Morgan Cotter pointed to the work ethic of his players as the reason the Marysville High School football team improved throughout his first season as coach.
After starting 1-5, the Monarchs won two of their last four games to finish 3-7 overall and 3-4 in the OCC-Central Division.
"The season went by real fast this year, but it was a lot of fun," Cotter said. "I had a great time. I really liked what we did. We'd like to have a few more wins, but the kids were good. The kids made it fun.
"The big thing was they kept working hard the whole time. We were truly better week 10 than we were week one, so you can't ask for a whole lot more than that."
Cotter replaced Jeff Gafford, who resigned last December following five seasons with the program.
After a 0-3 start, Cotter earned his first win as Marysville's coach in a 51-14 victory over Westland on Sept. 14.
Marysville was competitive over its final five games.
After losing to Olentangy Liberty 21-14 on Sept. 28, the Monarchs defeated Thomas Worthington 39-21 on Oct. 5 before losing to Upper Arlington 28-20 on Oct. 12.
Marysville had its season high for points in a 65-38 win over Central Crossing on Oct. 19.
The Monarchs closed the season Oct. 26 with a 14-7 loss to visiting Hilliard Davidson, which qualified for the Division I, Region 3 playoffs.
Marysville was fifth in the league behind co-champions Dublin Coffman and Davidson (6-1), Liberty (5-2) and UA (5-2). The Monarchs finished ahead of Thomas (2-5), Central Crossing (1-6) and Westland (0-7).
Marysville loses 21 seniors, including a first-team all-league selection in quarterback Kyle Hites. He completed 111 of 190 passes for 1,289 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions and rushed for 965 yards and nine touchdowns on 188 carries.
Seniors Logan Burns (DL) and Darius Walker (DL) and juniors Nick Mazza (K) and Matt Mulholland (P) were second-team all-league. Mazza also had 13 catches for 135 yards and one touchdown.
Senior running back Kody Davisson was special mention all-league. He rushed for 541 yards and six touchdowns on 107 carries and had a team-high 34 catches for 441 yards with five touchdowns.
"Our seniors were great leaders and I thanked them for all they did to make the transition smooth," Cotter said.
Junior running back Austin Pfarr, who rushed for 305 yards and three touchdowns on 55 carries and had seven catches for 122 yards, was honorable mention all-league.
Junior Jimmy Applegate had 26 catches for 263 yards and one touchdown and junior Noah Arbogast had 13 catches for 211 yards.
"We have a good group of kids who are really going to help us out next season," Cotter said. "They're a little bit of an unknown commodity, but I'm excited about what potential they do have."
Volleyball team completes season
The girls volleyball team finished 4-16 overall and 3-11 in the OCC-Central.
Marysville lost to 11th-seeded Grove City 25-16, 25-18, 25-14 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 16.
The Monarchs' league wins came against Westland (25-20, 25-14, 16-25, 25-16 on Aug. 28) and Central Crossing (22-25, 16-25, 25-22, 25-20, 15-8 on Sept. 13 and 25-22, 13-25, 25-12, 21-25, 15-11 on Oct. 8).
In the league, Marysville was sixth behind Coffman (14-0), Liberty (12-2), Davidson (10-4), Thomas (8-6) and UA (6-8) and ahead of Westland (2-12) and Central Crossing (1-13).
Senior Emily Euans (middle blocker) was special mention all-league and junior Abby Butler (libero/defensive specialist) was honorable mention all-league. Euans was one of six seniors.
Senior setter Hannah Stanley was named the team's Most Valuable Player.
Other players who could return next season are juniors Kelsey Gugel (right-side hitter), Katelyn Karcher (defensive specialist) and Mollie Walters (defensive specialist/libero) and freshmen Veronica George (outside hitter) and Monica Miller (middle blocker).
"We had a lot of talent and a great deal of passion on our team, but this did not always translate to game situations," coach Jennifer Burton said. "The girls were very receptive to change this year and really wanted to perform well. They were exposed to several new ideas this year and hopefully those will stick with them and they will apply them as they continue to play."
Golf teams present awards
The boys and girls golf teams recently held their postseason awards ceremonies.
For the boys, brothers Morgan and Wyatt Tarrant were second-team all-OCC-Central, Blake Kaffenbarger won the team's spirit award and Luke Morse received the coaches award.
For the girls, MacKenzie Edgar was second-team all-OCC-Capital and third-team all-district. She also was named the team's MVP and received the coaches awards.
Abby Ketterman was third-team all-league, honorable mention all-district and an OCC scholar athlete. Emma Romine was third-team all-league and the spirit award recipient.
Hannah Hunt was honorable mention all-league, and she received the team's leadership and most improved awards.
Deanna DeHoff was honorable mention all-league and a scholar athlete. Katy Dibble received senior leadership and most improved awards, and she also was a scholar athlete.