Wilmington and Williamsburg won track and field titles last season.
For the Hurricane, the championship was the first in the SBAAC American Division.
Williamsburg has won two straight crowns.
The Wildcats were tied for fifth in the league meet.
Second team athletes last season, and their current grade, were Kellen Staehling (‘21 grad)
Fifth year head coach Scott Rolf will be assisted by girls coach Dean Richardson, Jordan Phipps, Forest Goings, Jim Wagner, James Brady and Matt Hudson.
Rolf was an assistant at Massie for 12 years and has been coaching track and field now for 26 seasons.
Michael Moritz, JT Goings and Ethan Hagerman graduated last season so there are plenty of returning athletes. They are Daelin Maple, Marty Kreider, Braden Rolf, Carter Frank, Matt Martin, Toby Hayes, Collin Swope, Richie Federle, Tye Phipps, Bryce Hensley, Kenny Moore, Carson Myers, Jude Leahy, Weston Carpenter, Jacob Ryan.
Maple was a state qualifier in the shot put and Swope was a regional qualifier in the discus. Kreider, Maple and Rolf were first-team All-SBAAC last season.
Rolf said newcomers Cale Wilson and Miley Powell could make an impact this season.
With depth a major concern for his team, Rolf said his squad could still contend with Wilmington for the American Division crown if his team shows improvement over last season and maintains good health.
”I am excited about our leadership and experience,” said Rolf. “We have a good number of upperclassmen and returning lettermen. We definitely have potential.”
The East Clinton boys track and field team finished fourth last season in the SBAAC National Division.
Coach Michael Fritz, in his second season with the boys after seven years with the girls team, will be assisted by girls head coach Bob Malone, Bob Henson, Steven Sodini, Bill Hrabak and David Boris.
“I really love the returning experience and overall numbers for our team,” said Fritz. “This is the first time our boys will have well over 20 members on the team in quite awhile. It’s great to have a lot of options for everyone. We also will have nine seniors on the team this year so that’s very exciting as well.”
There is a solid group of 11 returning athletes to the team, led by Landon Runyon, a second-team all-league performer last season, Glenn Peacock, Michael Horn, Spencer Wiget, Justin Arnold, Zach Vest, Dylan Arnold, Van Frye, Michael Daniel and Jayson Edison.
“Landon Runyon, Jayson Edison, Michael Horn, Justin Arnold, Michael Daniel and Zach Vest have all been in this program for four years and have really stepped up. Their experience and leadership is paramount to our teams this season,” Fritz said.
Newcomers who will fit in to the lineup will be Alex Edison, Jacob George and Matej Jostak.
Fritz said Williamsburg is the National Division favorite but his team can battle for the top spot if the seniors “perform to their potential and our talented underclassmen step up for us.
“This is the first time in recent memory we have a shot at filling all of the events and having a chance to contend for high places in each of them. We are very excited for the upcoming season.”
The Hurricane are coming off a 2021 SBAAC American Division championship. Brett Brooks was the field event athlete of the year while head coach Chris Reynolds was tabbed as the league’s top coach.
This year, Reynolds will coach both the boys and girls.
First team athletes last season, and their current grade, were Josh Andrews (‘21 grad), Ben Baylor (‘21 grad), Brooks (sr.), Elijah Collins (sr.), Zainne Cowin (sr.), Brandon Glass (‘21 grad), Carter Huffman (sr.), Blaize Johnson (jr.), TJ Killen (‘21 grad), Isaiah Rigling (sr.), Trevor Billingsley (sr.), Tyler Preston (‘21 grad), Garrett Stoffer (jr.) and Brady Vilvens (‘21 grad).
Huffman takes with him plenty of points. He won the 2021 league 100-meter dash, third in 200 and first in long jump.
Reynolds, in his second year after an 82-7 total record, will be assisted at the high school by Eileen Grosse, JD McIntosh, Karen Heslop, JT Lykins and Josh Andrews, and at the junior high by Connor Rioch, Matthew Iacobucci, Marcus Stewart and Savannah Rhodes.
There are 12 returning letterwinners, led by Brooks who was eighth in the state in the discus last season. District and regional qualifiers Malik Scott, Cowin, Collins, Billingsley, Adrien Cody, Johnson.
Newcomers of note are Matt Irwin, Aiden Matheney, Devon Snyder, Jaden Snyder, Owen Thackston and Alyk Lippincott who, Reynolds says, have brought a lot of depth and talent to our roster.
Stoffer and Rigling decided not to return to the team this season. Aside from the first-teamers who graduated, other 2021 grads on last year’s team were Jacob Romer and Bradey Sturgill.
Reynolds said his current senior class “is unique because they lead with a quiet, humbled confidence. They lead by example and effort with very few words spoken. As a coach, it’s great to watch from afar as the underclassmen follow their lead without being told. Malik Scott leads the sprinters, Tevor Billingsley leads the distance and Brett Brooks leads the throwers.”
Reynolds said his squad is balanced and highly motivated to repeat as league champions and achieve more. He does admit, though, a big challenge ahead is to “recruit and develop the younger student athletes of this school and track program, so we are successful for many years.”