As Terry Smith began his second season as Marysville High School boys soccer coach, he could sense a better connection with his players.
That connection helped lead to a 4-1 start before the Monarchs played Westerville North on Aug. 28.
Last season, Marysville finished 6-8-3 overall and 2-4-1 in the OCC-Central Division, sixth behind champion Dublin Coffman (6-1).
"The first year you are kind of guessing. The second year you're putting forth some of the things you need to put forth to make things work," Smith said. "As a coaching staff, we've done a better job of re-evaluating what we were trying to do."
The Monarchs opened league play Aug. 26 by winning 4-0 at Westland. Senior forward Andy Latimer scored two goals and senior forward Jordan Payne and junior forward Matt Schmenk each scored one. Senior goalkeeper Brian Spaulding had five saves.
"This is a work in progress," Smith said. "It's the first OCC win, that's what you want."
Marysville lost to Worthington Christian 2-1 on Aug. 21. The Monarchs defeated Bellefontaine 9-1 on Aug. 16, Grove City 6-1 on Aug. 19 and St. Marys Memorial 6-1 on Aug. 23.
Latimer, Payne and seniors Luke Kisor (forward), Connor Richardson (defender) and Jared Wolfe (midfielder) are captains.
Through five games, Payne led the team with 13 goals. He was honorable mention all-league a year ago.
"We're actually putting goals in and that's what you want to see because it's not going to happen every game," Smith said. "You're not going to be able to score three and four goals a game."
Also back are juniors Joey Dougherty (midfielder) and Justin Greilich (midfielder) and sophomores Tanner Bower (defender) and Kyle Bosch (midfielder).
Other players are senior Kyle Ellerbrock (forward), juniors Riley Hall (midfielder), Sam Heifner (defender), Nathaniel Johnson (goalie), Riley Krieg (midfielder), Nate Rausch (defender), Vincent Soller (defender), Tim Thiwissen (defender), Micah VanVoorhis (defender) and Jake Warner (midfielder), sophomore Ethan Pugh (midfielder) and freshman Matt Walters (midfielder).
Smith said that Dougherty (foot) and Walters (shoulder) will miss the early part of the season with injuries.
"We have done some really good things and there are things we need to work on, which is a positive," Smith said. "It's just some learning things."
Football team to visit Delaware
The football team, which opened Aug. 29 against Jonathan Alder, visits Delaware on Friday, Sept. 5.
Mike Golden is in his first season coaching Delaware after spending the past nine years at Upper Arlington, where he compiled a 65-33 record and guided the Golden Bears to the postseason in 2005-08 and 2011.
Following his team's scrimmage against Hilliard Darby on Aug. 22, Marysville coach Morgan Cotter said sophomore Nathan Snyder most likely would start at quarterback against Jonathan Alder, with senior Aron Mowery expected to start at running back.
Mowery, however, could also see time at quarterback.
"We could be a two-headed monster at times," Cotter said. "It makes us more versatile across the board. Aron has a great arm and I won't be surprised to see him taking snaps at quarterback, but it gives us more options."
Delaware, which opened Aug. 29 against Buckeye Valley, finished 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the OCC-Capital a year ago.
Junior halfback Ethan Tucky and senior fullback Ernest Bonsu, who rushed for 322 yards a year ago, return in the backfield.
Junior Connor King and sophomore Cullen Moore competed for the starting quarterback job during the preseason.
Key defensive players are senior Josh Daughenbaugh and Tucky at outside linebacker. Tucky was first-team all-league and all-district last season. He had 48 tackles and four sacks, and Daughenbaugh had 35.5 tackles.
"We hear Delaware is very athletic," Cotter said. "They have a couple of real nice athletes. They're going to have a new group of linemen. They graduated some of their linemen, so it will be a younger group of linemen, but they're going to be big. They're going to have a size advantage, so that means we need to be technicians in the trenches and make sure we're taking care of doing things well inside the box."
Girls soccer team out to good start
The girls soccer team was 4-0 overall before playing Olentangy on Aug. 28.
The Monarchs opened OCC-Central play by defeating Westland 11-0 on Aug. 26 at home. Freshman forward Julia Dickman led a balanced attack with two goals.
"This is a very exciting time for Marysville girls soccer," coach Steve Reymann said. "We are playing well, but we have yet to accomplish anything of substance. With Olentangy, Coffman, Delaware and (Olentangy) Liberty next up, we will see if we have turned the corner. If we can continue to work hard in practice and stay focused, we have the makings of a very good team."
Girls golf team places third in league event
The girls golf team finished third (348) in the third round of the OCC-Capital tournament Aug. 26 at Westchester.
The Monarchs finished behind Coffman (291) and Worthington Kilbourne (329) and ahead of Westerville South (364), Hilliard Bradley (373), Westerville Central (381) and Grove City (385).
Abby Ketterman led the Monarchs with an 82 and Deanna DeHoff had a career-best 83. Emma Romine also had an 83 and was followed by Emily Hunt (100) and Shruti Parashar (102).
"The season is off to a good start with the girls playing OK, but not at the level we feel they can play at," coach Bill Romine said. "We have some ladies that are now upperclassmen and we as a team feel we can shoot a little better in matches. A lot has to do with us giving away strokes in our short game, so we are working really hard on putting and chipping to bring down our scores."
The fourth and final round of the league tournament is Sept. 9 at Royal American.
Boys golf team defeats Academy
The boys golf team defeated Columbus Academy 155-189 on Aug. 25 at Clover Valley as Wyatt Tarrant was medalist with a 36.
Morgan Tarrant (39), Blake Kaffenbarger (39), Drew Yutzy (41), Luke Morse (44) and Cole Jordan (45) also competed for the Monarchs.
"This was our best team score yet at 155," coach Jon Wing said. "We are starting to put up some low numbers."
The Monarchs were fifth (308) in the third OCC-Central tournament Aug. 27 at Darby Creek behind UA (282), Coffman (292), Liberty (298) and Hilliard Davidson (299) and ahead of Thomas Worthington (310), Central Crossing (330) and Westland (431). Competing were Morgan Tarrant (74), Wyatt Tarrant (76), Jordan (78), Yutzy (80) and Kaffenbarger (83).
The fourth and final round of the league tournament is Sept. 10 at Apple Valley.
Aug. 16 -- at Bellefontaine
Aug. 19 -- at Grove City
Aug. 21 -- vs. Worthington Christian
Aug. 23 -- at St. Marys Memorial
*Aug. 26 -- at Westland
Aug. 28 -- at Westerville North
*Sept. 2 -- vs. Dublin Coffman
Sept. 5 -- vs. Delaware
*Sept. 9 -- at Olentangy Liberty
*Sept. 16 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
*Sept. 23 -- vs. Upper Arlington
Sept. 25 -- at Hilliard Darby
*Sept. 30 -- at Central Crossing
Oct. 2 -- at Olentangy Orange
*Oct. 7 -- vs. Hilliard Davidson
Oct. 11 -- vs. Jonathan Alder