First-year coach Cory Tucker took over a Bexley High School girls golf program that lost some of its top talent to graduation.
Led by Rachael Jackson, who was the MSL-Ohio Division Player of the Year, the Lions won Division II sectional, Mid-Ohio Girls Golf League and MSL-Ohio titles a year ago.
In the opening weeks of this season, Tucker is seeing improvements from a group that, for the most part, wasn't in the forefront last year.
"What I've seen so far is the girls who have never played before have made a big adjustment," Tucker said. "It's been very surprising. They started shooting in the high 80s (for nine holes), and now they're shooting in the low 60s."
In addition to the newcomers, sophomore returnee Liza Weisman has been playing well. She carded a 42 and claimed medalist honors in a 209-229 loss to Teays Valley in an MSL match Aug. 26 at Champions.
"Liza has been very consistent," Tucker said. "She's around 41 or 42, with an occasional 38 or 39."
Sophomores Vahni Kurra and Cassie Ziance also played last season, with Kurra averaging in the mid-70s then and the mid-50s now, and Ziance in the mid-90s last year and the mid-60s now.
"We're making progress and heading in the right direction," Tucker said. "Things can get better."
Leadership has been solid, according to Tucker, which has been a positive with such a young team.
"Liza and Vahni are co-captains and they've done a great job of staying patient and helping the girls progress," Tucker said.
"They're as excited about the girls' progression as I am. Everybody is getting acclimated and getting used to each other and the courses.
"The only disappointment would come if we're in the same place at the end of the year as we were at the beginning. We're fine-tuning things and we're excited about the future. The whole team will be together next year because we have no seniors. If we aren't close this year, I really have a strong feeling we will be next."
Bexley lost an MSL match to Circleville 225-233 on Aug. 28 at Pickaway Golf Course, but Weisman (42) was medalist.
The Lions were 4-5 in the MSL before facing Logan Elm on Sept. 3 at Cooks Creek. They are 3-4 in the MOGGL entering play Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Willow Run.
Boys golf team finding way
Wondering how his roster would look this year, boys golf coach Jimmy Ryan ended last season lamenting the fact that five players were graduating.
But so far this season, he likes what he has seen.
"Our top three golfers are playing really well and we're trying to find that fourth golfer who could be consistent," Ryan said.
"Hunter Roberts, Josh Meyer and Matt Abramson have been consistent with their scores. We're looking at the mid to high 70s every time out. If we could find that fourth golfer who could do that, we'd be hard to beat."
Ryan is looking to Cameron Karmia, Ryan Reed and Davis Williams to fill that fourth spot.
Included in the Lions' highlights thus far was winning the Heath Bulldog Shootout on Aug. 9 at Burning Tree.
Bexley (305) edged second-place Bloom-Carroll (307) in the 14-team event, with Abramson tying for third (73).
The Lions finished second (317) behind Columbus Academy (315) in the MSL-Ohio preseason tournament Aug. 13 at Darby Creek.
Bexley fell to Academy 148-153 in a nine-hole league match Aug. 27 at Westchester.
Football team to play Berne Union
The football team will play its first road game of the season when it travels to Berne Union on Friday, Sept. 6.
The Lions, who played Harvest Prep in their opener Aug. 30, defeated the Rockets 30-0 at home in the second game last season.
Berne Union went 1-9 a year ago, while Bexley finished 2-8.
Under first-year coach Steve Daulton, the Rockets entered the season with senior Brady Mahlerwein at quarterback and juniors Austin Schultz and Zack Maust at running back.
Berne Union opened Aug. 30 against Liberty Union.
The Lions return home to play Centennial on Sept. 12 before opening MSL-Ohio play at Grandview on Sept. 20.