Grove City Christian Roundup
Owens stepping down as football coach
Kerry Owens has been part of the Grove City Christian School football program since its inception in 2006, including the last three seasons as head coach.
Citing family and work commitments, he submitted his letter of resignation to athletics director Lisa Horsley on Oct. 26.
Owens compiled a 13-17 record with the Eagles, who finished 3-7 this season.
"I'm going to miss Friday night football and all the stuff that goes into it," he said. "I made the decision for my business and my family."
Depth was an issue for the Eagles this season.
"There are some things we wish we could have accomplished and we had some close games that just didn't go our way over the seasons," Owens said. "We were shorthanded on players. We dressed 19 kids (in the final game, a 54-47 loss to Fairfield Christian on Oct. 26). With small numbers, injuries and things, it really kind of took a toll on us at times, but the kids played hard and gave it all they had, and that's all we can ask for. We were never dissatisfied with their effort."
Before replacing Clyde Lucas as head coach in 2010, Owens served as defensive coordinator for four seasons. He is the last coach from the original staff to leave the program.
Owens guided Grove City Christian to its only playoff appearance in 2009. That season, the Eagles reached a Division VI state semifinal before losing to eventual champion Norwalk St. Paul 52-7.
"Coach Owens has been on the varsity football coaching staff from the start of the program," Horsley said. "He has been a huge asset to the development of this program. He has worked hard over the years to not only coach the boys to be better football players, but better young men on and off the field. He takes pride in the boys and has been a major source of encouragement for them. He will be greatly missed."
Sophomore running back Jordan Haywood led the team in rushing with 1,164 yards and 14 touchdowns on 170 carries, and junior quarterback Nate High completed 36 of 78 passes for 592 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 498 yards and 10 touchdowns on 97 carries.
The Eagles lose three seniors in Mack Brunney (WR/DB), Jordan Edwards (OL/DL) and Blair Thompson (OL/DL).
"Coach Owens was a huge part of the program," Thompson said. "He was there at the beginning and as an assistant coach. He took it from a no-name program with a bunch of kids starting out to the playoffs and he established the program as a head coach at a school that is recognized and known for playing football."
Next season, the Eagles will compete in the MSL-Cardinal Division with Berne Union, Fairfield Christian, Fisher Catholic, Harvest Prep and Millersport.
Volleyball team made progress
The girls volleyball team finished 3-19 overall after losing to top-seeded Newark Catholic 25-8, 25-4, 25-8 in the first round of the Division IV district tournament Oct. 15. The Eagles were seeded 20th.
"As a whole, we made solid progress this season, especially the last two weeks," coach Joe Bradford said. "Although it didn't show in victories, our overall game improved significantly. Our young players did a great job in continuing to work hard and improving."
The Eagles went 1-11 in the MOCAL to tie Tree of Life for sixth, behind co-champions Delaware Christian (11-1) and Madison Christian (11-1) as well as Gahanna Christian (8-4), Granville Christian (6-6) and Fairfield Christian (4-8).
Grove City Christian loses three seniors in Victoria Polentz, Brittany Sims and Alyssa Smith. Bradford also expects to lose junior setter Sarah Myhand, who was named first-team all-MOCAL and all-district. According to Bradford, Myhand will be moving out of the area during the offseason.
Smith (middle hitter) and freshman Allison Griggs (outside hitter) were honorable mention all-league.
In addition to Griggs, expected to return are sophomore Kasey Hogan and freshmen Marianna Gallion, Allison Jacobs, Marissa Kimbler and Stephanie Sowards.
Boys soccer team falls in first round
The boys soccer team finished 4-13 overall after losing to Horizon Science Academy 5-0 in the first round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 17.
Coach David Morrison resigned following the season after leading the program for four years.
The Eagles went 0-5 in the MOCAL to finish sixth, behind Tree of Life (4-0-1), Delaware Christian (4-1), Granville Christian (2-2-1), Gahanna Christian (2-2-1) and Madison Christian (1-3-1).
Grove City Christian loses two seniors in Kirsten Folzenlogen and Gabe Ryan, a midfielder who was named honorable mention all-league.
Among those expected to return are junior defender Chandler Perry (honorable mention all-league), sophomore forward/midfielder Jayson Stauffer (first-team all-league) and freshman defender Ryan Lantzy (second-team all-league).
Runners end season at district meet
The cross country teams concluded their seasons in the Division III, district 2 meet Oct. 20 at Watkins Memorial.
The boys team scored 243 points to finish last of nine teams, behind champion Newark Catholic (64). The top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced to the regional meet Oct. 27 at Troy.
Cardington (64), Fairfield Christian (72) and Fisher Catholic (83) rounded out the top four teams. Cardington lost the sixth-runner tiebreaker with Newark Catholic for first place.
Sophomore Josh Jones led Grove City Christian, finishing 43rd (21 minutes, 22.72 seconds) of 66 runners. Also competing were freshman Paul Rouch (49th, 21:47.5), sophomore John Hand (50th, 21:54.04), senior Seth Rouch (57th, 22:40.78), freshman Brett Crabtree (61st, 24:03.74), senior Josh Ayres (62nd, 24:54.65) and sophomore Eli Womack (66th, 25:12.82).
Cardington's Jacob Long won the district title in 17:00.66 and Newark Catholic's Garrett Bemiller (18:54.16) secured the final regional-qualifying spot.
The only runner for the girls team to compete in the district 2 meet was sophomore Katie Flowers, who finished 58th (27:04.45) of 65 runners.
Galion Northmor's Dani Blum won the district title in 19:51.62 and Columbus Academy's Elizabeth Faulkenberg (22:04.34) secured the final regional-qualifying spot.
The boys team scored 79 points in the three-team MOCAL meet Oct. 13 at Watkins Memorial to finish last, behind Granville Christian (27) and Fairfield Christian (29).
The girls team did not have a team score in the league meet.
"This year was filled with a lot of new faces," coach Brad Seaburn said. "We were able to establish the framework for the next couple years. I was really happy with their hard work and dedication. It really showed on the course. I look forward to the next couple of years and I'm really excited about the runners coming up. This cross country season went by way too fast."