Big Walnut Roundup
Boys golf team aiming for top-four league finish
The Big Walnut High School boys golf team was scheduled to wrap up league play last week, but Mother Nature had other plans.
The fourth and final round of the OCC-Capital Division tournament was to have been held Sept. 11 at Granville Golf Course, but it was postponed because of thunderstorms and rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 18.
The Golden Eagles are fifth (10-11) in the league standings through three rounds, behind New Albany (20-1), Olentangy (19-2), Mount Vernon (13-8) and Olentangy Orange (12-9) and ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (6-15), Delaware Hayes (4-17) and Franklin Heights (0-21).
"If we can get into the top four, then it will be a successful season," coach Chuck Workman said. "New Albany and Olentangy are two outstanding teams and Mount Vernon plays very well."
Junior Kyle Gose is tied with Orange's Ric Reynolds for eighth in the league with a 77.3-stroke average. Sophomore Jake Wilson is next for the Golden Eagles with an 82.3 average, followed by junior Kyle Bash (83.0) and junior Chad Little (88.3).
"I've made a big improvement from last year," Gose said. "The league is pretty tough this year, so I'm comfortable with how I've played."
"He's playing real well," Workman said of Gose. "He has about (a) 77.6 (overall average), and that's three or four strokes better than what he did last year. He's improving a lot."
Big Walnut finished third (170) in the nine-hole Eagle Cup on Sept. 10 at Royal American, behind New Albany (142) and Watterson (158). Gose led the Golden Eagles with a 37.
A day earlier on the same course, Big Walnut defeated Sparta Highland 166-170, as Little and freshman Nick Dimitroff both carded a 40.
Girls soccer team having growing pains
The girls soccer team was 3-3-1 overall before playing Marion Harding on Sept. 14.
"I expected some growing pains," first-year coach Drew Pitzer said. "We're seeing those. The last few years, they've played a certain way and I've started to change that. But the girls are working their butts off to eliminate those pains and mistakes."
The Golden Eagles fell to 1-2 in the OCC-Capital with a 4-0 loss to host Kilbourne on Sept. 11. They return to league play Tuesday, Sept. 17, at home against Mount Vernon and have league games Sept. 24 at New Albany, Oct. 1 at home against Orange and Oct. 3 at Franklin Heights.
"I'd like to be 3-0 (in the league), but we're not," Pitzer said. "But we still have some games to play. It's a very tough league with good teams. Everyone beats each other up. I definitely think we're still in the running and our sights are still set on winning the OCC title."
Big Walnut's lone league win came against Delaware, 3-2 on Sept. 3. Senior midfielder Bailey Armstrong had two goals against the Pacers, senior forward Skylar Fleak scored one and goalkeeper Colleen White had four saves.
The Golden Eagles earned a 2-1 win over Dresden Tri-Valley on Sept. 7 at home behind two goals from Fleak.
Through seven games, Fleak had a team-high six goals and Armstrong and sophomore forward Anna Mackey each had two.
Football team getting set for OCC opener
The football team will be looking to get off to a strong start in OCC-Capital play when it visits Olentangy on Friday, Sept. 20.
The rivalry between Big Walnut and Olentangy dates back to 1954. The Braves won 40-24 last year, marking their first win over the Golden Eagles since 2009 and tying the all-time series at 24 wins apiece.
"There's a buzz about (the game against Olentangy)," said coach Joe Weaver, whose team was 0-2 before playing St. Charles on Sept. 13. "Coming into the season, we have some talk about games coming up. Olentangy is always the game the kids know is (on the schedule)."
This marks the second consecutive season in which the teams have opened OCC-Capital play against one another. Prior to last season, the teams hadn't met in league play since 1996 when both were in the now-defunct Buckeye Athletic Conference.
Big Walnut, which has won seven league championships since joining the OCC in 1997, went 4-3 in the OCC-Capital last year to tie Orange for third, behind New Albany (7-0) and Olentangy (6-1) and ahead of Mount Vernon (3-4), Delaware (2-5), Watkins Memorial (2-5) and Franklin Heights (0-7).
Kilbourne has replaced Watkins Memorial in the league.
Olentangy, which was 2-0 before playing Lexington on Sept. 13, underwent a coaching change during the offseason, as Ed Terwilliger retired after leading the program for 24 seasons and was replaced by Mark Solis.
Solis, who coached Lorain the past two seasons, has installed a no-huddle offense.
"They got a new coach, a new system and a new mindset," Weaver said. "It looks like (Solis has) got it all. Olentangy is always going to be tough."
Big Walnut lost to Chillicothe 21-14 on Sept. 6, squandering a 14-0 halftime lead.
Scoring for the Golden Eagles were running back Alec Eisnnicher on a 21-yard run and quarterback Jordan Wall on a 1-yard run.
Chillicothe, which outgained the Golden Eagles 273-247 in total yards, scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to tie the game at 14 and scored the decisive touchdown on a 35-yard run with six minutes remaining.
Big Walnut fell to 6-2 against Chillicothe. The Cavaliers had lost four consecutive games in the series since beating the Golden Eagles 24-20 in 2008.