NEW CONCORD Last spring saw John Glenn Highs six-year run as Muskingum Valley League champs snapped, so naturally enough, one of veteran coach Randy Larricks priorities for the 2012 team will be to reclaim the conferences top spot.
Winning the MVL is always one of our goals, Larrick said, but we will need to overcome the loss of eight seniors, most of whom were starters. We will be very young, but the girls are excited to get the season under way and are eager to learn.
The 2011 Muskies posted a 20-6 overall mark which included an 11-5 MVL record, good for third place in the league race. The Lady Fish also captured another district title and advanced to the Division II Regionals where they were ousted by eventual state champions Columbus DeSales.
Four of the departed Muskies Bre Bradley (1st team MVL/1st team Eastern District), Syd Brown (1st team MVL/1st team Eastern District), Tori Clark (2nd team MVL/2nd team Eastern District) and Macey Brosie (1st team MVL/2nd team Eastern District) earned some post-season honors. Also lost to graduation were Lacey Prater, Lindsey Buchanan, Regan Buchanan and Daneh Evans.
The 2012 Lady Muskies will have three returning starters junior pitcher Lauren Dolick, senior outfielder Erin Shade and junior shortstop Teresa Kuhns. Shade and Kuhns have earned a pair of letters each, while Dolick collected her first letter last spring. Kuhns gained all-MVL accolades last year.
In Dolick, John Glenn has a veteran hurler who can be counted upon to shoulder a heavy mound load. She posted a 16-5 mark last spring. She will be backed up by senior Hayley Starcher and freshman Kate Bass.
Other returning letter winners are junior outfielder Lydia Philllips and junior third baseman Katlyn Wagner.
The remainder of the 2012 varsity roster includes senior catcher Lindsey Mumaw, junior outfielder Hunter Baker, junior outfielder Taylor Potts, freshman catcher Kerrie Dolick, freshman second baseman MacKenzie Prater and freshman infielder Natalie Wahl .
Larrick will be entering his 23rd season and should move over the 400-win plateau this spring as his career mark currently stands at 393-140.
He feels that with the pitching should be a strength with the trio of Dolick, Starcher and Bass.
I also feel that this team will have more overall speed than any weve ever had, the JG coach said, so maybe look for some small ball from us.
Our biggest challenge going into the season is our lack of varsity experience, Larrick continued. We lost three of our infielders from last season and all three outfielders in addition to our catcher. These kids are avid about the game and theyre like sponges in the way they soak up coaching. I kinda hope other teams overlook us.
As for returning to the top of the MVL, Larrick knows the challenge will be difficult.
Fully half of our league has more experience than we do, he explained, and a few of those teams have real experienced pitchers returning. Philo, Crooksville and Maysville will all be good and Tri-Valley has a good hitting team and will be excited about the prospect of defending their league title.
Once again, the varsity schedule is dotted with imposing non-league foes in addition to the grueling MVL schedule. Out of conference, John Glenn will face the likes of Indian Creek, Edison, Wheeling Park, Parkersburg South, Ridgewood and Cambridge this spring.
Additionally, another non-league highlight will be JGs participation in the Lancaster Softball Classic on April 27-29 where the Lady Muskies will be one of 32 top-notch high school squads competing in a weekend of high-level competition.
The 2012 JG junior varsity includes sophomores Abbey Garretson, Taylor Sowers and Hannah Bradley; and freshmen Hannah Stephen, Saydee Baughman, MacKenzie Gibson, Taylor Hill, Tara Buckey, Elisabeth Stewart and Kasi Alfman.
Assisting Larrick this spring will be Steve Cowgill and Morgan Murray at the varsity level, while Bre Shetler and Ellen Dickerson will handle JV responsibilities.
John Glenn gets its 2012 campaign underway on Monday with a road league game at New Lexington.