Four brother combinations have helped the Grove City Christian School football team open 5-0.
Entering Friday's game against Troy Christian, the Eagles were third in last week's Division VI area coaches poll behind Africentric and Newark Catholic.
"We have a good (opponent) this week, probably the best test of the year," coach Clyde Lucas said. "They're 3-2, but watching them on film and seeing the teams that they play, they're a good team."
Headlining the brother combinations are junior twins Christopher and Brice Bowman. Christopher is among the area leaders in passing, completing 43 of 80 passes for 797 yards. Brice is his top receiver, with 15 catches for 292 yards.
"Brice has sure hands," Christopher said. "I know in tough situations like third-and-long I can look toward him."
"He always knows where I'm at on the field and I always know where he's at," Brice said. "He can pretty much launch the ball up and find me sometimes."
Senior running back and strong safety Jesse Barns and his brother, Jamie, a sophomore, are another standout duo. Jesse, an all-state player last year, again is among the area leaders in rushing with 767 yards on 80 carries. Jamie, an outside linebacker, led the team in tackles with 16 in a 39-0 win over Corning Miller last Friday.
Junior linebacker/cornerback and wide receiver Cody Lucas and freshman cornerback Connor Lucas are the coach's sons.
Senior Zach Vance, a starting free safety, and junior Ryan Vance, a defensive back, round out the brother duos.
Seven of the eight brothers have scored at least one touchdown this season. The Eagles are averaging 37.6 points a game and allowing just 4.2 with two shutouts.
"Our blocking up front and our line has been a whole lot better this year," Brice Bowman said. "We're working well as a team."
"Our defense has stepped up a lot," Christopher Bowman said. "We're not giving up as big of plays this year."
•The soccer team will play today at Emmanuel Christian. Grove City Christian is 3-4-1 overall and 0-1 in the MOCAL.
The Eagles will return to MOCAL action Saturday when they visit Northside Christian. Grove City Christian will face a big test Tuesday when it plays host to MOCAL-rival Tree of Life.
The Eagles and Mount Gilead Christian battled to a scoreless tie Sept. 16.
"I'm really happy," coach Ken Peters said. "They've really started playing well. They have been improving. They're talking real well. They're actually starting to play soccer. It's a good feeling."
•The volleyball team was 1-13 overall heading into its match against Delaware Christian last Tuesday. The win was over Liberty Christian 25-10, 25-12, 25-17 on Sept. 15.
"It's always good to pull off a win," said coach Lisa Horsley, whose team lost 25-21, 25-19, 25-22 to Gahanna Chrisitan on Sept. 18. "One of our goals is to take that win and try to build from it. The girls have been playing better."
Grove City Christian will return to action today when it plays host to Xenia Nazarene.
Horsley pointed to the strong efforts of freshman defensive specialist Delaney Powell, and front-line players senior Allie Moore and junior Aricka Clark as positives of the season.
"Delaney has been playing really well," Horsley said. "She has stepped up. She played club volleyball during the spring. She has improved tremendously. She's doing a great job playing her position.
•The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Erin L. Nance Invitational on Saturday at London Country Club.
The Eagles turned in a strong effort at the Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster last Saturday. Sam Miller led the boys, finishing 18th (19 minutes, 20.1 seconds) in the Division II-III race.
"Sam has been improving every race," coach Doug Boggs said.
The girls finished 11th in the Division III race with 278 points behind first-place Garaway (82). Katie Miller was 27th (23:36.8) and Emily Harper was 47th (25:03.2).
"That was probably our best meet of the year," Boggs said. "They ran really well. We had a pretty nice pack up front with the girls team."
At a glance
Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Grove City Christian golf team:
Sept. 18-- Finished third (215) in MOCAL tournament behind Fairfield Christian (172) and Madison Christian (203) and ahead of Tree of Life (231). Trenton Laws tied Fairfield Christian's Kyle Burgess for first (40).
Last Saturday-- Finished ninth (492) behind champion Grandview (338) in Harold Miller Golf Invitational
Last Tuesday -- Played in Division III sectional at Pine Hill. The top four teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to district Monday at River Greens.