Although he was pleased with last week's No. 1 ranking in the Division III state poll, Columbus Academy boys soccer coach Ron Leach realizes there is plenty of work ahead for his team.
The Vikings were ranked first ahead of Elyria Catholic and Cincinnati Summit Country Day, which were tied for second.
"We have to get better at every position," Leach said. "That's kind of our daily goal. We can still work on little issues that need to be improved."
Leach said it was the first time in his nine seasons at Academy that his team was ranked first in the state.
Academy was 10-1 overall and 3-0 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Grandview on Oct. 1.
The Vikings defeated visiting Worthington Christian 2-0 on Sept. 28 behind goals from senior forward Gavin Koerner and senior defender Georges Daoud. Senior goalkeeper Tyler Kohman had three saves.
Academy has received a balanced effort this season. Senior forward Jake Tuckerman had nine goals and 18 assists through 11 games, and senior forward Gavin Koerner had 12 goals and five assists. Junior forward Tim Leathery had 11 goals and three assists, and senior midfielder Jack Lint had 10 goals and four assists. Kohman had 30 saves.
Before playing Grandview, Academy's only loss came against DeSales, 2-1 in the opener Aug. 20. The Vikings had eight shutouts and had allowed just four goals.
"I knew we had some ability," Leach said. "We had a lot of scorers coming back. We had some key players we needed to replace and with a little experience that would happen. I felt the team had the ability to be good."
Girls soccer team 'looking good'
The girls soccer team was 5-1-5 overall and 2-1 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Grandview on Oct. 1.
Senior midfielder Katerina Weikert had 10 goals and 15 assists through 11 games, and freshman forward Sophie Krings had eight goals and two assists. Junior midfielder Kelly Brown had four goals and seven assists, and junior midfielder Annie Meacham had six goals and two assists.
Sophomore goalie Neve Adler had 51 saves.
Academy defeated Licking Valley 9-0 on Sept. 28, as Meacham and Weikert each had two goals.
"The team is looking good right now after a very tough schedule to start the season," coach Kelly Snead said. "I've really liked how the girls have battled back from early deficits to at least obtain a tie, and we seem to be finding the back of the net a bit more after focusing on finishing and movement off the ball at practices lately."
Football team to visit Whitehall
The football team will look to remain undefeated in the MSL-Ohio when it visits Whitehall on Friday, Oct. 4.
The Vikings improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the league with a 38-7 win over Grandview on Sept. 27.
"The good news is we are 3-2 and we are not close to reaching our potential," coach Jim Collis said. "We can still make a lot of improvement in all three phases of the game."
Whitehall fell to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the league with a 35-34, double-overtime loss to Bexley on Sept. 27.
The Rams pulled to 35-34 on Shaquille Alexander's 11-yard touchdown run in the second overtime, but he was stopped short on the two-point conversion. Alexander rushed for 127 yards and five touchdowns on 25 carries.
"If we are going to beat Whitehall, we must play a complete game," Collis said. "They are very talented and have some big-time threats on offense and a solid defense. Their quarterback (Cody Koons) is a good player, along with (running back/wide receiver) B.J. Upchurch. They have great speed that can take it to the house every time they touch the ball. We will have our work cut out for us, but I think we will be up for the challenge."
Against Grandview, running back Bryce Bailey rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.
For the season, Bailey has 461 yards and five touchdowns on 45 carries and 18 receptions for 214 yards and one touchdown.
Quarterback Charlie Waters has completed 44 of 83 passes for 549 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions.
Running back Connor Nelson has rushed for 226 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries.
Cross country teams win London race
The boys and girls cross country teams each finished first in the Erin Nance Fall Distance Classic on Sept. 28 at the London Country Club.
The boys were first (27) in the three-team Division III race ahead of Grandview (27) and Grove City Christian (75). Alex Ho was third of 20 runners (17 minutes, 45.76 seconds), Aron Aziz was fourth (18:10.11) and Ben Uchimura was fifth (18:17.93).
The girls team finished first (35) in the three-team Division III race ahead of Columbus School for Girls (36) and Grandview (49). Julia Rizk was first of 21 runners (19:12.97) and Audrey Grammel was second (20:03.61).
Boys golf team wins sectional
The boys golf team advanced to the Division III district tournament, which was held Oct. 2 at River Greens, by shooting a 312 to win its sectional Sept. 24 at Darby Creek.
Runner-up Wellington (318) also advanced.
Ted Loper led Academy with a 76, followed by Max Berk (77), Shabaz Khan (79), Vincent Dong (80) and Carter Kistler (82).
"It definitely helps when you know your top five scorers are going to be relatively close together," coach Steve Evans said. "On any given day, four of the five are going to count. It reflects how balanced our team is. It's a nice spot to be in when you have good golfers because if somebody has one bad day we know that the rest of the team can pick up the slack and cover for that person."
At district, the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Oct. 11 and 12 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
Chloe Bradburn and Allison Wallace advanced to the Division II girls district tournament Oct. 1 at Blacklick Woods after earning the two individual-qualifying berths from a sectional Sept. 23 at Blacklick Woods.
Bradburn shot 85 and Wallace shot 91 at sectional. Wallace tied Village Academy's Karen Selva for the second qualifying spot, but won the playoff hole to advance.
It was the first event for Bradburn this season after missing action with a back injury.
At district, the top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to state Oct. 11 and 12 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
"It was definitely a very good week for us," Evans said.
Tennis team dominates league tournament
The girls tennis team dominated the MSL-Ohio tournament Sept. 28 at home, winning four of the five flights.
Andrea Ballinger defeated Grandview's Kiley Kinnard 10-2 in the final in first singles, Hannah Wexner defeated Bexley's Allison Meyer 10-1 in second singles, Katherine Guan defeated Bexley's Sarah Gundy 10-0 in third singles and Libby Sirak and Makela Hughes defeated Bexley's Hallie Wirthman and Maggie Walker 10-1 in first doubles.
Sarah Wexner and Jacinta Crestanello finished second in second doubles.