Recent stretch has girls golfers optimistic
Four dual-match victories and a top-three tournament finish during a recent two-week stretch have DeSales High School girls golf coach Jeff Montenaro optimistic as the postseason nears.
He isn't sure which faces he'll see in the lineup from day to day, but that's fine with him.
"There have been times we haven't shot what we're capable of, but we're getting a lot more help from our (Nos.) 3 and 4 girls," Montenaro said. "We have 15 girls in the program and only two seniors (Angela Patton and Megan Leach), so we've moved some girls back and forth from junior varsity to varsity to see what they can do and give them a chance."
Entering a match against Centerburg on Sept. 17, Patton had earned medalist honors twice, shooting an 82 over 18 holes in the first round of the Mid-Ohio Girls Golf League tournament Aug. 18 at The Links at Echo Springs and a 46 in nine holes in a tri-match with Dublin Scioto and New Albany on Sept. 10. But Montenaro said the primary reason for the Stallions' improvement the past two weeks has been increased contributions throughout the rest of the lineup.
Leach is the Stallions' No. 2 player and sophomore Kenzie Kotton has been a consistent No. 3, according to Montenaro. Juniors Midori Marang and Rachel Putnam and sophomore Gabby Marino usually fill Nos. 4-6.
"We use the (five-round) MOGGL (tournament) as golf-offs," Montenaro said. "Our 5-7 spots have been changing like the wind. I had concerns about those spots, but those girls have been learning from previous mistakes and getting a lot smarter. They know how to get themselves out of trouble and get in the groove of playing golf."
DeSales shot a 216 to finish third (216) in the fourth round of the Division I MOGGL tournament at Bent Tree behind Watterson (176) and Watkins Memorial (215). The final round was Sept. 19 at Bent Tree.
The Stallions will compete in the Division I sectional tournament Oct. 2 at The Links of Groveport, Mentel Memorial or Oakhaven. The top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advance from each sectional to the district tournament Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek near Ashville.
Boys golf team prepares for postseason
With less than a week remaining before the Division II sectional tournament, boys golf coach Tom Eckl simply wants to see his players sharpen their games.
"I want to see them improve a little bit in everything," said Eckl, whose team will compete in a sectional Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Granville Golf Course or The Players Club at Foxfire. "What we like to do at DeSales is backload our schedule. We played five days (last week) and we feel like that gets our guys in the tournament mindset going into the most important time of the year."
The top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advance from each sectional to the district tournament Oct 2. at Granville Golf Course.
Other than the usual contributions of No. 1 golfer Danny Helin, a junior who shot a 179 and tied for 35th in the state tournament last year at NorthStar, Eckl is seeing more from the back of his lineup. First-year player Holden Chapman, a sophomore, shot 45 at Little Turtle on Sept. 12 against St. Charles' varsity B team and No. 3 golfer Jacob Erwin, also a sophomore, had shot between 38 and 44 in each of the Stallions' nine-hole outings heading into their match against Watterson on Sept. 19 at Champions.
"He's a kid who doesn't take unnecessary chances," Eckl said of Erwin. "He's steady and smart on the course. He rarely scores anything over a bogey."
Also competing on varsity have been junior Hunter Chapman and sophomores Chris Modie and Dominic Ridley. The Stallions have no seniors.
Girls tennis coach still juggling lineup
Girls tennis coach Anthony Tienprasid recently had to juggle his lineup, but other than that, things largely are on schedule for the Stallions.
Emma Clark, a sophomore who had teamed with junior Maddie Lyons at second doubles, is out of the lineup with an injury and is being replaced by sophomore Brianna Ellis. Laura Asman, who had seen time at doubles, is playing third singles.
"That's been about our biggest issue," Tienprasid said. "We knew we'd be improved because we returned six letterwinners. We're 7-3 (entering a Sept. 17 match at Dublin Scioto) and we went 5-9 last year. That was a big goal. (No. 1 player and two-time state qualifier) My Linh Li is playing well to lead us, but the biggest thing for her is hitting her peak for the (Division II) sectional and district tournaments and beyond. She just needs to improve her mental focus during games. Everybody can stand to do that."
Football team off to rare slow start
The football team is off to a 1-3 start for the first time since 1968 after losing to Union (Ky.) Ryle 21-10 on Sept. 14. That season, the Stallions rebounded to win their final six games and post a 7-3 record under former coach Forrest Sharrock.
The only seasons DeSales had a worse start came in 1967 when it lost its first five games and finished 3-7 and its inaugural season in 1962 when it started 0-6-1 and finished 1-7-1.
The Stallions have given up an average of 30 points in their three losses. They allowed 227 yards rushing to Ryle but held the advantage in total yardage, 295-227.
Four lost fumbles ultimately doomed DeSales against Ryle a year after the Stallions beat the Raiders 42-7.