CROSBY -- The Crosby-Ironton Rangers boys' cross country team graduated four seniors in Andy Forbort, Tom Nixon, Dan Ogard and Matt Cruser but return what might be a stronger group of runners.
Juniors Sam Anderson and Trent Anderson will lead a young but fast team that was second in the Mid-State Conference and narrowly missed the state tournament by finishing third in the Section 7A meet.
C-I came close to knocking off the state champion Staples-Motley Cardinals in the regular season and the Rangers will be hoping to get past the Cardinals this year.
Football coach -- Craig Johnson, 6th year
Career record -- 13-31
1999 record -- 2-5 in Sea Range Conference, 2-7 overall
Assistant coaches -- Neil Tesdahl, Rick Harig, Mike Gindorff, Jim Baratto
Volleyball coach -- Barb Neprud, 16th year
Career record -- 210-167
1999 record -- 7-20 overall
Assistant coaches -- Kim Preimesberger, Jill Kovatavich, Sue Tesdahl, Becky Sabyan
Girls' tennis coach -- Brian Gaffney, 6th year
Assistant coaches -- Dave Niemi
Cross country coach -- Roger Twigg, 29th year
1999 record -- Girls 8th in Section 6A, boys 3rd in Section 6A
Freshman Joe Radinovich and sophomores Dan Jillson and Ricky Aulie fill out the roster for Roger Twigg who starts his 29th season as head coach.
On the girls' side, perennial state runner Krista Anderson has graduated but in her absence six letterwinners return.
Last year the girls placed fifth in the Mid-State Conference and were eighth in the Section 6A meet.
Eighth-grader Kim Beaman will try to fill the shoes left by Anderson. Senior Corinna Tomson and junior Erica Ogard will provide leadership to a young team that fills out with sophomores Erica Lundgren, Nicole Anderson and freshman Steph Anderson.
With 19 returning letterwinners and 14 returning starters head coach Craig Johnson and the Crosby-Ironton Rangers football team should be set to improve on their 2-5 Sea Range Conference record and 2-7 overall mark from a year ago.
The backfield looks to be in good shape with quarterback Ben Baratto, fullback Kyle Bartels and halfback John Koons returning.
Last year Bartels led the team with 115 rushes for 592 yards and six scores. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry. Koons was second on the team with 76 rushes for 402 yards and three scores. He averaged 5.3 yards every time he touched the ball.
Baratto rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns. He also passed for 601 yards and four touchdowns. Baratto completed only 36 percent of his passes but all of his targets return.
Both receivers return in Gideon Avelsgard and Troy Caddy and tight end Joel Anderson also returns.
Avelsgard caught 25 passes for 343 yards and two scores while Anderson caught seven passes for 102 yards and two scores. Bartels and Koons combined for eight catches and 52 yards.
Of the 143 points scored by the Rangers last year 115 were scored by players returning.
The Rangers' offense will have to protect the ball better than last year when they lost 12 fumbles and had 13 interceptions. They also had 42 penalties for 285 yards but a year of experience should help remedy those mistakes.
The place where the Rangers will need to solidify their team in order to compete in a competitive conference is defense.
Last year they gave up 596 yards passing and 2,059 yards rushing. They were outgained 2,655 yards to 2,094.
With the secondary mostly intact and defensive end Luke Wehseler manning the front line the Rangers should have no problem doing that.
Safeties Steve Perpich and Brian Kirzeder return as do Caddy and Avelsgard at the corners.
The defense graduated leading tackler J.R. Ferrier but Baratto should step up. He had 67 tackles last year.
Wehseler and Bartels will man the ends with Anderson, voted the most improved lineman, Jerome Borden and Bob Crawford clogging things up in the middle. Look for some newcomers to step up and help the Rangers.
Seniors - Troy Caddy (WR/DB), Kyle Bartels (FB/DE), John Koons (RB/LB), Luke Tate (G/LB), Ben Kile (kicker), Jeremy Chambliss (G/LB), Bob Crawford (NG), Gideon Avelsgard (WR/DB), Adam Millsop (WR/DB), Andy Huxford (RB/DB), Joel Anderson (TE/DT) Luke Wehseler (G/DE).
Juniors - Ben Baratto (QB/LB), Steve Perpich (SS), Brian Kirzeder (FS/WR), Dave Hudrlik (RB/DT), Jerome Borden (C/DL), Bryan Brown (WR/DB) Nick Douvris (WR/DB)
Seniors - Calvin Draheim (RB/LB), Tom Mount (RB/DB), Chad Van Horn (TE/DE), Jay Godfrey (T/DT). Juniors - Jared Wasserzieher (WR/SS), Josh Watson (T/DT), Ryan Westhoff (T/DT), Dave Williams (G/LB).
Five players return to help Barb Neprud and the Rangers' volleyball team improve on a 7-20 record and regain a dominant presence in the Mid-State Conference.
Last year the Rangers were winless in the conference, but with some experience coming back to lead the younger girls the Rangers should be much improved this year.
They must find replacements for Amy Scott, Shelly Neprud, Molly Ravnik, Carrie Anderson, Tiffany Mohs and Katie Baratto, all of whom graduated last year.
Senior hitter Abby Brauch led the team in kills with 83 and kill percentage. Seniors Lindsay West (setter/hitter), Wendy Coleman (hitter), Shannon Lashyro (hitter/defense) and sophomore Devan Preimesberger (setter) return to help out.
"With only a full-time starter returning, along with two other players with much varsity experience, we will be trying a lot of individuals at different positions," said Neprud, who starts her 17th season at C-I. "If the work ethic that all players have shown this first week continues we will progressively improve and could be a surprise to some teams.
Senior - Maggie Hendrickson. Juniors - Rachael Lofquist, Jackie Steinke. Sophomores - Amy Cruser, Sarah Uglem.
Brain Gaffney returns as head coach of the Rangers' tennis team. He replaces Tom Gray who guided C-I to the Section 7A semifinals last year.
Captain Amy Gaviglio starts her senior year at No. 1 singles with senior Kelly Uglem going to No. 2 singles. Marla Hoffman is the other returning senior letterwinner.
"We're a young and inexperienced team," said Gaffney, who starts his sixth year as coach at C-I. Freshman Kate Gaffney moves to No. 3 singles with sophomore Megan Beseres at No. 4. The doubles team of sophomore Jessica Henderson and Kristi Burgwald will play No. 1 while freshman Hanni Johnson and sophomore Crystal Graf are at No. 2. Amy Lueck and eighth-grader Angie Gaviglio round out the roster.
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