Hartley Roundup: Hawks baseball coach says team has 'different energy' after missing last season
After serving as an assistant from 2014-19, new Hartley baseball coach Tim Heinmiller has enjoyed the enthusiasm he’s seen from the players this spring.
The Hawks posted two 20-win seasons, earned at least a share of three CCL championships and followed a Division II district title run in 2018 by finishing as a district runner-up in 2019 in four seasons under former coach Chris Sawyer.
Mason Sawyer – who is Chris Sawyer’s son, started each of his first three prep seasons at catcher and now is playing for the University of the Cumberlands – was expected to lead a strong senior class last spring before the season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Heinmiller, a 2009 Hartley graduate who played for former coach Morgan Assmann and went on to play for Ohio Wesleyan, is excited about the challenge of helping the program remain among the best in the area in Division II as well as in the league.
“Last year was tough, missing out on the whole season,” Heinmiller said. “The kids have come out with a different energy this year, and we’re all excited to get back to competition. The protocols and restrictions have been something new to navigate, but I think at this point, everyone is so used to different restrictions that the adjustments have been seamless.”
The most experienced returnees are seniors Davey Menches (P) and Jake Skelly (1B).
In 2019, Menches won two games and had a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings and Skelly hit .333 with four home runs.
Skelly, who has signed to play football for Ohio University, was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia last May and missed the football season.
“Jake has been cleared to play and has been practicing with the team since official practices started,” Heinmiller said. “We’re working with him to make sure he’s in game shape, but he’s planning on playing every day as long as his body responds well.”
The other senior is Jack Tomlinson (2B), who is expected to be one of the team’s top hitters along with junior Dimitri Boumis (3B/P) and sophomore Peyton Underwood (C/3B/P).
Junior Emmett Gillies should see time in the outfield and be another of the team’s top pitchers along with Boumis, Menches and Underwood.
Juniors Alex Blain (SS) and DuShaun Tucker (OF) likely will hit near the top of the lineup.
Juniors Blake Franz, Landen Paulus and Jake Scurlock should contribute in the outfield and at pitcher, with junior Lukas Graham at catcher and first base, and junior Alex Ramicone also in the outfield.
“We expect to compete for the CCL title during the regular season and to give ourselves the opportunity to compete for a district title in the postseason,” Heinmiller said.
•Coach: Tim Heinmiller, first season
•Next game: April 5 at Reynoldsburg
•Key athletes: Dimitri Boumis, Emmett Gillies, Dave Menches, Jake Skelly, Jake Tomlinson and Peyton Underwood
Girls lacrosse team
‘grateful’ to return
The girls lacrosse team was set to return all but six players last spring after going 8-11 in 2019 before the season was canceled.
There are 12 seniors in this year’s program, including midfielder Sydney Onega, who finished with a program-record 101 goals as a sophomore when the Hawks’ season ended with an 11-9 loss to Granville in a Division II, Region 7 quarterfinal.
“It’s been a blessing to return to the lacrosse field again,” coach Molly Gilbert said. “We have an incredible senior class (leading) our program this season. Everyone is excited. We’re all so grateful for the opportunity to compete again, and we’re definitely ready for it.”
Senior attacker Colleen Sweeney, who scored five goals in a 19-12 victory over Olentangy Berlin in its 2019 tournament opener, should be another offensive mainstay.
Senior Sidney Sheridan is the goalie.
Also at attacker are seniors Bryn Power and Jorja Hensley, junior Ameliana Conigy and sophomores Natalie DeWeese and Riley Fitzpatrick.
Seniors Anna Reis and Annamarie Wills, sophomores Jenna Ryan and Lola Vandemark and freshman Kendall Ramsey join Onega at midfielder.
Senior Emily Hattey and freshman Maggie Taylor will split time between defender and midfielder, with seniors Maggie Agra, Caroline Carmon, Naomi Gitahi and Lily Lindemann and junior Mackenzie Stafford also at defender.
“I’m really proud of this team,” Gilbert said. “Getting better every day is the key and I think we’re doing that. There’s so much talent, heart and determination on this team that I’m anticipating a fun, exciting and successful season.”
•Coach: Molly Gilbert, 10th season
•Next game: April 8 at Columbus School for Girls
•Key athletes: Maggie Agra, Naomi Gitahi, Lily Lindemann, Sydney Onega, Bryn Power, Sidney Sheridan and Colleen Sweeney