Upper Arlington High School boys golf coach Ron Mautz vividly remembers the stretch during the Division I district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley that doomed his team's chance to advance to state.
"I saw our guys on the fifth hole and all of them were 1-over (par)," he said. "By the time we got to No. 10, they were anywhere from 1-over to 5-over. We had one birdie that day. Usually, we have nine to 12 per day from our five guys."
The Golden Bears shot a 315 at district to finish fifth of 15 teams, as New Albany (298), Dublin Coffman (300) and Dublin Jerome (306) advanced to state, which was held Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course. Jerome went on to win the state title.
Senior Will Mason led UA with a 3-over-par 75, followed by sophomores Seth Brenneman (79) and Justin Wick (80) and seniors Josh Wick (81) and Matt Arnold (84). Mason was part of a four-player, two-hole playoff for the third and final individual state-qualifying spot, which Pickerington North's Scot Sapp won.
"We had an outstanding year, a great year, but when you're not playing (at state), you definitely feel like something is missing," said Mautz, whose team placed third at state last season. "It's always our goal to get to state and see Upper Arlington represented like the 17 teams (that won state championships) have done before this (season)."
The Bears went 245-20 overall and 27-1 in the four-round OCC-Central Division tournament to win the league championship, ahead of Coffman (24-4), Olentangy Liberty (21-7), Thomas Worthington (13-15), Hilliard Davidson (12-16), Marysville (11-17), Central Crossing (4-24) and Westland (0-28).
In the 13-team sectional Oct. 2 at Granville Golf Course, UA shot a 295 to place second to Pickerington North (294), as St. Charles (313) and Mount Vernon (316) also advanced to district. Arnold shot a 71 to lead the Bears and earn co-medalist honors, followed by Brenneman (72), Mason (76), Josh Wick (76) and Justin Wick (78).
UA loses three seniors from its top five players in Arnold, Mason and Josh Wick. Brenneman and Justin Wick are expected to return.
Others who could be key contributors next season include junior Dalton Miller and sophomores Jacob Glaser and Austin Seri. All three played primarily on the varsity B team this fall.
Field hockey team continues progression
The field hockey team won two fewer games overall and in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League this year than it did in 2011, but second-year coach Derek Aspinall still saw several areas of progress.
UA finished 8-9-1 overall and 5-5-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League this season after going 10-7 and 7-4 last year.
"We certainly made a progression as far as understanding formations and the girls knowing where their teammates will be. I think it's certainly strengthened the future of the program," Aspinall said. "The (junior varsity) team this year went 10-2-2, so you can see the fruit of our labors. We've got to see that transition to the varsity level next year and the year after in order for us to be successful."
UA's season ended Oct. 18 with a 1-0 loss to Granville in the second round of the district tournament after beating New Albany 2-0 in the first round Oct. 15.
The Bears, who went 7-3-1 in their final 11 games after a 1-6 start, finished eighth in the 17-team COFHL, behind champion Columbus Academy (10-0-1). Academy went on to win the state championship.
Senior forward Sarah Both led UA in goals with four, followed by junior forwards Sarah Mikac and Hannah Tomaszewski with three each.
UA loses five seniors in Both, defender Nicole Carothers, forward Lauren Deverse, defender Amy Henry and forward Allie Nini.
In addition to Mikac and Tomaszewski, expected to return are juniors Margaret Callaghan (midfielder), Kasey Keegan (midfielder), Alex Keller (goalkeeper), Heddie Samuelson (defender) and Kara Sturtz (midfielder) and sophomores Alee Caldwell (goalie), Caroline Fulmer (midfielder), Monnett Hamilton (forward), Kate Hennessey (defender), Tanner Miley (forward), Audrey Pottschmidt (defender), Clara Rhodehamel (midfielder) and Sarah Shroyer (utility player).
Caldwell and Keller combined for 75 saves and seven shutouts.
"I can't question the effort," Aspinall said. "The turnaround we've had this year with our transition in the program, going from where we were earlier in the season, we certainly edged back closer to our goal of finishing .500. I can't really be too annoyed with how things turned out. Their understanding this year has been good."
Volleyball team loses two seniors
The girls volleyball team loses two seniors in defensive specialists and co-captains Samantha Farwick and Sydney Farwick.
UA finished 7-16 overall and 6-8 in the OCC-Central to place fifth, behind Coffman (14-0), Liberty (12-2), Davidson (9-5) and Thomas Worthington (8-6) and ahead of Marysville (4-10), Westland (2-12) and Central Crossing (1-13). The Bears went 0-8 against the three teams that finished ahead of them in the league standings.
UA's season ended with a 25-23, 25-16, 25-21 loss to Worthington Kilbourne in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 15.
Expected to return are four juniors in outside hitters Bailey Gowins and Melanie McMillan, setter and co-captain Maria Grund and middle hitter Ashley Murray, two sophomores in outside hitter Brigid McKee and middle hitter Jordan Spychalski and freshman outside hitter Carol Warner.
Sydney Farwick was named second-team all-league and Samantha Farwick was honorable mention all-league.
Coach Matt Wion expects the lessons learned this season to benefit the Bears in the future.
"The backbone of when we play well is when they play together as one," said Wion, who completed his third season leading the program. "As long as we all stay up and support each other and work together at all times, that's when we see good things. But with younger girls, they haven't developed that mental confidence or that mental toughness to, when things are down, stay with it. That's a big thing we've worked on."