Small school, big goal.

One big goal at St. Pius X is to qualify for the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs - a tough task when you are the smallest school in the league.

But the Lions also have a goal to keep their stranglehold on the District 1 Class A championship.

Last year, Pius won its sixth straight district crown to earn another berth in the PIAA playoffs. The Lions lost to Bodine of the Public League in the second round.

The Lions return four key players. Heading the list are seniors Jordan Pasik, a 5-foot-10 guard forward and Melissa Mansur, a senior forward. Both averaged better than 11 points a game last season as Pius posted a 21-8 record.

The two other experienced hands are seniors Chrissy Ebensen and 6-2 Kelly Sorber. Ebensen, the point guard, averaged 3.9 assists last year.

Start 'em young.

That will be the case at Owen J. Roberts, where new coach Jeremy Mellon has tapped freshman Meg Antrim to be his starting point guard and sophomore Haley Haltaman as his other guard. The 5-10 Halteman is following her sister, Hanna, a standout for the Wildcats a few years back who went on to North Carolina State.

Junior Meg Hodgson, another guard, is also expected to see a lot of playing time.

Big shoes to fill.

Meg Bedard and Ali Kakareka, a outstanding guard combination at Spring-Ford, is a tough act to follow. Just ask coach Jeff Rinehimer.

"Bedard was a 1,000 point scorer who's playing at DeSales, and Kakareka is at Bloomsburg," he said.

He's hoping that senior Ashley Wood can step into Bedard's shoes. Jasmine Hinnant blew out an Achilles tendon and is out for the year.

Debut.

Methacton, coming off the best record (30-2) in school history, makes its debut this season in the PAC-10. The Warriors were members of the Suburban One League American Conference before the move.

Coach Craig Kaminski will be counting on junior Lauren Ruhl and seniors Leeann Randall, Ali Hammond and Lindsey Allebach for the Warriors, who will play in the Liberty Division.

No seniors.

Whatever Phoenixville accomplishes this season it will be without seniors. Coach Eric Rutchauskas will count heavily on juniors Kate Cassaday Arie Keys and Lexi Lear.

New coach.

Pete Sovia has taken over the coaching reins at Upper Perkiomen, where low numbers - 14 players - have hurt the program. The Indians do not have a junior varsity.

Sovia does have a senior, Morgan Ricapito, within striking distance of 1,000 points for her career.

Moving up.

Chris Jackson moved up to head coach at Pottstown after eight years as an assistant. He inherits a team that includes senior Shante Savage, one of the top players in the PAC-10, The 6-1 center helped lead the Phantoms to 16-10 mark last season.

Full strength.

Senior guard Courtney Formic returns to Perkiomen Valley at full strength after suffering a torn ACL that reduced her playing time last season. First-year coach Zach Quigley will also have Megan Finn, one of the top point guards in the league. She's a four-year starter.

- Don Beideman