McLouth's boys and girls track teams are beginning the season at opposite ends.
The boys are returning an experienced team that has four lettermen who went to state last year. The girls return three lettermen who competed at state, but the bulk of the team consists of inexperienced freshman and sophomores.
Girls coach Gerard Aligo says he isn't too worried about the youth.
"We were somewhat young last year, too, but we still did pretty well," Aligo said.
Top returnees are sophomore Candace Hochard and juniors Sara Edmonds and Angie Chase. Hochard placed third in the 3200 run at state last year and fifth in the 1600.
Edmonds placed fourth in the 3200 at state and sixth in the 1600. Chase competed in the long jump and 200. All three are on the 4x400 relay that also went to state.
With the team's strength in its distance and relay events, Aligo is optimistic.
"If we can get some people to help us in the field events, I think we should fair pretty well," he said.
The Bulldogs' boys team is much more experienced.
"I have a lot of my speed back from last year," said coach George Karn. "We're hoping to build on our relays."
McLouth's strongest relay is the 4x100 that went to state last year. Senior Nathan Gardner and juniors Luke Pickett and Scott Kesinger return. The fourth runner graduated and Karn said he had not decided who would fill the open spot.
Distances are also a strength. Junior Ray Phillips finished in the top 10 at the state cross country meet last fall. Karn also said he expected juniors Kyle Buerman and Steve Norman to do well, too.
Other returning lettermen are Kevin Henderson in shot put, Sam Williams and James Frick in the javelin and discus, and Michael Kimberlin in the hurdles.
Karn has high expectations, particularly when the Delaware Valley League championships roll around.
"I told the kids that this is something that we've done well at regional and at state, but we've never won the league," he said. "So this year I'd like to win league, and we'll see what happens after that."
McLouth will be the site of this year's league meet. It's scheduled for May 9.