A familiar foe awaits the Johnstown-Monroe High School football team in its LCL opener.
The Johnnies play at Granville on Friday, Sept. 20, to continue one of the oldest rivalries in the state. The teams began playing in 1915 and have faced off in all but four seasons -- 1916, 1928, 1929 and 1932.
Last season, the Blue Aces won 39-20, breaking a two-game winning streak for the Johnnies. Granville leads the series 58-36-4.
"(The Blue Aces) are very talented and have a lot of speed, so you know, as always, it's going be a very good game," said coach Mike Carter, whose team was 1-1 before playing Lakewood on Sept. 13.
For Granville, which was 1-1 before playing Cambridge on Sept. 13, senior quarterback Isaac Maurer threw a program-record seven touchdowns -- completing 16 of 25 passes for 404 yards -- in a 56-16 win over Heath on Sept. 6. He threw for 348 yards and five touchdowns in a 37-35 loss to Caledonia River Valley on Aug. 30.
Senior wide receiver Ajay Alderman caught seven passes for 265 yards and five touchdowns against Heath and seven passes for 108 yards and two scores against River Valley. Senior receiver Brock Hill had 10 catches for 191 yards and three touchdowns against River Valley.
"Alderman is a great receiver and Mauer has been waiting for his opportunity to play, and is making the most of it," Carter said. "Those two are quite a combination and they are getting great help from their offensive line."
The Johnnies also picked up their first win Sept. 6, defeating Fairfield Union 31-0. Junior running back Cody Farley rushed for 157 yards on 28 carries, with touchdowns of 18 and 3 yards.
Senior quarterback Josh Kirkpatrick completed all six of his passes for 104 yards and one touchdown, and ran for 77 yards on 15 carries. Junior tight end Marcus Nogaj caught four passes for 76 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown.
Junior running back Elijah Dowell added a 4-yard scoring run and senior kicker Charles Benton made a 28-yard field goal.
"I'm really happy with the way the kids responded (after losing to Chillicothe 20-7 on Aug. 30)," Carter said. "We just got back to fundamentals and doing the little things right.
"Josh was 6-for-6 passing and made great decisions with the football. He's a work in progress with this being his first year starting at quarterback, but he's a good kid and a good leader for us."
Boys golf team preps for LCL tournament
The boys golf team was 16-1 in the LCL after defeating Licking Heights 149-190 on Sept. 12 at Blacklick Woods.
That course is important because it will be the site of the LCL postseason tournament Thursday, Sept. 19. The Johnnies and Granville entered the weekend tied atop the league.
"Blacklick Woods is a good place to have (the LCL tournament)," said coach Chris Carlisle, whose team lost to Granville 147-160 on Sept. 3 at Granville Golf Course. "It has good elevation changes, some woods, some heather. There is a lot of variation."
In the LCL preseason tournament Aug. 13 at New Albany Links, the Johnnies finished first (318) ahead of Granville (324), Heath (333), Watkins Memorial (334) Newark Catholic (347), Northridge (359), Lakewood (380), Utica (381), Licking Valley (388) and Licking Heights (438).
On Sept. 10, sophomore John Carlisle shot a 38 to lead the Johnnies past Lakewood 157-187 in LCL play at Clover Valley. Juniors Kaden Welch and Steven Thiel both shot 39s, followed by sophomore Dalton Hastings (41), freshman Brandon Estep (42) and senior Paul Michel (44).
Girls runners 15th at Watkins Memorial
The girls cross country team finished 15th (404) in the 24-team Division II race of the McGowan Invitational on Sept. 7 at Watkins Memorial behind champion Athens (100).
Sophomore Grace Mast was 52nd (21 minutes, 54.59 seconds), followed by senior McCalah Mast (63rd, 22:19.24), freshman Erica Cox (87th, 23:00.64), junior Alexis Hercenberg (95th, 23:15.11), sophomore Kylee Villwock (223rd, 27:50.6) and sophomore Anna Benton (242nd, 29:03.78).
Freshman Kyle Matoszkia (102nd, 19:44.38) led the boys team, which finished 21st (561) of 23 teams behind champion Thornville Sheridan (79).
Freshman Paul Lang (127th, 20:21.03) was next for the Johnnies, followed by junior Steven Harper (161st, 20:51.92), junior Sam Wirth (163rd, 20:54.16), freshman David Dennis (174th, 21:15.63), junior Kaleb Matoszkia (187th, 21:40.07) and freshman Mason Work (223rd, 22:49.81).
Girls volleyball team struggling
The girls volleyball team was 0-10 overall and 0-9 in the LCL after losing to Heath 25-5, 25-13, 25-20 on Sept. 12 and before playing Northridge on Sept. 14.
Johnstown lost to Fredericktown 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-15 on Sept. 11 and to Licking Heights 29-27, 25-18, 25-14 in an LCL match Sept. 10.
Junior middle hitter Clare Slader had six kills and six blocks and senior setter Harley Thomson had 48 assists and one ace as the Johnnies lost to Lakewood 25-19, 25-11, 25-20 on Sept. 7.
Senior back-row player Meghan Gall and junior defender Quinn Weinberger both had 13 digs, and senior right-side/outside hitter Arika Sayer had six assists, three kills and two blocks.
Senior back-row player Rachel Shadwick had three kills and six assists, and junior right-side/outside hitter Amanda Payne added four assists, two kills and two blocks.
Girls soccer team out to strong start
The girls soccer team was 6-1-1 overall and 3-0 in the LCL after defeating Licking Heights 8-1 on Sept. 12.
The Johnnies tied Columbus Academy at 2 on Sept. 9 as junior midfielder Becca Gordon scored twice. Junior midfielder Paige Cannon and sophomore defender Jasimine Donnelly both had assists, and senior goalkeeper Taylor Thomas had nine saves.
Gordon and junior midfielder Kylie Workman both scored three goals against Licking Heights.
Junior forward Olivia McGee and freshman midfielder Courtney Phelps each scored a goal
Arnold earns medalist honors
The girls golf team was 1-11 in the LCL after losing to Lakewood 205-211 on Sept. 10 at Harbor Hills, but sophomore Ashley Arnold was medalist with a 46.
Sophomore Katie Grunkemeyer (53) was next for the Johnnies, followed by freshman Karleigh Green (55), senior Laiken Valentine (57) and freshman Juli Neil (66).