The Johnstown-Monroe High School girls soccer team is trying to regroup before opening Division II district competition.
The fifth-seeded Johnnies have lost five consecutive games entering their tournament opener Wednesday, Oct. 16, against visiting 15th-seeded Beechcroft. With a win, Johnstown would play host to 11th-seeded Hartley in a second-round game Saturday, Oct. 19.
The second-round winner plays fourth-seeded Bexley or 19th-seeded Columbus East in a district semifinal Oct. 23 at the home of the higher seed.
"The big thing is to get above the adversity we've faced as of late," said coach Chris Turner, whose team fell to 9-6-1 overall by losing to Ready 6-4 on Oct. 7. "We need to know who we are and what we can do as a team. We need to play disciplined soccer with a tenacity that says, 'I want this more than you.' If we do that, the sky is the limit."
The Johnnies finished third in the LCL at 4-2, behind co-champions Granville and Watkins Memorial, which went 5-0-1.
Junior midfielder Becca Gordon was first-team all-league, junior defender Kerrigan Williams was named to the second team and senior goalkeeper Taylor Thomas was honorable mention.
Thomas, a four-year starter in goal, broke her jaw in a 5-0 loss to Worthington Christian on Sept. 28 after colliding with an opponent.
"We have our work cut out for us (in the district tournament)," Turner said. "One thing we are adjusting to is the loss of Taylor Thomas, but that's coming along well and I think we will be OK there (with sophomore Hannah Miller in goal)."
Boys team earns 12th seed in district
The boys soccer team was 8-3-4 overall after beating Washington Court House 5-0 on Oct. 10 and before playing Loudonville on Oct. 12.
The Johnnies are seeded 12th in the Division II district tournament and play at home Tuesday, Oct. 15, against 18th-seeded Marion-Franklin in the first round. The winner plays at third-seeded Big Walnut on Thursday, Oct. 17, in the second round, with that winner playing seventh-seeded Bloom-Carroll, 13th-seeded Beechcroft or 22nd-seeded Brookhaven in a district semifinal Oct. 22 at the home of the higher seed.
"Our guys know what hard work will get you and they appreciate the discipline needed to be successful," said Turner, who also leads the boys program. "They have a drive to always be better -- better players, better people, better students -- and that sets them apart."
On Oct. 7, the Johnnies defeated Horizon Science 3-2, as junior midfielder Guillermo Morales, sophomore midfielder Collin Peterson and freshman midfielder Max Cannon all scored. Senior goalie Jesse Bowman had 10 saves.
The Johnnies finished third (3-1-3) in the LCL behind Watkins Memorial (6-0-1) and Granville (6-1).
Bowman was first-team all-league, senior defender Gary Harper was second-team all-league and senior forward Charles Benton was honorable mention.
Football team to battle Utica
The football team was 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the LCL-Small School Division before playing Newark Catholic on Oct. 11.
The Johnnies play Friday, Oct. 18, at Utica in a league contest. The Redskins were 1-5 overall before playing Heath in their LCL-Small School opener Oct. 11.
Utica is led by running back Travis Baldwin, who rushed for 122 yards with a 50-yard touchdown in a 41-7 loss to Licking Valley on Oct. 4. The senior had 601 yards rushing through six games.
The Johnnies have beaten Utica in seven of the last 10 meetings, including 49-8 last season. Utica won 21-19 in 2010, 48-20 in 2009 and 25-15 in 2003.
Johnstown defeated Northridge 41-0 on Oct. 4, rolling up 506 yards rushing and limiting the Vikings to just seven yards on the ground.
Through six games, junior running back Cody Farley had 833 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on 164 carries and senior quarterback Josh Kirkpatrick had 256 yards and one touchdown on 63 carries. Senior running back Alex Workman had 196 yards with four touchdowns on 26 carries.
Senior defensive lineman Clayton Bullard and junior defensive back Marcus Nogaj both had three sacks.
"I think we have played well, but we have to keep the intensity up from the beginning of the game until the end," Bullard said. "We have a lot of potential, but we haven't reached it yet."
Volleyball team to begin postseason
The girls volleyball teams was 3-20 overall and 0-18 in LCL after losing to Heath 25-17, 25-19, 25-12 on Oct. 10.
The Johnnies won their second match of the season with a 25-2, 25-14, 25-9 victory over Beechcroft on Oct. 5. Senior setter Harley Thomson had 14 aces and eight assists, and junior middle hitter Claire Slader had five kills and two blocks. Senior hitter Arika Sayer had three kills and two blocks, and senior back-row player Rachel Shadwick had three aces and two kills. Junior setter Adaline Almendinger had 13 assists and five aces.
The Johnnies also defeated Brookhaven 25-12, 25-20, 25-14 on Sept. 28 and Danville 25-23, 14-25, 29-27, 25-12 on Oct. 7.
Sayer had 12 kills and two blocks as the Johnnies lost to Licking Heights 22-25, 17-25, 25-18, 25-19, 15-12 in league play Oct. 8. Slader had eight blocks, seven kills and two aces, Shadwick had five kills and four aces and Thomson had 48 assists and two kills.
Johnstown is seeded 19th in the Division II district tournament and has a first-round bye. It plays at 10th-seeded Centennial or 15th-seeded Marion-Franklin in the second round Saturday, Oct. 19, with the winner playing top-seeded Hartley, 17th-seeded Whitehall or 20th-seeded Brookhaven in a district semifinal Oct. 24 at Worthington Christian Middle School.
Runners prepare for district meet
The boys and girls cross country teams compete in the Division II district meet Saturday, Oct. 19, at Watkins Memorial.
The top four teams and the top 16 runners advance to regional Oct. 26 at Troy.
On Oct. 12, Johnstown competed in the LCL meet at Watkins Memorial.
In the Johnstown Invitational on Oct. 5 at Infirmary Mound Park, the girls finished third (77) of six teams behind Westerville South (58) and Big Walnut (63). Senior McCalah Mast was fifth (22 minutes, 53.52 seconds), followed by freshman Erica Cox (10th, 23:53.78), sophomore Grace Mast (11th, 23:58.46), junior Alexis Hercenberg (18th, 24:32.75), sophomore Abi LaRoche (54th, 28:39.18), sophomore Kylee Willwock (59th, 29:45.47) and freshman Anna Benton (65th, 31:53.33).
The boys finished fourth (108) behind champion Westerville South (22). Junior Kaleb Walker (21st, 20:11.87) led the Johnnies, followed by freshman Paul Lang (30th, 20:47.26), junior Steven Harper (34th, 21:11.66), freshman Kyle Matoszkia (39th, 21:26.23), junior Sam Wirth (52nd, 22:23.02), junior Kaleb Matoszkia (53rd, 22:23.44) and freshman David Dennis (55th, 22:32.82).