RUSSIA — Aaron Watkins takes over as Russia volleyball coach.
Watkins has been a coach at Fairlawn the past three seasons.
The Lady Raiders finished 10-14 overall last year and 4-8 in the SCAL.
Graduating off that team were libero Cassie Pleiman and outside hitter Rachel Heuing.
Returning letterwinners are seniors Chloe Sherman, Katie Swartz, Faith Magoto and Chris Gaerke; juniors Whitney Pleiman and Cameo Wilson; and sophomores Laurissa Poling; Jenna Cordonnier, Samantha Gaerke and Faith Apple.
“We have tons of talent returning from last year,” Watkins said. “I am eager to get the season started. We have had a strong summer and are ready to build on that. I will be looking for some of our underclassmen to step up along with all of our returning talent to make for a successful season.
“I am very excited to be coaching at the varsity level in the SCAL, where you and your team need to be ready night in an night out.”
Watkins is hopeful of finishing in the top three in the league and advancing to the district tournament.
Boys Cross Country
Legendary coach Doug Foster returns for the Raiders.
The Raiders are looking to rebound from a rare year when they didn’t qualify for the Division III state meet, They finished fourth in the SCAL and fifth in the district and regional.
Graduating off that team were Caleb Ball (Ohio University) and Andrew Ball.
Returning letterwinners include seniors Alex Seger and Ethan Monnier, junior Zach Bell and sophomores Jordan Busse and Gavin George.
“We are looking to bounce back after not qualifying for state for the first time in 10 years,” Foster said. “We have four solid runners returning in Alex Seger, Ethan Monnier, Zach Bell and Gavin George. Our fifth through seven runners will determine how good of a team we can be at the end of the season.”
Fighting for those spots with Busse will be sophomores Noah Magoto and Henry Tumbush and freshman Ajay Seger, Will Magoto Andrew DeLoye, Mason Dapore and Dawson Luthman.
“We want to finish as high as we can at the invitationals, win the Shelby County Preview, the Shelby County League meet, the Dayton Districts and either win the Southwest Regional or place in the top four to get to state.Placing in the top ten at the state meet would cap off a fantastic year. If we stay healthy and injury free, our goals for the campaign are very reachable.”
Foster sees Fort Loramie and Anna as the teams to beat in the SCAL, with his team close behind. He also expects Houston to be a much improved team.
Girls Cross Country
Foster also coaches the girls.
The Lady Raiders finished 166-12 last year and won the SCAL, district and regional, placing sixth at the state meet.
Graduating off that team were Lauren Heaton (Navy) and Molly Kearns (Ohio University).
Returning letterwinners include seniors Shae Goubeaux and Audrey Gariety; juniors Megan Frazier and Becky Pinchot; and sophomores Anna Fiessinger and Claire Meyer.
“This year’s team possesses a mixture of youth and experience going into the season,” Foster said. “Six of our top eight runners are back from last year’s squad and all six girls have tremendous ability and I feel all six will have outstanding seasons.”
Also returning are sophomores Emma Delaet, Kaylee Hiatt and Hannah Vallandingham, along with freshman Clare Caldwell, Jessica Colby, Natalie Klosterman, Andrea Monnin and Sarah Pinchot.
“Our team goals are to place as high as we can at the big invitationals, win the Shelby County Preview, the Shelby County League meet, the Dayton Districts, the Southwest Regional and qualify for the state meet and finish in the top five (in Division III). If we can stay healthy and injury free, our goals this season are all very obtainable.”
Foster sees his team as the favorite in the SCAL, because of the Raiders experience and behind defending champs. He expects a challenge from Fort Loramie and Botkins.
Terry Daugherty returns as coach.
The Raiders were 106-20 last year and shared the SCL title with Anna with an 11-1 record.
Graduating off that team were Zach Sherman, Connor Monnin, Jonah Counts and Gunnar Young.
Returning letterwinners are senior Dylan Cordonnier and junior Jack Dapore.
“We lost our top four golfers to graduation,” Daugherty said. “I am hoping our five and six golfers and some JV plyers from last year are able to step up.”
Daugherty will coach the girls this year as well.
Graduating off last year’s team were Alicia George, Kara Barlage, Elizabeth Adams and Ellie Fiessinger.
Returning letterwinners are senior Maddie Borchers and sophomore Shae Borchers.
“We only have five girls playing this year and two of them are new to the sport,” Daugherty said.