Coach: Dean Kessler, 16th season.?
2012: BOYS third in the Midland Athletic League. GIRLS third in the MAL.
Returning letterwinners: BOYS Seniors Tyler Breitigam; Sage Gerbers; Adam Hyatt; Evan Hyatt; Ben Kromer. Junior Zach Logsdon. Sophomore Uriel Garcia. GIRLS Senior Jaclyn Troiano. Junior Amber Spurlock. Sophomore Savanna Day; Alissa Gibson; Allison Keller; Kristina Nusbaum.
Carey?Cross Country: (front, left) Dakota Conley, Sean Breitigam, Justin Schlack, Kyler Dyer, Trevor Cook, Allison Keller, Allisa Gibson (middle) Zach Logsdon, Uriel Garcia, Daniel Patton, Hope Babb, Amber Spurlock, Taylor Watkins, Savanna Day, Jackie Fletcher (back) Dean Kessler, Sage Gerbers, Tyler Breitigam, Bailey Griffin, Ben Kromer, Adam Hyatt, Evan Hyatt, Lauren Wenner, Miranda Conley, Jackie Troiano, Nancy Kessler
Others: BOYS Freshmen Trevor Cook; Daniel Patton. GIRLS Seniors Miranda Conley; Lauren Wenner. Freshman Taylor Watkins.
Outlook: The names may change but the goal remains the same for Kessler every year: 14 runners to the regional meet.
"Our goal is always to get 14 runners to regionals and then we reaccess from there," Kessler said.
On the boys side, Kessler brings back seven letterwinners, including five seniors, and a pair of freshmen to achieve that goal.
"I'm very happy with the attitude in practice," Kessler said. "I'm looking for big things from them and as long as everything falls together, it should (happen)."
His top two runners should be boys that aren't seniors as Logsdon figures to take the top spot regularly with freshman Cook running right behind. Cook played football in junior high but showed some distance talent in track.
Kromer, Garcia, the Hyatt brothers and Patton all should compete for scoring spots for the Blue Devils.
Kessler said his group of boys aren't afraid of anyone, even the reigning state champs, Seneca East.
"I think every time they step on the line, they're ready to compete and do their best," Kessler said. "And when you're in the league with the state champion, it causes pause to respect other team you're running against. But they're not afraid to go do their absolutely best."
He said the Tigers are still the class of the league though. ?"I think they only lost one senior boy. I'd like to be in the top three," said Kessler, adding that Hopewell-Loudon should figure into the mix.
While the girls bring back just one fewer letterwinner, they have five seniors to replace from last year's third-place MAL team.
"It's a young group. We have some very talented junior high girls coming next year," Kessler said "They're going to have to work extremely hard and we'll just have to see at the end of the year.
I have a couple of newbies that I think can learn real quick."
Troiano was a first All-MAL selection last year and will lead the group as one of three seniors. She's taken to the leadership role well Kessler said.
Behind her, Spurlock, Keller, Nusbaum and Watkins should all score for the Blue Devils.
"Then it will remain to be seen," Kessler said of his remaining scorers. "A little bit of friendly competition is what we're hoping for."
Despite the younger team, he'd still like to challenge for a top three spot in the final year of the MAL.?"I'd like to be top 3 again. Hopewell-Loudon always has a good team. St. Wendelin should be good again. They had a nice group of girls and they had some junior high girls stepping up this year."