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Spring sports preview capsules

Editor’s note: More preview capsules will be published in future editions as the spring season gets into full swing.

Baseball

Mathews

¯ COACH: Jared Terlecky (10th year, 127-36)

¯ 2019 SEASON: 20-4 (district champions)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*years lettered): none

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Alex Nicholson (So.), Christian Mudrey (So.), Ethan Petak (So.), Haydon Matheny (So.), Jake Williams (So.), Sam Roth (Sr.), Ray Snyder (Sr.), Declan Stitt (Sr.), Nate Weisbarth (Sr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Mustangs have a young team, but are short in varsity experience. After losing all letterwinners from the 2019 season, the road might be rough early in the season, but expectations for Mathews are still high as they plan to be competitive in league play and make a run at the district title.

Badger

¯ COACH: Bill Hamilton (2nd year, 4-12)

¯ 2019 SEASON: 4-12

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*years lettered): Steven Long (Sr.) **, Matt Lendak (Sr.) **, Jack Lendak (Jr.) *, Carter Burnet (Jr.) *, Jacob Baker (Jr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Tim Steh (Sr.), Luke Springer (Sr.), Jeff Logan (Jr.), Brad Hamilton (So.), Trey Davis (So.), Logan Klingensmith (So.), Jack Springer (So.), Jacob Tate (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: With a good combination of upperclassmen and underclassmen, the Braves look to improve every game.

Softball

Badger

¯ COACH: Bengie Bengala (3rd year, 22-17)

¯ 2019 SEASON: 14-8

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Bronwyn Clark (Sr.) **, Alexis Melvin (Jr.) *, Hunter Bengala (Jr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Analyse Sutton (Sr.), Sarah Betts (So.), Kennedy Karr (So.), Cheyene Lindus (So.), Jessica Lovesee (So.), Molly O’Brien (Fr.), Elizabeth Price (Fr.), Maria Baker (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Braves will be fielding a young and inexperienced group this year. The goal will be to compete and improve every day in a very talented NAC field.

Jackson-Milton

¯ COACH: Mariah Ciccolelli (2nd year)

¯ LEAGUE: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Scarlet Tier

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Logan Grunder ***, Camryn Mitchell ***, Jenna Jones ***, Dana Saunders ***, Chelsea Williams **, Kaitlynn Biedeman **

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Megan Finnie, Kylie Wilson, Emily Fultz, Paige Grope, Mia Greco, Ava Darney, Macayle Thornhill, Riley Headley

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: After losing the 2020 season, the Blue Jays are determined to make the most of this season. They’ve continued to improve on their skills every day and have made it clear to the coaching staff that they plan to play each game like it’s their last.

Fitch

¯ COACH: Steven Ward (6th year)

¯ 2019 SEASON: 17-10 (AAC Champions, district semifinalists)

¯ LEAGUE: All-American Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won):: Lydia Spalding (Sr.) **, Elyssa Molody (Sr.) *, Haley Tarr (Sr.) *, Maddy Taylor (Jr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Sydney Shaffer, Anna Skabinski, Sophia Senediak, McKenna Hogan, Caitlin Mitchell, Ayla Ray, Bella Tofil

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Falcons will need to learn quickly this season. With four letterwinners returning, inexperience will play a factor at times, but if the team progresses as planned, they expect to be a tough matchup in May. With tough non-league teams on the schedule, including defending state champion Louisville, they have little room for error, but are happy with the chemistry the team has shown thus far.

Boys track

Badger

¯ COACH: Jim Richards (4th year)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Lincon Hopkins (Sr.) **, Jacob Zahoransky (Sr.) **, Tanner Houser (Sr.) **, Jarrett Wildman (Sr.) *, Jaden Richards (Jr.) *, Logan Murphy (Sr.) *, Carter Burnett (Jr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Ethan Luchette (Sr.), Brad Hamilton (Sr.), Michael Crosby (Fr.), Bryce Gross (Fr.), Samuel Zahoransky (So.), Mason Wildman (So.), Cole Burnett (So.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Braves have a solid team top to bottom, and have a solid group of seniors with state experience.

Fitch (Boys)

¯ COACH: Seth Steiner (7th year, record)

¯ LEAGUE: All-American Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Tyrese Bandy **, Nate Leskovac **, Corbin Roby **, Reggie Floyd **, Kyree Long **, Christian Swarm **, Garrett Hogan *, Jameire Robinson *, Adam Emerick *, Jaymes Soles *, Donnie Ellis *, Tyree Mitchell *, Tyler Evans *, Andrew Lescsak *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Jayden Eley, Jamell James, Alec Herman, Dan Evans, Brody Herman, Cam Smith, DJ Williams, Nick Tibolla, Johnny Ruggles

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: With a wide range of returning talent and a successful indoor season over the winter, the Falcons look to carry that momentum into the spring season and continue the success they’ve had in recent years.

Girls track

Lordstown

¯ COACH: Colleen Kellar (10th year)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Alexandria Drewek (Sr.) **, McKenna Lago (Sr.) **, Ava Spano (Jr.) *, Riley Cuckovich (Jr.) *, Kerrianne Mylar (Jr.) *, Sarah Schneider (Jr.), Kileigh Rice (Jr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Emily Behon (So.), Trista Smith (So.), Carly DeBernardo (Fr.), Leanna Limbeck (Fr.), Allyson Neal (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: Lordstown has a nice mixture of veterans and newcomers. With limited depth with runners, they will have to target what events they’ll be most competitive in. The field events are expected to all be competitive.

Maplewood

¯ COACH: Michael Richards (1st year in current tenure, 25 years of experience)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Confernece

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Mabel Crouch (Sr.) ***, Kylee Sheely (Sr.) ***, Emily Butler (Jr.) **, Abigail Nay (Jr.) **, Riana Rathburn (Jr.) **, Baylie Stacher (Jr.) **, Marissa Ventura (Jr.) **, Grace Crown (Jr.) *, Hannah Faatz (Jr.) *, Kaitlyn Kirch (Jr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Caleigh Richards (Fr.), Haley Agardi (Fr.), Elise Butler (Fr.), Hannah Thomas (Jr.), Grace Murhulik (Jr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Rockets plan to compete well on Tuesday meets to get the younger and new athletes experience to compete at the bigger meets. Being a smaller school, it’s hard to field athletes at all events, but they believe they can score in several events at the invitationals. The goal is to send athletes to regional and state.

Badger

¯ COACH: Carrie Albert (24th year)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Suzanne Shaffer ***, Calena Jablonski ***, Grace Popovich **, Madison Rice **, Julianna Miller **, Brooke Polon **, Kara Polon *, Mackenzie Gross *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Hannah Betts, Katie Grexa, Brianna Huscroft, Abby Hall

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Braves graduated two state qualifiers since the 2019 season and their numbers are down. However, the current group is very hard-working, dedicated and talented.

Bristol

¯ COACH: Michael Austin (9th year)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Maddie Miller **, Katie Webb **, Hannah Woolf **, Becky Bontrager *, Lydia Havlock *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Morgan Charlton, Cassidy Barnett, Brianna McDowell, Hailey Dennis, Bri Klingensmith, Christina Haycox, Brooke Smith, Keira Crouch, Sarah Turner, Gaia Peddicord

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: A very young and inexperienced group, but Maddie Miller, Katie Webb and Hannah Woolf will provide leadership to the team when needed. An overall athletic group that will look to gain experience and looks to make a run come tournament time.

Fitch

¯ COACH: Sam Cassano (2nd year)

¯ LEAGUE: All-American Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN: Alyssa Ruggles, Kristen Yeager, Kylie Madison, Kenzie Chine, Rylie Connolly, Trinity Niznik, Sarah Pitko, Jenna Rodgers

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Madison Bucko, Aidyn Connolly, Savannah Jones, Miranda SHerwood, De’Aunee Thompson, Bri Joki, Emily Beany, Katilyn Leedy, Savannah Grove, Dashia Johnson, Grace Smrek

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Falcons are eager to get back onto the track for the season. Fitch is coming off a successful indoor season where they had 12 girls qualify for the indoor state meet in an individual event or relay. With the 12 qualifiers among the other members of the team, Fitch is looking to have a successful season and hope to achieve their goals they’ve set for themselves.

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