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    Mentor returns seven starters and four others with varsity experience from the squad that won 18 games and swept its way to the Greater Cleveland Conference title.

    The Cardinals also added several exciting newcomers to bolster the roster.

    “We have high hopes for this season,” said Mentor coach Jo Bondra. “We are returning seven starters and have added a ton of talent. With the amount of talent we will have on our bench, our biggest challenge as coaches will be to get each player to understand they have a role.”

    Mentor finished the 2021 season with an 18-6 record overall and a perfect 12-0 mark in conference play.

    Bondra expects even more success in 2022, especially considering the Cardinals return the GCC Player of the Year in Leah Temple, who will continue her playing career at Ursuline College.

    “We have high expectations for this team,” Bondra said. “Leah Temple is the returning GCC Player of the Year, so we are excited to see what she can do this season. She also has a very strong supporting cast around her, as we returned all of our infielders and added some great talent.”

    Much of that talent is competing for time in the circle.

    Temple headlines what could be the deepest and most talented pitching staff in the area.

    That group also includes juniors Kristin Dems, Peyton Trick, and Addison Siedler, sophomore Jenna Place, and freshman Maggie Haydu.

    “Our main strength is our depth on the mound,” Bondra said. “We have six very talented pitchers on the varsity team.”

    Mentor’s returning starters include senior Sydni Bush at catcher, junior Abby Haydu at first base, senior Bella Carcioppolo at second base, sophomore Izzy Coode at shortstop, and senior Kiley Markowski at third.

    Seniors Jordan Alesci and Sofia Kraska are projected to start in left and right fields, respectively, and Siedler will patrol center field.

    Trick and junior Paige Davis will split time as the designated player.

    Sophomore Olivia Sacks also will compete for time with the varsity squad.

    “For us to be successful this season, we need to be unselfish,” Bondra said. “We also need to come into every game with the mindset that each team will play their best game against us; we can’t take our foot off the gas. We will have a very strong starting lineup, with a bench that could step in and not miss a beat. The key is that we are all able to play together regardless of who is on the field.”

     

    Steve Hare
    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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