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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

Howland

¯ COACH: Zack Byler (3rd year, 13-14)

¯ 2019 SEASON: 13-14

¯ LEAGUE: All-American Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*letters won): Josh McCleery **, Braden Gebhardt *, Luca Massucci *, Jared Mindek *, Austen Price *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Nick Lewis, Robert Gumino, Mason Bayus, RJ Hooper, Anthony Massucci, Jak Kennedy, Brady Adams

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Tigers are looking to win at least 15 games this season. Between Braden Gebhardt and Austen Price, Howland believes they have two pitchers that will be hard to beat as long as the offense does well.

Girard

¯ COACH: Aaron Alejars (8th year, 95-84)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeast-8

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*letters won): Anthony Cortest (Sr.) **, Andrew Delgarbino (Sr.) *, Jayden Maggs (Sr.) *, Evan Boyle (Sr.) *, Isaiah Brazofsky (Sr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Cody Wylie (Sr.), Dominic Bengala (Sr.), Kyle O’Hare (Sr.), Jordan Grant (Jr.), Jake Dohy (So.), Jordan Johnson (So.), Alex Marcavish (Jr.), Kyle Bourlier (Fr.), Nate Freeland (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: With playing in a tough conference and having a lot of players without varsity experience, the Indians will be looking to improve from game to game, week to week and by the end of the season, playing their best baseball.

Softball

Liberty

¯ COACH: Brett Fine (1st year)

¯ LEAGUE: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Gray Tier

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Makenzie McBride (Sr.), Alyssa Helco (Sr.), Olivia Benson (Sr.), Ally Jones (Jr.), Emily Benson (Jr.), Kryston Fine (Jr.)

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Deveena Ortiz (Sr.), Ayah Yusuf (Jr.), Marissa Wilson (Jr.), Lily Baylen (So.), Regan McKernan (So.), Lexa Toutin (So.), Juliana Dross (Fr.), Ally Brantley (Fr.), Violet Rawl (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Leopards are a young team with some junior and senior experience, but like most teams in the area, the loss of last season will make getting reacclimated to the varsity game an uphill battle. The goal is to work hard and improve from week to week.

Mathews

¯ COACH: Jim Nicula (10th year, 180-43)

¯ 2019 SEASON: 21-8

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Bella Spano (Sr.) ***, Becca Landis (Sr.) ***, Ashley Deans (Sr.) ***, Kylie Nicholson (Sr.) ***, Chloe Sweltzer (Sr.) ***, Emma Gates (Jr.) **, Kaylen McCillum (Jr.) **, Ella Vaupel (Jr.) **, Gianna Toto (So.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Justine Detelich (Fr.), Summer Davis (Fr.), Hailee Malcomson (Fr.), Kayla Cook (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: Expectations are high at Mathews to compete for another league championship and a long tournament run. Veteran players return at all positions from 2019’s district final team led by the senior and junior classes.

Boys track

Harding

¯ COACH: Charles Penny (17th year)

¯ LEAGUE: All-American Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Benjamin Bell (Jr.), MarKwuan Brown (Sr.), Kelly Cashwell (Jr.), Brysen Powell (Jr.), Asante’ Rodgers (Sr.), Josiah Todd (Jr.)

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: O’Ryan Dukes (Jr.), Dominick Foster (Jr.), DaMari Freeman (Sr.), Gene Grant (Fr.), Josh Hall (Jr.), Nathan James (Fr.), Emarion Perkins (Sr.), Reginald Watson (Sr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Raiders hope to build a strong foundation for the future teams to build upon.

Kennedy

¯ COACH: Brian Barton (3rd year)

¯ LEAGUE: Independent

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Jesse Likens (Sr.), Ed Kiernan (Jr.), Liam Wilson (Jr.), Will Toth (Jr.), Chloe Coates (Jr.)

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Chris Campana, Sarosh Sheth, Patrick Wagner, Thomas Valent, Brady Mocella, Dionna Ellis, Summer Fetters

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: After a canceled season, the Eagles are looking toward senior leadership from Jesse Likens and Chloe Coates to guide the young team and continue the traditions.

Brookfield

¯ COACH: Adam Hughes

¯ LEAGUE: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Gray Tier

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Haden Gibson **

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Donovan Pawlowski, Colin Murphy, Xzavier Witherow, Austin Sees, Brian Smith, Solomon Williams, Ryan Tetricic, Aiden Jones, Brett Carsume

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: Last year’s lost season took a toll on the Warriors. This season, the team is very young. The strength will lie with Haden Gibson in the sprint, but the newcomers in the distance races will also be a strength for the team this season.

Girls track

Harding

¯ COACH: Charles Penny (17th year)

¯ LEAGUE: All-American Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Faith Burch (Sr.), Na’Veyah Parisi (Jr.), Madalyn Pasek (Jr.), Diamond Phillips (Sr.), Shariah Quilling (Sr.), Destinee Toth (Sr.)

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Mallory Barkley (So.), Amaria Bercheni (So.), Alexis Carter (So.), Gabrielle Green (So.), Jameire Honzo (Fr.), Mia Jones (Fr.), Anayasia Moore (So.), Katta Mzehem (Sr.), Jaidyn Provitt (Jr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Raiders want to continue the sucess they had in the 2020 indoor season.

Brookfield (Girls)

¯ COACH: Bob Rodgers (19th year)

¯ LEAGUE: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Gray Tier

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Jasmyn Foist (Sr.) ***, Nikloe Husnick (Sr.) ***, Baily Hackett (Jr.) **

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Kaitlyn Carsone (Jr.), Cailey Wellman (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: With small numbers, it’ll be difficult to win meets, but the Warriors expect to be competitive in all the events they enter. Their strengths are the hurdles, discus and middle distance. Jasmyn Foist is a returning regional qualifier in the 300m hurdles.

Track & field

Mineral Ridge

¯ COACH: Ron Toth (24th year, record)

¯ LEAGUE: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Scarlet Tier

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Nathan Kurjan (Sr.) **, Randall Miller (Sr.) ***, Triston Weiss (Sr.) ***, Eric Shepherd (Jr.) **, Timmy Pappagallo (So.) *, Pryce Allen (Sr.) ***, Danielle Aulet (Sr.) **, Katelyn Lesko (Sr.) ***, Emma Rich (Sr.) ***, Riley Cowles (Jr.) **, Sylvia Traw (Jr.) **

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Austin Governor (Sr.), Isaiah Kelly (Sr.), Mason Miller (So.), Clayton Butler (So.), Giovan Gilbert (So.), Elias Clarke (So.), Olivia Jackson (Jr.), Grace Miller (Jr.), Iyonna Pierce (Jr.), Audri Gaydosh (So.), Christen Nutt (So.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Rams look to compete in every meet this season. With multiple returning letterwinners, expectations are high as always.

Boys tennis

Howland

¯ COACH: Jerry Young (5th year, 39-15)

¯ 2019 SEASON: 16-3

¯ LEAGUE: All-American Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Greg Moosally (Sr.) **, Gavin Walls (Sr.) **, Ethan Huly (Jr.) *, Alexander Bakeris (So.)

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Jack Loges (So.), Zach Lewis (So.), Panaviotis Glaros (Sr.), Dylan Stanton (Sr.), Nick Kotsaros (So.), Max Parise (Sr.), Alexander Crawford (Fr.), Henry Miller (So.), Blake McElhaney (So.), Alexander Zwetzig (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: This season looks to be interesting and exciting for the Tigers. After the cancellation of the 2020 season, the group is highly prepared and extremely competitive.

Lakeview

¯ COACH: John Terbovich (1st year, record)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeast-8

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (*-letters won): Ryan Carnahan, Steve Anastasiadis

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Josh Collins, Jimmie Townsend, T.J. Saxon, Luke Rider, Daniel Sarko

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs look to be competitive in every match and push toward the league title.

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