Licking County News

Watkins Memorial Roundup

Squads ready to begin postseason ride

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The postseason will arrive for some Watkins Memorial High School athletes this week.

The boys and girls golf teams will compete in Division I sectional tournaments on Tuesday, Oct. 2, and the girls tennis team will play in a Division I sectional Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6.

The boys golf team is one of 13 teams competing in the sectional at Granville Golf Course. The top four teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team advance to district Oct. 9 at Apple Valley.

The Warriors are seeded 27th of 39 teams in the district. Among the teams in their sectional are top-seeded Pickerington North, third-seeded Upper Arlington, seventh-seeded St. Charles and 12th-seeded Granville.

"We would have to shoot our best score of the year to advance to district," first-year coach Greg Stone said. "We have not had four guys shoot a good score on the same day all year, so it's not real likely."

Senior Matt Fisher and sophomore Jarod Worcester have been leading the Warriors. Fisher averaged 78 strokes in the four-round OCC-Capital Division tournament and was first-team all-league and Worcester (81.5) was second-team all-league.

In the fourth round of league play Sept. 19 at Granville, Fisher shot a 78 and Worcester shot a 79. The Warriors also competed at Granville in the Rodney Butt Classic on Sept. 22, with Fisher shooting an 82 and Worcester and Clay Gray both carding an 83.

"Matt has a good chance to advance individually because he is a hard worker and he likes the course at Granville," Stone said. "Jarod also has a chance to advance. We will be familiar with Granville. We have played it a few times this year already."

Fisher is hoping to extend his career with a return trip to district. Last season, he shot a 78 in the Granville sectional and won a one-hole playoff to advance as an individual to Apple Valley, where he shot an 85 to miss the cut for state.

Fisher and Worcester, who shot an 81 at sectional last year, were the only returnees who were in the Warriors' postseason lineup a year ago.

"The team has performed as well as I thought they would. I just didn't anticipate not being able to post a fourth score all year," Stone said. "Matt and Jarod were solid all year, but our (Nos.) 3-5 men couldn't get away from shooting in the 90s or 100s most of the time."

The girls golf team is one of nine teams that will be competing in the Mentel Memorial sectional. The top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advance to district Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek in Asheville.

Watkins Memorial is seeded ninth of 28 teams in the district. Among the teams at its sectional are second-seeded Coffman, sixth-seeded UA, eighth-seeded Marysville and 11th-seeded Westerville Central.

The Warriors, missing a true standout this season, have shown balance and still could compete for the third district-qualifying spot.

"We're feeling good, we're playing well and we shot well at Mentel in one of our OCC-Ohio tournaments," coach Tiffany Shaeffer said. "We think we can make it as a team. We should be competitive with Marysville and Westerville Central for that third qualifying position."

Seniors Liz Haack and Andrea Martin and sophomore Devon Atchison were in the postseason lineup last year when the Warriors placed fourth (367) at Mentel Memorial, as Marysville (363) took the third and final district spot.

Emily Dixon, a 2012 graduate, was the Warriors' top individual at sectional (81) and qualified for the district tournament at Bent Tree, where she shot an 80 and missed the cut to advance to state.

"Liz has been our most consistent golfer and would have a chance to make it as an individual if we don't make it as a team," Shaeffer said. "I also think that Devon and Andrea have an opportunity to make it individually if they maintain their focus and not allow one bad shot to be a distraction. They're capable of low scores, too."

Haack and Atchison were third-team all-OCC-Ohio and Martin was honorable mention all-league.

The girls tennis team will compete in the sectional at Reynoldsburg. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 12 and 13 at Hilliard Davidson.

The Warriors did not have a district qualifier last season and the only returnees who competed in the postseason a year ago were seniors Katie Miller and Danielle Pond. Miller won her opening match at sectional last year before losing in the second round.

"That was a great win for us last year and I'm hoping we can have a few girls win some matches this time," coach Tom Dyer said. "It's such a tough sectional that we're in, with New Albany, Olentangy and Olentangy Orange, plus Worthington Kilbourne has some good players. So I don't know if it's realistic for us to have a goal of reaching the district. But that doesn't mean we won't try."

In first-round singles matches, Pond will play Pickerington North's Noelle Wilson, Miller will face Reynoldsburg's Britt Condefer and Breanna Lampron will play Kilbourne's Jenna Towslee.

In doubles, Shelby Giffin and Molly Schell will face Lancaster's Siara Patrick and Bailey Kuhn in the first round and Cheyenne Fletcher and Megan Jamison will play Kilbourne's Elizabeth Borchers and Anna Zellar.

Football team gets ready for Falcons

The football team was 1-4 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Capital before playing Big Walnut on Sept. 28.

The Warriors will play host to Franklin Heights on Friday, Oct. 5, in a league game. The Falcons were 2-3 and 0-2 before playing Olentangy on Sept. 28.

Despite its record, Watkins Memorial outscored its five opponents by a combined 163-162 or by an average of 32.6 points to 32.4. The Warriors' four losses were by a combined 27 points and their win was 56-28 over Delaware on Sept. 14.

By comparison, Franklin Heights had been outscored 157-94 in its first five games, or by an average of 31.4 points to 18.8. After starting the season 2-0 for the first time since 2007, the Falcons lost their next three games by an average of 29.7 points.

Key players for Franklin Heights include Keith Canterbury (OL/DL), Austin Earl (RB/LB), Robert Follrod (OL/DL), Josh Pyles (OL/LB), Sam Reed (RB/LB), Ray Spangler (QB) and Jason Williams (OL/LB).

Watkins Memorial lost to Mount Vernon 34-21 in a league game that was suspended Sept. 21 because of lightning and completed the next day.

The Warriors trailed 27-21 in the fourth quarter when play was halted. The Yellow Jackets concluded the scoring with a touchdown the next day.

Running back Brendan Kemp rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and quarterback Ben Shroyer was 12-for-24 passing for 119 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

Wide receiver Hunter Holton had nine receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown and safety Mike Ford returned an interception 18 yards for a touchdown.

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