2018 Fall Sports Preview

August not only means the start of the school year, but also the fall sports season across Ohio. Talawanda’s Fall Sports teams will look for continued success and improvement in 2018. Here’s your guide for what to expect from every fall team this season; including players to watch, a home schedule, and preview. Make sure you check out a home game or match too.

Last Season: 1-9 record, 7th in SWOC
Head Coach: JD Vonderheide
Home Games this year:
Sept 7: Eaton
Sept 21: Little Miami
Sept 28: Harrison
Oct 12: Edgewood (Senior Night)

Talawanda’s Football team will carry a more positive outlook into this season’s games with a large group of returning starters. Last year’s Sophomore-heavy team is more experienced and poised for success according to head coach JD Vonderheide. The Braves will return many starters upfront this season, including junior starting quarterback Adam Crank, who led the team in total yards while passing for 1,339 and rushing for 405 in 2017. Top receivers Kyle Campbell, Tyrell Wills, and Tyler Engelhard will also return to this year’s campaign adding offensive strength. Defensively, the Braves will return standout junior fullback Dalton Norris, who Vonderheide described as “the quarterback of the defense.” The Braves are looking to bounce back from last year’s 7th place finish in the SWOC as they search for their first winning season since 2014.

Boys Soccer
Last Season: 1st in SWOC 14-3-1 (6-0-0), Lost in 2nd Round of playoffs to Sycamore
Head Coach: Heath Kelly
Home Games this year:
Sept 6: Mt. Healthy
Sept 13: Northwest
Sept 15: Eaton
Sept 18: Ross
Sept 25: Little Miami
Sept 27: Harrison
Oct 4: Edgewood
Oct 6: Kings (Senior Night)

The boys soccer team returns many players from last season’s SWOC championship squad in search of a conference title “three-peat.” Players to watch will be Senior and University of Cincinnati commit Sammy Robinson, as well as Senior midfielder and 2017 First Team All-SWOC selection Quinn Flaspohler, according to Head Coach Heath Kelly. “Andy June and Jake Kelly are also quite adept at putting the ball in the net,” he said. Defensively, Kelly is impressed by his defensive staff led by seniors Tristan Fontaine and Max Farrell. Senior goaltender Tommy Winkler will continue his excellence between the pipes, and up and coming offensive threats Ethan Kraushar and Nathan Vidourek will be entertaining to watch this season. The Braves, who list 13 seniors on this year’s roster, will attempt to make it past the first round of the playoffs this fall. “We won’t be surprising anyone this season and everyone has us marked on their schedule,” Kelly said. No Talawanda Boys Soccer team has ever won three conference titles in a row.

Girls Soccer

Last Season: 4th in SWOC 7-10-0 (3-3-0)
Head Coach: Missy Friede
Home games this year:
Aug 28: Princeton
Aug 30: Little Miami
Sept 4: Harrison
Sept 11: Edgewood
Oct 4: Mt. Healthy
Oct 9: Northwest
Oct 11: Ross (Senior Night)

The girls soccer team is looking to get to the top in SWOC this year and hope to have many wins under their belt. There are many people to watch for this year including seniors Jenna Jarvis, and Taylor Cramer. Juniors Ainsley Clark and Susie Bennison are also looking to make an impact. The Braves have only played one game so far which was a 0-0 tie against Colerain. The Braves have never won a SWOC title in Girls soccer.

Girls Volleyball
Last Season: 4th in SWOC 9-14 (6-6)
Head Coach: Rachelle Dunwoody
Aug. 30: Little Miami
Sep. 4: Harrison
Sep. 8: Graham
Sep. 10: Fairfield
Sep. 11: Edgewood
Sep. 19: Princeton
Oct. 1: Badin
Oct. 2: Mount Healthy
Oct. 8:Winton Woods
Oct. 9: Northwest
Oct. 11: Ross (Senior Night)

“In volleyball we have a thing called a sisterhood and we make sure we follow the sisterhood creed on and off the court and rather than focusing on winning, we focus on being friends and the winning will come with it.” said senior Ashley Earick. The sisterhood is back but has started off with a few loses but there seems to be hope for the season. “I think we will have a good season, it’s already better than last year.” according to Earick who has hope that the team will win SWOC this year.

Boys Golf
Last Season: 2nd in SWOC Regular Season: 12-4 (8-2 SWOC), 2nd in SWOC Tournament
Head Coach: Al Sepsi
Home matches this year (Hueston Woods Golf Course):
Aug 28: Northwest
Aug 30: Ross
Sept 5: Fenwick
Sept 24: Monroe
Sept 26: Badin (Senior Night)

Talawanda’s Boys Golf team is in rebuilding mode this season. Last year’s SWOC golfer of the year Vincent Whitehead graduated, leaving the Braves to rely on seniors Trey Hubbard, Patrick Geshan, and Nick Vandenberg. Underclassmen Austin Goerss and Dylan Slager have shown promise early in the season, and junior Charlie Faler looks to improve from last year’s 4th place finish at the SWOC tournament. Without a star player, consistency will be a top issue for the Braves who finished first in the SWOC preseason shoot-out at Hueston Woods earlier this August. Talawanda has won four of the past six conference titles.

Girls Golf

Last Season: 6th in SWOC Regular Season: 3-9 (1-7 SWOC), 5th in SWOC Tournament
Head Coach: Scott Davie
Home matches this year (Oxford Country Club):
Aug 29: Edgewood
Sept 10: Colerain
Sept 12: Harrison
Sept 17: Oak Hills/Northwest (Senior Night)

In its second season, Talawanda’s girls golf team will look to improve their standing in the SWOC this fall with increased numbers. The Braves will carry a roster of eight this season, double that of last year. Returning players to watch are Jada Tegge, Grace Clausen, and Gabby Clausen, who have all shot below their 2017 averages in early matches. “We are off to a great start to far surpass our win total from last season,” Head Coach Scott Davie said. “We hope to finish no worse than 3rd in SWOC play as well.” New golfers Sophia Moore, Ella Cope, Hannah Heitger, and Lily Cieslak have all dramatically improved since the start of the season, according to Davie. The Braves are 2-2 through four matches this season.

Girls Tennis
Last Season: 3rd in SWOC 8-11 (5-1)
Head Coach: Pete Thomas
Home games this year:
Aug. 28: Little Miami
Aug. 30: Harrison
Sep. 6: Edgewood
Sep. 10: Northwest
Sep. 18: McAuley
Sep. 24 : Monroe
Sep. 25: Seton (Senior Night)

After losing four strong seniors last year the girls tennis team looks to rebuild, according to Head Coach Pete Thomas. “It is always a struggle to gets girls to come out their freshman year and some years better than others”. Thankfully a good batch of freshman came out and have become a part of the tennis family. Thomas’s goal for victory has not changed for the SWOC and he has not seemed to ever lose hope. “Hopefully we will do well and keep our league title hopes from being dashed, but no matter what we will always word our hardest to win.” Returning players to watch will be seniors Rori Lykins and Molly Monson. Junior Allie Flick will also add some talent to the Braves. The last time girls tennis won a conference title was 2015.

Girls Field Hockey
Last Season: 8th in SWOFHL with a record of 0-7-0
Head Coach: Janet Holmes
Home games this year:
Aug 29: Summit Country Day
Sept 5: Oakwood
Sept 8: Lancaster
Sept 17: Indian Hill
Oct 10: Fairmont (Senior Night)

The girls Field Hockey team is “showing promising improvement” according to Rita Armitage, Abby Zmuda, and Hiley Kresse. Many good players from last year’s squad will return including junior Fernainda Conejeros, senior Hannah Kresse, sophomore Mariah Wyant as well as promising freshmen like Skyler Lawsen and Inji Walsh. The team hopes to improve their record from last year.


Talawanda Vs. Ursuline Field Hockey 8/23/18.  Photo Credit:  M. Weatherwax

Boys Cross Country
Last Season: 3rd in SWOC
Head Coach: Paul Stiver
Home meets this year:
Oct 13: SWOC Conference Championships

In an interview with coach Paul Stiver he said the team had potential to win the SWOC this year and that the boys even have a chance to qualify for state. The team lost three of the top five runners from last year and Coach Stiver still has much faith in them. Last season the boys Cross-Country team made a strong showing with David Kraushar who ran a 17.22.00 and will only have improved from last year. Freshman Keifer Bell might be able take the top spot this year as he set four records last season and even won the state title in the 800 meters. The Braves first meet is August 25th at home. They will also host the SWOC Championship meet on October 13th.

Girls Cross Country
Last Season: 1st in SWOC
Head Coach: Paul Stiver
Home meets this year:
Oct 13: SWOC Conference Championships

The coach of the girls cross country team Paul Stiver said that the girls have a good shot to win SWOC for the second year in a row and have a good shot to qualify for state this year. This year they lost two of the top five runners but have some good freshmen such as Hannah Lippincott and Eva Motta who placed highly in the middle school SWOC meet last year. SWOC runner of the year Maddy Iden will return to beat her 20:24.00 time this season. The girls will host the SWOC championships at the high school on October 13th.

Feature Photo Credit: Justin Beckner