Adam Carter started at fullback last season as the Johnstown-Monroe High School football team reached a Division IV state semifinal.
The Johnnies lost to eventual state champion Creston Norwayne 59-28 in that semifinal and then lost much of their offensive firepower to graduation.
Still, through five games this season, Johnstown was 4-1. The Johnnies won their fourth consecutive game by defeating Loudonville 23-15 on Sept. 21.
Carter said the team is beginning to live up to its high expectations.
"We are starting to come together as a team and it's starting to bring back memories of what we had last year," Carter said. "After last year, we had some high expectations and it's great to click the way we have been."
With a new quarterback and tailback, the Johnnies lost their opener to Granville 39-20 on Aug. 24. Since then, senior Tyler Thompson has become comfortable at quarterback and sophomore Cody Farley has been finding holes behind his offensive line.
"We had a new team and a new start, and the game against Granville was a little rough for us," Thompson said. "But we have a lot of preparation for games, we have stuck together and we started playing the way we have worked on things in practice."
Through five games, Farley led the team in rushing with 534 yards and five touchdowns on 83 carries. Carter had 310 yards and four touchdowns on 55 attempts.
Thompson had 312 yards and six touchdowns on 50 carries. He also was 13 of 33 passing for 169 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions.
"We have a lot of different kids who are able to contribute in different ways," said coach Mike Carter, whose team was 2-0 in the MBC before playing Fredericktown on Sept. 28. "They all work really hard to do their jobs the best that they can."
Farley had 284 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 31 carries against Loudonville.
"Cody has great vision and good balance," coach Carter said. "He also has the incredible desire to go after things on every single play."
Adam Carter ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in a 42-21 win over Centerburg on Sept. 14.
"Adam is a power back," coach Carter said. "He runs up in there hard and does a good job of keeping his legs churning and has good body lean. His strength allows him to break through tackles and move the pile."
On Sept. 7, Thompson ran for 150 yards and two scores on seven carries in a 62-7 win over Lakewood.
"Tyler does a great job of reading the keys and being patient with those keys. (He is) able to pick up yards by making great decisions," coach Carter said.
Coach Carter said hard work at practice has been the key ingredient to his team's success.
"One of the things we think is paramount is that every single day we try to get better," he said. "As the season goes on, the things we have been able to accomplish have been great and that has been building enthusiasm. I'm proud of the kids and the way they are coming together as a team."
The Johnnies play Friday, Oct. 5, at home against Utica. The Redskins were 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the MBC before playing Loudonville on Sept. 28.
Utica fell to Northridge 33-26 on Sept. 21 for its fourth consecutive loss. The Redskins defeated Rayland Buckeye Local 45-20 on Aug. 24, but lost to Granville (41-0 on Aug. 31), Heath (34-6 on Sept. 7) and East Knox (40-20 on Sept. 14).
Carlisle advances to district in boys golf
Freshman John Carlisle shot an 82 in the Division II sectional tournament Sept. 25 at Granville Golf Course to advance as an individual to district, which will be held Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the same course.
Carlisle shot 39 on the front nine and 43 on the back nine.
"I think I got a little lucky," he said. "I got a couple of good breaks on the first two holes. On the No. 2, I hit a tree and (the ball) went back into the fairway. It's always good to get breaks, but it's kind of a downer that we didn't get out as a team."
The Johnnies finished sixth (352) of 11 teams as Bexley (320), Caledonia River Valley (332) and Lakewood (347) advanced to district.
The other two individuals advancing to district were Danny Helin of DeSales and Broc Stradley of Utica. Both shot 81.
After Carlisle, sophomores Paul Michel and Steven Thiel both shot 89, sophomore Kaden Welch had a 92 and freshman Dalton Hastings had a 95.
The Johnnies played the Granville course three days before the sectional in the Rodney Butt Classic, finishing 19th (351) of 26 teams behind champion Wellington (316). Carlisle shot an 85.
"The weather conditions at sectional were similar to (those Sept. 22)," Carlisle said. "The wind blew hard on the front nine and died down on the back nine.
"It definitely should help at district because I've probably played the course five or six times this season. That helps, but it will all come down to my mental game at district."
Coach Chris Carlisle said it will be a good experience for his son to play at district as a freshman.
At district, the top two individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the state tournament Oct. 12 and 13 at the Ohio State Scarlet Course.
"If things go right, maybe he can qualify for state," coach Carlisle said. "He's familiar with the (Granville) course, but weather seems to always play a factor at district. I know he's looking forward to the challenge."
The Johnnies competed Sept. 29 in the Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley.
Girls golf team ends season at sectional
The girls golf team finished ninth (450) of 16 teams in the Division II sectional Sept. 24 at Blacklick Woods. Bexley (375), Centerburg (402), Licking Valley (402), Jonathan Alder (406) and Granville (408) qualified for district.
Individuals advancing to district were Wellington's Annie Miller (78), Columbus Academy's Chole Bradburn (81), River Valley's Alexis Reichardt (85), Village Academy's Karen Selva (85) and Tree of Life's Lindsay Augustyniak (88).
Senior Kourtnee Derflinger (107) led the Johnnies followed by sophomore Ashley Arnold (108), freshman Katie Grunkenmyer (117), junior Laiken Valentine (118) and sophomore Courtney Fuller (140).
"I'm thrilled that we finished ninth out of 16 teams," said coach Carlisle, who has led the program in both of its seasons. "I think it will help us continue the program and hopefully it will help the girls work at their games in the offseason and make us better next year."
The Johnnies did not participate in a league. Derflinger was the lone senior.
"Our goal next year is to shoot around the 400 mark," coach Carlisle said. "If we can do that, then we could start scaring people at sectional and be in position to get out."