Donavan Capehart leads a senior class that has helped the Ready High School girls soccer program become one of central Ohio's best in Division III.
Taking pride in her school, however, wasn't something that came naturally for the versatile offensive catalyst.
Capehart was set to attend Central Crossing as a freshman but decided to enroll at Ready after a South-Western City Schools levy failed in 2009.
"I came to Ready when the levy failed and got enrolled 10 days before school started," Capehart said. "I hated it at the beginning because I had gone to public school my entire life and I didn't like the uniform that you have to wear, but now the good thing is I don't have to worry about clothes."
After going 7-7-3 a year ago, Ready was 7-2 overall and 0-2 in the CCL before playing Columbus School for Girls on Sept. 18 in league play.
The Silver Knights' first two losses came against DeSales (5-1 on Sept. 6) and Watterson (10-2 on Sept. 10). They beat London 10-2 on Sept. 4, Columbus Academy 2-1 on Sept. 8, Wellington 4-1 on Sept. 13 and Worthington Christian 5-4 on Sept. 15.
The win over Academy avenged a 3-2 loss last season in a district final. That marked the first time Ready had made it that far in the postseason.
Capehart's eight goals heading into the game against CSG were second on the team behind junior Caroline Riewe (12), even though she has been battling a right quad injury.
Capehart has been a key player since her freshman season, when Ready was a Division II district semifinalist, and has seen time at midfielder and forward. Classmates Hailey Cartt and Brooke Ringel also have been key players since they were freshmen, and Kim Lloyd is a senior who has settled in at goalkeeper this fall.
Capehart was recruited to play for Ohio State next year and will be a walk-on.
She said her quad injury occurred during Ready's 10-0 win over Franklin Heights on Aug. 25.
The Silver Knights play Tuesday, Sept. 25, at home against Hartley.
"The girls in my class have really turned things around at Ready," Capehart said. "We had never beaten Hartley before I got here and now we've never lost to them. We've gone to a district final and we've definitely improved as a program. We've also got a pretty good freshman class this year.
"I love playing with (Riewe). Brooke and I (have the assists) this year and Caroline is the scorer. I'm playing forward more this year, so there has been a little bit more opportunity to score. I have a pulled quad so there's no way I can shoot with my right foot right now, but it's getting better."
Jason Montgomery, who became the program's third coach in three seasons during the offseason, has been pleased with how his team has developed.
"We have a great group of girls," he said. "I really have to only steer them a little bit because they want to win. Donavan is definitely a catalyst for the team and Caroline Riewe is leading our team in points. All of our seniors have been leading the team."
Football team off to 4-0 start
The football team beat Grove City Christian 48-3 on Sept. 14 to improve to 4-0. It marks Ready's best start since it went 5-0 to begin the 2009 season.
The Silver Knights play host to Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant on Friday, Sept. 21, in a rematch of a game Ready won 23-22 a year ago.
During their first four wins, the Silver Knights outscored their opponents 180-43. Included in that stretch was a 49-6 win over Briggs on Sept. 7.
Against Grove City Christian, Ready had 562 total yards as Akili Taylor rushed for 220 yards and Doug Strickler had 196 yards and three touchdowns.
The improvement of sophomore kicker Aiden Dulin and sophomore punter Connor Lancia have been among the biggest positives, according to first-year coach Joel Cutler.
Kelly Culbertson had four interceptions through three games, including one that he returned for a touchdown against Briggs. Hunter Clanin had an interception and a receiving touchdown against Grove City Christian.
On defense, Cutler said middle linebacker Alvin Knox and Gracin Budd, Nick Chapman, Luke Hackney and Brady Taylor also have been key contributors.
"Health and improvement have been the two big things," Cutler said. "We have improved a little bit every week, and I would say our biggest improvement has been in the kicking game.
"The neat thing is that we're young. We're only starting one senior on defense and three on offense."