more athletic and more competitive."

The Knights opened Aug. 17 with a 2-0 loss to Northside Christian and begin CCL action Sept. 3 at Hartley.

Ready has four returning seniors in defenders Luke Bergman and Eli Bowles and midfielders Kyle Caisaguano and German Garcia. Senior Brock Baker, who has been a part of the basketball program, also will be at defender.

Juniors Garrison Budd (defender), Kyle Gramlich (midfielder) and Keenan Johnston (midfielder) also are basketball players who have joined the team.

James Collaguazo (forward/midfielder), Jonathan Santiago (forward) and Elias Wahl (midfielder) are other juniors.

Sophomores Isaac Paul (forward), Angel Rivera-Martinez (forward), Erik Rodriguez (forward/midfielder) and Charlie Turek (goalie) and freshmen Gael Garcia (midfielder) and Richard Menke (defender) also should be key players.

Rounding out the roster are senior Brayant Huerta (forward/midfielder), sophomore Troy Hixon (forward/midfielder) and freshman Dedrick Romero (forward/midfielder).

"I'm trying to build up the defense first," Maynard said. "I think we'll be more competitive than in the past couple years because we have more kids out."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Ready boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 27 -- Home vs. Grove City Christian

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 27 -- At Johnstown

Aug. 31 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian

GIRLS TENNIS

Aug. 26 -- Home vs. Bloom-Carroll

Aug. 28 -- At Franklin Heights

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 28 -- At Grove City

Aug. 31 -- Heath Invitational