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Perkins, Clyde tied in girls coaches' preseason SBC poll

Sarah Baker • May 12, 2015 at 5:32 PM

League coaches tabbed defending champion Perkins and Clyde as the favorites to win the Sandusky Bay Conference title Sunday night at the preseason social at Green Hills Golf Course in Clyde.

A year ago, the Fliers were an overwhelming favorite to win the league, but Perkins ran off a 14-0 record in the SBC and ran away with the title.

Both teams return a number of key players: Perkins has center Shannon Ebert and Jordan Fraley back -- both were first-team All-SBC -- and Clyde, which was third in the league a year ago, brings back Kaylea Griffin (a first-teamer), and Spencer Robles and Rachael Smetzler (second-teamers).

The rest of the league voting saw Margaretta predicted third, Edison fourth, Port Clinton fifth, St. Mary CC sixth, Oak Harbor seventh and Huron eighth.

Perkins, which had one regular-season loss in 2009-10, returns six letterwinners in all and has 22 players in the program.

"We're young, we're talented, we're experienced," coach Ray Neill said, "but that's our top five or six ... Kayla (Yost) will be huge for us when she comes back."

Yost is out until January at the earliest with a knee injury, Neill said.

Five letterwinners are back for the Fliers, who also have 22 players in the program.

"I think our freshman are gonna give us a big lift with their athleticism and speed," coach John Cahill said. "How well we do is going to depend on how well everyone blends as a team ... We're excited to play and I think the league is going to be really good."

After a fifth-place finish in the SBC a year ago, the Polar Bears found their grove in the postseason and advanced to the Division III district championship game. A total of 10 letterwinners return and 24 are on the team for coach Tim Tucker.

"I'm real excited about this team," Tucker said. "We're definitely a lot better this year than we were at the end of last year."

Seven letterwinners are back for Edison, which shared the fifth-place spot with Margaretta in the league last winter.

"All we have to do is get the volleyball out of their systems," coach Jim Colwell said. "We're looking forward to the season."

Picked to finish fifth, Port Clinton coach Toby Bickell thinks this year's team should be better than the one that finished seventh last year.

"We're gonna have to build some things as the season goes on," he said. "There's a lot of potential, so we're see how that goes in the end."

There are four letterwinners back for St. Mary CC, which tied with Clyde for second place a year ago.

"I like the moxy of our team... Our goal is to be in the top four," coach Dave Lozier said. "Every night will be a challenge... I look forward to playing everyone."

First-year coach Brad Hemminger has 30 girls on all four grades.

"Numbers aren't a problem for us. I'm hoping that every night we come to compete and play hard," he said. "How well we do is how well these kids pick things up. I'm hoping that we put a competitive team on the floor."

Huron was eight a year ago, and coach Ty Ray brings back six letterwinners from last year.

"Hopefully we learn how to win this year," Ray said. "We need a couple early wins because they lack confidence."

The season begins Nov. 26.

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