RUSSIA — Kristin Brandon returns for her second season as Russia volleyball coach.
The Lady Raiders finished 16-8 overall last year and 7-5 in the SCAL.
Graduating off that team were Kylie Wilson, Taylor Daniel, Claire Sherman, Allison Gariety and Hannah Sherman.
Returning letterwinners include seniors Cassie Pleiman and Rachel Heuing; juniors Chloe Sherman, Christina Gaerke and Katie Swartz and sophomore Whitney Pleiman.
“The girls had a great summer and worked very hard to improve,” Brandon said. “We lost five great seniors, but all of the girls are working very hard to fill their shoes. The team is looking forward to continuing to improve daily and play up to our highest potential.
“We know our league is very strong and our non-conference schedule is just as tough. Our goal is to be competitive every night against all of our opponents, especially those in the league.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Doug Foster is back for his 10th season as coach.
The Raiders were 140-28 last season, won the SCAL title and district titles, finished third at the regional and 14th at state.
It was the team’s ninth straight year at the state meet.
Returning letterwinners include Caleb Ball and Andrew Ball and juniors Alex Seger and Ethan Monnier.
“Some people think this is going to be a rebuilding year for Russia,” Foster said. “Only time will tell.”
Four of the top five runners from last year are back. All four have tremendous ability and we expect all four to have breakout seasons.”
Also returning are seniors Jake Gariety and Joseph Stickel, along with sophomore Zach Bell.
Newcomers are freshman Jordan Busse, Gavin George, Noah Magoto and Evan Monnier.
“Our goals for the season ahead are to place as high as we can at the big invitationals, to win the Shelby County Preview. the Shelby County League meet, the Dayton District, the Southwest Regional and to qualify for the state meet.
“If our younger runners can perform, the way we think they can by the end of the season, our goals are highly reachable.”
Foster said the SCAL is up for grabs.
“The top two teams in the league should be Russia and Anna,” Foster said. “Anna returns six of their top seven runners back and probably gets the nod to win the SCL, with Russia a close second. You can’t forget about Botkins and Fort Loramie either. Botkins returns a lot of experienced runners and Fort Loramie will be much improved and young.
“The key in order for us to win the league is getting our young runners to run the way we think they can by the end of the season. If this happens, we will have a great shot to win another SCL crown.”
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Foster also coaches the girls team.
The Lady Raiders were 149-8 last season, winning the SCAL, District and Southwest Regional titles.
They finished third at state, the highest ever finish for a Russia girls team.
Returning letterwinners are seniors Lauren Heaton and Molly Kearns, junior Shae Goubeaux and sophomores Megan Frazier, Maddie Moorman and Becky Pinchot.
“This year’s team possesses a mixture of youth and experience going into the upcoming season,” Foster said. “Six of our top runners are back from last year. All of them had outstanding seasons last year and will be expected to do more this year.”
Also returning are seniors Amanda Frazier and Erin George, along with newcomers in junior Audrey Gariety and freshman Emma Delaet, Anna Fiessinger, Kennedie Goubeaux, Kaylee Hiatt, Claire Meyer, Chloe Oakley and Hannah Vallandingham.
“Team goals for the girls are to place as high as we can at the big invitationals, win the Shelby County Preview, the Shelby County League meet, the Dayton District, the Southwest Regional and to qualify for the state meet. If we can stay healthy, our goals are all very obtainable.”
Foster sees his team at the favorite in the SCAL.
“With the wealth of talent we have coming back, I believe Russia girls would get the nod to finish first,” Foster said. “Fort Loramie and Botkins will offer strong challenges. The rest of the league will be vying for places three through seven.”
Terry Daugherty takes over for the legendary Paul Bremigan as golf coach.
The Raiders were 83-21 overall last year and 12-0 in the SCL.
Graduating off that team were Luke Dapore, Gavin Hoying and Jordon Kramer.
Returning letterwinners are seniors Connor Monnin, Zack Sherman and Jonah Counts.
“Our goals are to repeat our league championship and make it to district as a team,” Daugherty said. “The expectations are for some of the younger players to step up and fill in the varsity positions.”
Daugherty expects strong competition from everyone in the SCL.
Doug Borchers returns for his seventh season as coach.
The Lady Raiders were 10-4 last season and advanced to the district tournament as a team for the first time in school history.
Graduating off that team were Corrina Francis, Lindsay Meyer and Kelsey Koverman.
Returning letterwinners include last year’s team MVP Kara Barlage and fellow seniors Alicia George and Lizzy Adams, along with junior Maddie Borchers.
Top newcomers include seniors Ellie Fiessinger and Shea Borchers.
“Our girls are excited about the upcoming season,” Borchers said. “While we’ve lost some talented players to graduation, we also return a number of solid lettermen from last year’s district qualifier. I’m real happy to have four senior captains this year to lead our squad… they’ve already set team goals to build upon last year’s success.
“Our newcomers worked hard over the summer, and are showing dedication to learning the fundamentals. They’ll be factors in our team scores before it’s all said and done. The girls are looking to win some hardware in the early season invitationals, to post another winning season, and are already working on what they have to do to make another run to the district. It’s shaping up to be an exciting year for Russia girls golf.”
Borchers expects another strong season.
“We’re not in a league, but I predict the top teams in the area will be Tipp City and Versailles,” he said. “They both have a number of good returning players. We feel like if we play the way we’re capable, we can match up with just about any of the schools that are our size in the area. Fort Loramie can’t be counted out, they have who I feel is one of the top female golfers in the state in Emily Knouff. A team to watch will be Miami East, they return a lot of solid players from last year. We look forward to competing this season.”