RAVENNA — After a three-year stretch that consisted of two winless seasons and one one-win season, the Ravenna Bluejays football team completely turned it around last year.
The Bluejays rattled off three straight wins to begin the season and finished the year with a 6-2 record. It was their highest win total since 2011.
Optimism surrounds the Bluejays once again this year. The Bluejays, who play eight-man football, will try to build on last year’s success with seven starters back on each side of the ball.
Left-handed throwing senior quarterback Jake Jarzynka is back for the Bluejays and has tallied two 1,000-yard passing seasons in his first three years.
Junior Trey Mieth, who led Ravenna in receiving last year, and senior running back Drew Bolling also return. Mieth tallied 692 yards and 15 touchdowns, and Bolling accumulated 922 yards of total offense last year.
“We return multiple starters on offense and defense and look to be highly competitive,” coach Dan Bolling said. “We need to replace and create depth along our offensive line due to graduation.”
The Bluejays volleyball team hasn’t had a winning season since winning the state championship in 2008. They are coming off a 3-25 record but return four starters, including their top hitter, senior Jessica McKeon.
McKeon paced the Bluejays with 170 kills for a 2.4 kills per set average. Juniors Callie Coulter and Tristin Nelson were the Bluejays second and third options, respectively, last season and they also return.
Junior Ashlyn Fiddelke will hold the starting setter position once again this year.
“We have a competitive group of players this year,” coach Abby Sorensen said.“With seven freshmen coming up, it has really brought up the competitiveness level in the team as a whole.
“We have younger girls that are going to push the upperclassmen. We also have well driven upperclassmen leaders, which is something that our team has lacked in the past. We have more players with varsity experience on the floor this year who want to compete.”
The Bluejays boys cross country team finished 12th in the Class D state meet last year. But with their top two runners back in Abe Schroeder and Payton Reisbeck, they’re hoping to improve on that mark this season.
Collin Hadwiger and Eli Schroeder also qualified for the state event last year, while Colton Hervert will play a key role on Ravenna’s varsity team this season.
“Our boys team has five very competitive runners that should do some great things this season,” coach Tiffany Jacobsen said.
The girls team posted an 11th place finish at state a year ago. They return junior Kacey Dethlefs, who was their top runner last year and finished 21st at state. Shavanna Douglas and Alivia Rager also will be varsity returners on this year’s team after competing at the state meet last season.