League play awaits Reynoldsburg football team
The Reynoldsburg High School football team spent the week after its most lopsided loss in years focusing on the basics.
It proved to be beneficial, as the Raiders responded after losing to Findlay 61-14 on Aug. 31 by beating Westerville North 55-0 on Sept. 7.
While the loss to Findlay was Reynoldsburg's worst since it fell to Austintown-Fitch 54-7 on Sept. 10, 2004, its win over North represented its largest margin of victory since it beat Toledo Scott 61-0 on Sept. 3, 2010.
The Raiders travel to Grove City on Friday, Sept. 14, for their OCC-Ohio Division opener after having handed North its 38th consecutive loss.
"(We concentrated on) the way we block and the way we tackle," coach Buddy White said. "When you do a better job of blocking and tackling, it can open things up. We noticed quite a bit of improvement."
The Raiders rushed for 301 yards on 36 carries against North, and Jordan Aekins was 5-for-6 passing for 168 yards with two touchdowns.
Senior running back Kumar Collins, who did not play in a 10-9 win over New Albany on Aug. 24 and then had just 22 yards against Findlay, rushed 16 times for 132 yards and one touchdown.
Kaleb Murray showed his quickness by rushing for a 62-yard touchdown and scoring on a 38-yard pass against North.
Jeff Jones and Cory Beal both had two tackles for losses and Jones added two sacks to lead the defense.
Girls tennis team shares doubles title
For the first time in the six-year history of the Raiders Doubles Invitational, the host girls tennis team won at least a share of the title.
On Sept. 8, the Raiders scored 24 points to tie DeSales for first ahead of Gahanna (20), Thomas Worthington (15), Olentangy Orange (12), Wellington (10), Granville (9) and Watkins Memorial (2).
Seniors Rebecca Kibe and Brittany Condefer placed second in the first-doubles flight. Junior Paris Ring and sophomore Diamond Person were runners-up in second doubles, junior Keisha Cummings and freshman Jadelyn Cheng took second in third doubles and junior Brea Brooks and freshman Ciara Boykins were second in fourth doubles.
"It came down to one of the matches that we clearly should have won," coach Les Somogyi said. "When you play team tennis, some of the girls think you're out there by yourself, but in high school tennis it's a team effort. Sometimes it doesn't sink in until you're benched.
"I was very pleased with Kibe and Condefer. They were absolutely fantastic. Kibe and Condefer were competitors. Cummings and Cheng took it to a tiebreaker, and the other girls were just outgunned. It's the best accomplishment we've had in this tournament so I'm very proud of my team."
Reynoldsburg beat Mount Vernon 5-0 on Sept. 5 and lost to Gahanna 3-2 on Sept. 10. The Raiders were 6-4 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Pickerington North on Sept. 11. They also played Olentangy Liberty on Sept. 12 and will play league matches Thursday, Sept. 13, at Lancaster and Tuesday, Sept. 18, against visiting Newark.
Reynoldsburg also is host to Hilliard Darby on Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Ellis standing out for boys golf team
The boys golf team is 6-12 in the OCC-Ohio as it enters the final round of the league tournament Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Apple Valley.
On Sept. 5, the Raiders were fifth (346) behind Pickerington North (285), Gahanna (320), Lancaster (326) and Grove City (334) and ahead of Pickerington Central (349) and Newark (361). Groveport didn't have enough players for a team score.
Sophomore Darnell Ellis entered the week averaging 76 for 18 holes.
On Sept. 10, the Raiders defeated Whetstone 161-201 at Blacklick Woods.
The Raiders compete in the OCC Shootout on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Moundbuilders.
"Right now (Ellis) is seventh in the league (individually)," coach Chip Warren said. "His very first event he tied for medalist and lost in a three-hole playoff. He's been our lowest player in every event. I knew that he was probably going to be our best player, but I didn't know exactly how much better he was going to be. It's been fun to see him do so well."
Senior Nate Wallace shot a 76 on Aug. 17 in the W3 Invitational at Glenross and was the Raiders' second-best scorer on Sept. 5 with an 82.
The other key players have been seniors Connor Davis, Corbin Davis and John Hildebrand.
"One of the things I get a lot of compliments from other parents and kids is that we represent our school and team well," Warren said.
"Everybody measures things by what the score is, but there is so much more to be able to work with these students.
"They're learning a lot about the game in terms of history and the rules and they're outstanding students."