Columbus Academy boys golf coach Steve Evans has a simple reason for his program's success.
"We have been very fortunate to have many very good golfers who really enjoy and have a passion for the game," said Evans, whose team qualified for the Division III state tournament Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at Ohio State's Scarlet Course. "When they get to the high school level they already have put in many years of practice, so ... they're ready to compete at the highest level."
It is the program's 25th state berth and the seventh under Evans.
The Vikings qualified for state by placing third in the district tournament Oct. 2 at River Greens. Academy (326) finished behind Wellington (318) and Sugarcreek Garaway (325) and ahead of Fisher Catholic (334) in the 12-team tournament, as the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state.
"It was very close and very stressful and we did not play very well, but we played well enough to advance and that was our goal for the day, so we achieved that goal," Evans said. "We're always looking to play our best, but I guess it's reassuring that we were able to advance without playing our best."
Junior Carter Kistler earned medalist honors, beating Grove City Christian's Cameron Michalak on the second playoff hole after tying for first with a 73.
Also competing for Academy were Shabaz Khan (83), Max Berk (85), Ted Loper (85) and Vincent Dong (86).
Last season at state, the Vikings finished third (651) behind Ashland Crestview (646) and Wellington (651), which won the tiebreaker over the Vikings with lower two-day scores by its fifth-place golfers.
Bradburn, Wallace play in girls district
Chloe Bradburn and Allison Wallace competed in the Division II girls golf district tournament Oct. 1 at Blacklick Woods.
Bradburn, who was competing in her second tournament of the season after being sidelined with a back injury, shot an 81 and Wallace shot a 105.
The top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state. Bexley's Liza Weisman (78), Chillicothe Huntington's Shania Irvin (79) and Columbus School for Girls' Megan Wong (79) were the individual qualifiers.
Football team to visit West Jefferson
The football team will look to run its winning streak to four games when it visits West Jefferson on Friday, Oct. 11.
The Vikings improved to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the MSL-Ohio Division with a 42-40 win at Whitehall on Oct. 4.
West Jefferson improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the league with a 21-14 win Oct. 4 over previously undefeated Bexley.
Quarterback Logan Stepp had 310 total yards against Bexley, including 204 rushing. He threw a 59-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Nick Mendelhall and added a 77-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
"It's a big game," coach Jim Collis said. "(The Roughriders) are a well-coached and fundamentally sound team. We will have to clean up some mistakes that we made last week and we will have to play a near-perfect game and battle like we did last week to win another tough game."
Against Whitehall, running back Bryce Bailey ran for touchdowns of 6 and 1 yard, and quarterback Charlie Watters had two touchdown passes (29, 2) and a 1-yard touchdown run. Watters completed 10 of 19 passes for 246 yards.
"The coaches and I are really proud about how our kids battled and overcame adversity time and time again," Collis said.
"We have been talking about finishing the game and we did that last week. There were a number of times that they could have folded the tent, but they came back and found a way to win."
Field hockey team clinches league title
The field hockey team clinched the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-East Division title with a 6-0 win over Bexley on Oct. 3.
The Vikings finished 8-0 in the league and were 13-0-1 overall before closing the regular season against Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 8.
Against Bexley, attacker Paige Berliner and defender Karina Walter each scored two goals and attackers Maddie Vaziri and Lottie Smith each had one.
Goalkeeper Sarah Guendert had three saves.
"We knew that we needed to perform and finish our divisional play as we had hoped to do, so I was real proud of them," coach Anne Horton said.
"We knew we needed to beat Bexley for the divisional championship."
The Vikings are seeded second for the district tournament and open Wednesday, Oct. 16, against Lancaster.
Volleyball team will have winning record
After finishing 4-17 last season, the girls volleyball team is assured of finishing with a winning record, as it was 14-7 overall before playing London on Oct. 8.
The Vikings entered the match 7-5 in the MSL-Ohio.
"I'm very proud of these girls and how well they have played so far this year," coach Amanda Roehrenbeck said. "Our senior class has improved tremendously these past four years and I'm excited to see them perform in the district tournament."
Through 21 matches, Lauren Vodnick led the team in aces with 35, followed by Kami Tibbles with 28 and Yashi Gunawardena with 20.
Vodnick led the team with 144 kills and Jillian Woodard had 123.
Addison Anders had 22 blocks.
"The team is improving overall, but has faced some tough obstacles these past few weeks," Roehrenbeck said. "We had a five-match week (last week) due to illnesses the previous week that caused us to reschedule a match, so we haven't had much time to have full practices, which has been quite hectic.
"We have been trying new lineups and different player options on the court to gain experience and help prepare for the tournament."