Graduation certainly took a toll on area boys cross country teams last spring.
Lakota senior Dylan Moes is the only runner back with state meet experience.
A Moes-led Lakota team should be solid. The Raiders will have a very good 1-2 combination atop their lineup with Moes and junior Braden Schaser. The duo led Lakota to the Sandusky Bay Conference River Division championship.
Juniors Travis Hoerig and Kaeden Wasserman return along with sophomores Connor Hill, Caleb Meel, Coery Roush, Ethan Smithback and Mark Stathan for coach Don Windom, who is heading into his 31st year at the school.
After finishing second to Liberty-Benton in the Blanchard Valley Conference a year ago, the Chieftains will be hoping to wrestle the crown back away from the Eagles.
Junior Carter Ritchey is back for Hopewell-Loudon after posting a 44th-place finish at regionals. He and classmate Jordan Foster were both first team all-conference selections last season.
There is just one new coach in the area and he isn’t really new. Ethan Reinhart takes over the cross country program at New Riegel as Alana Stevens stepped aside. Previously, Reinhart was the coach at St. Wendelin prior to the school’s closure.
No information was available on the team at Old Fort.
HEAD COACH: Jason Barringer (3rd year).
2017 CONFERENCE FINISH: 6th in Northern Buckeye Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Trevor Bingham, sr.; Austin Murphy, sr.; Cole Barton, sr.; Trey Barnhisel, sr.; Ben Armbruster, sr.
TOP PROSPECTS: Daniel May, soph.; Jesse Wise, fr.; Cody Robinson, fr.; Tad Fawcett, fr.; Brady Ziegler, fr.; Bryce Reynolds, fr.
NOTABLE: The Royals should be improved with five senior letterwinners back and a nice group of five incoming freshman runners. Bingham should have a solid season, and with a small drop in time, should finish races in the 17-minute range for most of the season.
HEAD COACH: Kim Fant-Cousin (15th year).
2017 CONFERENCE FINISH: 8th in Northern Buckeye Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Dylan Sheets, sr.; Chance Mason, sr.; Tyler Cobb, jr.; Justin Jordan, jr.; Deshawn Jackson, jr.; Dominic Jackson, soph.; Wyatt Russell, soph.; Savas Malagon, jr.
TOP PROSPECTS: Wyatt Cobb, fr.; Trevor Nowicki, fr.
NOTABLE: Fostoria has a solid No. 1 runner to build around in Sheets, a first team all-NBC runner and three-time regional qualifier. He posted a top time of 17:02 last season. If he drops his time into the mid-16s, he should be in the running for a trip to the state meet.
HEAD COACH: Helen Coleman (6th year).
2017 CONFERENCE FINISH: 2nd in Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Bailey Breidenbach, sr.; Ben Hetzel, sr.; Connor Roush, sr.; Brendan Durbin, jr.; Jordan Foster, jr.; Carter Ritchey, jr.; Kyle Rumschlag, jr.; Bryce Arbogast, soph.; Caden Crawford, soph.; Trey Masterson, soph.
TOP PROSPECTS: Carter Coffman, jr.; Sam Meade,jr.; Israel Risner, fr.; Kaeden Schindler, fr.
NOTABLE: Despite losing four-year standout Tyler Reinhart-Anez to graduation, Hopewell-Loudon will certainly be a factor in the BVC this year. Juniors Carter Ritchey and Jordan Foster were first team all-league runners last season for the Chieftains.
HEAD COACH: Don Windom (31st year).
2017 CONFERENCE FINISH: Sandusky Bay Conference River Division champs.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Dylan Moes, sr., state qualifier; Braden Schaser, jr.; Travis Hoerig, jr.; Kaeden Wasserman, jr.; Connor Hill, soph.; Caleb Meel, soph.; Cody Roush, soph.; Ethan Smithback, soph.; Mark Stathan, soph.
TOP PROSPECTS: Owen Barnett, jr.; Gavin D’Amato, soph.; Cameron Dunn, jr.; Tyler Hushour, sr.; Brocc Johnson, jr.; Hunter Kehn, fr.; Justin Miller, soph.; Brady Rosenberger, sr.; Kiefer Shultz, fr.; Trent Tiell, jr.; Austin Weaver, jr.
NOTABLE: Moes and Schaser went 1-2 individually to lead the Raiders to the SBC River Division team title. Moes was a state qualifier and Schaser earned a spot at regionals a year ago.
HEAD COACH: Ethan Reinhart (1st year).
2017 CONFERENCE FINISH: 5th in Sandusky Bay Conference River Division.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Bryce Hohman, sr.; Gabriel Souder, sr.; Nick Reinhart, jr.; Nicholas Zoeller, jr.; Zachary Williams, soph.; Hayden Hohman, soph.
TOP PROSPECTS: Gabriel Hatter, sr.; Joshua Nye, jr.; Joseph Tiell, fr.; Logan Schalk, fr.; Blake Theis, fr.; Marco Milazzo, fr.; Tyler Brickner, fr.; Riley Jones, fr.; Lincoln Chapman, fr.; Brandon Gillig, fr.; William Clouse, fr.; Cade Haman, fr.; Jacob Clouse, fr.
NOTABLE: Bryce Hohman returns after a solid junior season for the Blue Jackets in which he qualified for the regional meet. Reinhart has the numbers at New Riegel going in the right direction as 11 freshmen are out for the sport.
HEAD COACH: Adam Schumaker (9th year).
2017 CONFERENCE FINISH: 5th in Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Carey Ware, jr.
TOP PROSPECTS: Joshua Bishop, sr.; Kyle Van Horn, jr.; Wesley Casselman, soph.; Ben Hudok, fr.; Brendan McCauley, fr.
NOTABLE: Graduation took its toll on the program last spring and Van Buren has just six boys on this year’s team. Ware is the only returning letterwinner. Schumaker thinks Hudok will make an immediate contribution to the team as a freshman.