The regular season comes to a close for the Johnstown-Monroe High School football team Friday, Nov. 1, with a non-league game at Licking Heights.
Quarterback Josh Kirkpatrick remembers the last time he faced the Hornets and hopes the outcome is different.
"We played them when I was a freshman and they beat us by more than 20 points," said Kirkpatrick, whose team was 4-4 overall and 2-1 in the LCL-Small School Division before playing Heath on Oct. 25. "We have seen film (of Licking Heights this season) from scouting other teams, so we have a little bit of an idea of what to expect. (The Hornets) have a good running game."
Through eight games, Licking Heights' top three running backs had rushed for 1,566 yards. Junior Kendall Bradley had 801 yards and eight touchdowns on 81 carries, junior Robbie Moore had 527 yards and six touchdowns on 61 carries and senior Ron Carruthers-Kimball had 238 yards and three touchdowns on 46 carries.
The Hornets were 7-1 overall before playing Watkins Memorial on Oct. 25.
The Johnnies bounced back from a 42-21 loss to Newark Catholic on Oct. 11 to defeat Utica 49-16 on Oct. 18.
"That was a tough loss to Newark Catholic," Kirkpatrick said. "We knew we had to come out and execute (against Utica) and do what we needed to do to win."
Junior running back Cody Farley rushed for 107 yards and four touchdowns on 10 carries and senior running back Alex Workman ran for 46 yards and one touchdown on four carries. Kirkpatrick threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Nathanael Ashbrook.
The Johnstown defense limited Utica senior running back Travis Baldwin to 53 yards on 27 carries. One week earlier, Baldwin rushed for a program-record 471 yards on 22 carries with six touchdowns in a 59-38 win over Heath.
Runners set records at district
The boys and girls cross country teams completed their seasons Oct. 19 in the Division II district meet at Watkins Memorial. The top four teams and top 16 runners advanced to regional Oct. 26 at Troy.
"Our team finished the year with some remarkable performances," said coach Patrick Helgerman, who finished his second season leading both squads. "In the last two weeks, between the middle school and high school runners, we ran 46 races and posted 36 (personal records). I've never seen anything like that in my eight years of coaching. At least six of those were improvements of 45 seconds or more."
The girls team finished eighth (279) of 20 teams at district behind regional-qualifiers Granville (48), Marion Pleasant (128), Bexley (130) and Liberty Union (137).
Senior McCalah Mast was 22nd (20 minutes, 38.73 seconds) to lead the Johnnies, followed by sophomore Grace Mast (27th, 20:52.25), freshman Erica Cox (42nd, 21:34.62), junior Alexis Hercenberg (66th, 22:36.86), sophomore Abi LaRoche (126th, 26:44.98) and freshman Anna Benton (65th, 30:41.24).
The boys team was ninth (331) of 21 teams at district behind regional-qualifiers Sparta Highland (52), Granville (58), Liberty Union (87) and Bexley (97).
Junior Kaleb Walker (47th, 18:34.25) led Johnstown, followed by freshman Kyle Matoszkia (51st, 18:43.76), junior Steven Harper (77th, 19:29.67), freshman Paul Lang (78th, 19:30.04), freshman David Dennis (84th, 19:47.75), junior Kaleb Matoszkia (91th, 19:55.3) and junior Sam Wirth (97th, 20:03.39).
On Oct. 12 in the LCL meet, the girls finished fifth (143) behind Granville (29), host Watkins Memorial (45), Newark Catholic (89) and Licking Valley (130) and ahead of Heath (144), Licking Heights (182) and Lakewood (194).
In the boys race, Johnstown finished seventh (163) behind Granville (36), Watkins Memorial (45), Newark Catholic (86), Lakewood (113), Licking Valley (144) and Licking Heights (149) and ahead of Heath (239).
McCalah Mast was the lone senior in the program.
"McCalah had improvements of more than 45 seconds after running both the league and district meets, but she was just as valuable off of the course," Helgerman said. "McCalah is involved in everything, including band, clubs, church, homecoming court, a job and also being captain of the cross country team. Finding time was often a challenge, but she set an example and made a commitment to herself and to her team that was everything I expect from a runner.
"It's tough to be everywhere when there is one coach and one assistant for four teams, so I put a lot of weight on (McCalah) and fellow captain Kaleb Walker. We all learned a lot and they handled the pressure as well as anybody could."
Volleyball team falls to Centennial
The girls volleyball team finished 2-21 overall after losing to 10th-seeded and host Centennial 25-23, 21-25, 25-18, 25-18 on Oct. 19 in the second round of the Division II district tournament.
The 19th-seeded Johnnies had a first-round bye.
The Johnnies finished 10th (0-18) in the LCL behind Licking Valley (16-2), Newark Catholic (15-3), Granville (14-4), Heath (12-6), Lakewood (12-6), Utica (8-10), Licking Heights (5-13), Watkins Memorial (5-13) and Northridge (3-15).
Senior right side/outside hitter Arika Sayer was second-team all-league and senior back-row player Rachel Shadwick was honorable mention all-league.
The Johnnies were coached by Heather Ashbrook, who competed her fifth season.
Other seniors were Meghan Gall (back row), Ashley Mahaffey (defensive specialist) and Harley Thomson (setter).
Expected to return are juniors Adaline Almendinger (setter), Leanna Lehner (outside/middle hitter), Amanda Payne (right side/outside hitter), Claire Slader (middle hitter) and Quinn Weinberger (defensive specialist) and sophomores Tori Helmke (outside/middle hitter) and Emily Wilson (right side/outside hitter).
Girls soccer team falls to Hartley
The girls soccer team finished 10-7-1 after losing Oct. 19 to visiting 11th-seeded Hartley 4-1 in the second round of the Division II district tournament.
Freshman midfielder Alissa Rowe scored for the fifth-seeded Johnnies and junior goalkeeper Paige Cannon had eight saves.