Marysville High School football coach Morgan Cotter believes his team positioned itself well for a postseason berth by winning six of its first seven games.
The Monarchs don't want their playoff hopes hinging on help from other teams.
"A lot of teams talk about you control your destiny the last two or three games, but we've always told our kids (if) you start well, you control your destiny from the front and then you don't have to scramble at the end," Cotter said. "If you take care of business early, at the end of the season we're not scrambling around and waiting for somebody else to do something."
Before playing Upper Arlington on Oct. 18, Marysville was 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Central Division. The Monarchs were sixth in the Division I, Region 1 computer rankings behind No. 1 Hudson.
Marysville will play host to Central Crossing on Friday, Oct. 25, before closing the regular season Nov. 1 at Hilliard Davidson.
The Wildcats were seventh in the Division I state poll, fifth in the Region 2 computer rankings and first in the OCC-Central at 4-0 before playing Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 18.
The top 16 teams in each of Division I's two regions qualify for the playoffs.
"It doesn't matter what region you're in, if you win games you're going to be where you want to be at the end of the season come week 11," Cotter said.
Central Crossing was 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Central before playing Thomas Worthington on Oct. 18.
The Comets entered the season with high hopes, but through seven games they had been outscored 283-124.
"They have very good athletes," Cotter said. "The one win for me is very surprising. I thought they were going to be the team that was going to be the surprise team. It's a little surprising that they're where they are, but you can't count them out because six or seven weeks ago I thought they would be a team that we would have to be ready to play against, so we're going to have to be ready to play."
Through seven games, Central Crossing quarterback Luke Duncan had completed 112 of 193 passes for 1,098 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions and rushed for 520 yards and six touchdowns on 125 carries.
Wide receiver Noah Stephens had 44 catches for 503 yards and four touchdowns.
Last season, Marysville defeated Central Crossing 65-38. The Monarchs lead the series 5-0.
The Monarchs defeated host Thomas 24-17 on Oct. 11.
Through seven games, quarterback Matt Mulholland had completed 135 of 225 passes for 1,580 yards with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
"We're pretty happy, but we just take it one week at a time," he said. "We haven't achieved any of our goals yet."
Running back Aron Mowery had rushed for 574 yards and eight touchdowns on 120 carries and wide receiver Logan Roston had 28 catches for 515 yards and four scores.
"We have good kids (and) good leadership from our seniors," Cotter said. "Our younger kids are filling in and our role players are doing a great job."
Sandusky leads boys runners in league meet
Sophomore Alec Sandusky led the boys cross country team in the OCC-Central meet Oct. 12 at Hilliard Darby, finishing eighth of 75 runners in 15 minutes, 50.59 seconds.
Marysville was fifth (154) behind Davidson (34), Liberty (58), Dublin Coffman (58) and Thomas (93) and ahead of UA (167), Central Crossing (214) and Westland (215).
Other runners for Marysville were Zach Magers (32nd, 16:53.74), Gavin Mickelson (43rd, 17:26.63), Josh McPheron (44th, 17:32.45), Blake Dearwester (46th, 17:34.6), Matt Reed (50th, 17:39.47), Joel Fehrman (57th, 17:52.48), Carson Cooke (59th, 17:59.8), Ryan Cook (60th, 17:59.81) and Michael Coffey (62nd, 18:15.59).
The boys competed in the Division I, district 3 meet Oct. 19 at Watkins Memorial. The top six teams and top 24 individuals advanced to regional Saturday, Oct. 26, at Pickerington North.
The girls team finished seventh (210) in the league meet behind UA (39), Thomas (51), Davidson (59), Liberty (88), Coffman (119) and Westland (203) and ahead of Central Crossing (228).
Susie Reed was 39th (20:45.83) of 68 runners. Other runners for the Monarchs were Megan Miller (50th, 21:21.45), Maddy Hoy (55th, 22:46.97), Jessie Kmietsch (56th, 23:07.32), Madison Kingery (60th, 23:50.7), Audrey Minor (63rd, 23:58.4), Mim Stonecipher (64th, 24:00.44) and Victoria Williams (65th, 24:19.88).
The girls competed in the district 2 race at Watkins Memorial. The top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to regional.
At regional, the top four teams and top 16 individuals advance to state Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway.
Volleyball team falls in first round
The girls volleyball team's season ended with a 17-25, 25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 15-10 loss to visiting Darby in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 14.
The 19th-seeded Monarchs finished 11-12 overall.
Marysville had defeated 22nd-seeded Darby 25-19, 25-20 in the Marysville Spike Off Invitational on Aug. 17.
In the rematch, middle blocker Monica Miller had 13 kills and 11 blocks, setters Morgan Thompson and Anna McNabb each had 18 assists and outside hitter Veronica George had nine kills.
"It was a fairly even match-up," coach Jennifer Burton said. "We definitely had our strengths with our in-system balls and our weaknesses of picking up tips and short serves, while Darby had their strength of seeing our holes and weakness of digging our hard-hit balls.
"The girls fought hard the whole night and their passion and love for the sport was evident."
Boys soccer team loses at Olentangy
The boys soccer team gave up a pair of first-half goals and lost at 21st-seeded Olentangy 4-0 on Oct. 16 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
The 23rd-seeded Monarchs finished 6-8-3 overall.
Midfielders Adam Lee and Logan Burzynski scored in the first half to give Olentangy the early lead, and midfielders Taylor Jahr and Nick Antronica scored in the second half.
Marysville goalkeeper Corey Mankins had eight saves.
"We had our opportunities (in) the first half and we didn't finish," coach Terry Smith said. "We had opportunities (in) the second half (that) we didn't finish. Corey didn't get a lot of shots on himself. The other ones were set pieces. We took shots on goal, but we just didn't finish. We couldn't get it in the goal today, so that's what's disappointing."
Girls soccer team defeats Orange
Forward Kaela Kovanda's goal early in the second overtime lifted the 12th-seeded girls soccer team to a 3-2 win at 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange in the second round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 17.
Forwards Tiffany Spears and Lindsey Sullivan also scored for the Monarchs, who improved to 10-6-1 and advanced to play at eighth-seeded Grove City in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The Monarchs lost to Grove City 3-2 on Aug. 20.
The winner plays top-seeded Dublin Coffman or 21st-seeded Dublin Scioto in a district final Saturday, Oct. 26, at Westerville South. The Monarchs lost to Coffman 2-1 on Sept. 3.