For a third consecutive season, the Johnstown-Monroe High School boys golf team has won a league championship.
Now, the Johnnies hope to carry that momentum into the postseason, which begins Tuesday, Sept. 24, in a Division II sectional at The Players Club at Foxfire.
Johnstown won the preseason and postseason LCL tournaments and went 8-1 in league duals to finish 26-1 in the league. Its lone loss was 147-160 to Granville on Sept. 3 at Granville Golf Course.
Granville went 25-2 and was runner-up.
"Anytime you can win a league title, it gives you a boost of confidence and something to build on going into the postseason," said coach Chris Carlisle, whose team tied for MBC championships in 2011 and 2012.
Johnstown shot a 321 in the LCL postseason tournament Sept. 19 at Blacklick Woods. Granville was second (329), followed by Heath (347), Watkins Memorial (348), Lakewood (358), Newark Catholic (359), Utica (365), Northridge (370), Licking Heights (386) and Licking Valley (394).
Sophomore John Carlisle led the Johnnies with a 75. Junior Kaden Welch and sophomore Dalton Hastings both shot 77, junior Steven Thiel had a 92, senior Paul Michel had a 95 and freshman Brandon Estep had a 97.
"You never know what to expect when you have a group of teenagers leaving at 5:30 in the morning to play a round of golf at 7:30," coach Carlisle said. "You never know where their minds are going to be. But even though it was raining and they were playing an unfamiliar course, they came out and played well under pressure. They knew they had to put up scores to beat Granville and they were able to do that."
John Carlisle (38 average) and Welch (38.9) were first-team all-league. Hastings (39.7) was second-team all-league and Thiel (41.2) was honorable mention.
At sectional, the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Sept. 30 at River Greens.
Last season at sectional, John Carlisle shot an 82 to advance to district as the Johnnies finished sixth (352) of 11 teams behind champion Bexley (320). Also competing for the Johnnies were Michel (89), Thiel (89), Welch (92) and Hastings (95).
Struggles continue for girls volleyball team
The girls volleyball team was 0-13 overall before playing Danville on Sept. 21 and 0-12 in the LCL after losing to Utica 25-5, 25-11, 25-13 on Sept. 19.
The Johnnies lost to Licking Valley 25-11, 25-14, 25-14 on Sept. 18. Senior hitter Arika Sayer had four assists and three kills, junior middle hitter Clare Slader had four blocks and two kills and senior setter Harley Thomson had 29 assists.
Johnstown lost to Newark Catholic 25-6, 25-15, 25-10 on Sept. 16.
In a 22-25, 25-23, 28-26, 27-29, 15-9 loss to Northridge on Sept. 14, Thomson had 63 assists and senior back-row player Rachel Shadwick had 28 digs and six kills. Sayer had 29 digs and seven kills, Slader had seven kills and three blocks, senior back-row player Meghan Gall had nine digs and junior hitter Amanda Payne added three kills and two blocks.
"(The Vikings) had momentum, but we didn't back off," coach Heather Ashbrook said. "We played with consistency and that helped us keep the momentum when it was going our way."
Football team preps for Panthers
The football team was 2-1 before opening its LCL schedule Sept. 20 against Granville.
The Johnnies play at Licking Valley on Friday, Sept. 27. The teams have not met since 1995, when the Panthers won 61-3.
Licking Valley was 2-1 before playing Northridge on Sept 20. The Panthers defeated Heath 62-26 on Sept. 13 led by senior running back Hunter Hartshorn, who rushed for 270 yards and six touchdowns and caught a 66-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Grant Garber.
Garber was 8-for-11 passing for 262 yards as the Panthers rolled to 585 yards of offense.
The Johnnies picked up their second win with a 69-13 rout of Lakewood on Sept. 13. Junior running back Cody Farley rushed for 128 yards and four touchdowns and senior quarterback Josh Kirkpatrick added 127 yards and one score.
Through three games, Farley had rushed for 329 yards and six touchdowns on 59 carries. Kirkpatrick was 10 of 17 passing for 153 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and had rushed for 206 yards on 42 carries. Junior tight end Marcus Nogaj had three receptions for 115 yards and one score.
Girls golf team set for postseason
The girls golf team was 1-12 in the LCL before competing in the league postseason tournament Sept. 20 at Blacklick Woods.
The Johnnies compete in a Division II sectional Wednesday, Sept. 25, at Blacklick Woods. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 1 at Blacklick Woods.
Last season, the Johnnies finished ninth (450) of 16 teams at sectional behind champion Bexley (375). Kourtnee Derflinger, a 2013 graduate, led the Johnnies with a 107, followed by junior Ashley Arnold (108), sophomore Katie Grunkemeyer (117) and senior Laiken Valentine (118).
On Sept. 17, the Johnnies lost to Heath 197-232 at Burning Tree in their final LCL dual. Grunkemeyer (51) led the way, followed by Arnold (56), freshman Karleigh Green (58) and freshman Juli Neil (67).
Boys runners take sixth
The boys cross country team finished sixth (138) in the nine-team Licking Heights Invitational on Sept. 14 behind champion Fairfield Union (34).
Junior Kaleb Walker finished 14th (18 minutes, 54.08 seconds) to lead Johnstown, followed by freshman Paul Lang (25th, 19:46.94), junior Steven Harper (29th, 20:01.56), freshman Kyle Matoszkia (102nd, 20:02.54), freshman David Dennis (174th, 20:53.81), junior Kaleb Matoszkia (41st, 21:07.06) and junior Sam Wirth (45th, 21:15.01).
The girls team did not have enough runners for a team score. Sophomore Grace Mast (sixth, 21:23.46) led the Johnnies, followed by senior McCalah Mast (ninth, 22:09.02), freshman Erica Cox (17th, 22:57.85) and junior Alexis Hercenberg (19th, 23:00.47).
Girls soccer team continues strong play
The girls soccer team was 9-1-1 overall before playing Ready on Sept. 21 and 4-0 in the LCL after defeating Heath 7-0 on Sept. 19.
Junior midfielder Becca Gordon scored three times in a 4-3 win over Zanesville West Muskingum on Sept. 17. Freshman midfielder Alissa Rowe scored the other goal and senior goalkeeper Taylor Thomas had seven saves.
Gordon and junior midfielder Paige Cannon both scored a pair of goals in a 4-0 win over Lorain Wellington on Sept. 14. Thomas had six saves.
Against Heath, Gordon had two goals and scoring once were junior midfielder Kylie Workman, junior forward Olivia McGee, junior defender Kerrigan Williams, sophomore midfielder Emily Perez and Rowe.
Boys soccer team keeps winning
The boys soccer team was 6-2-2 overall and 3-0-2 in the LCL after defeating Heath 2-1 on Sept. 19.
On Sept. 17, the Johnnies beat Grove City Christian 6-0 as junior midfielder Travis Higgins had three goals, senior midfielder Charles Benton had two goals and freshman midfielder Max Cannon added one goal. Senior goalie Jesse Bowman had four saves.