Wellington School boys golf coach Craig Mosier's belief that he had a championship-caliber team never waned, even though the Jaguars didn't win any tournaments during the regular season and placed second in a Division III sectional.
His faith was rewarded Oct. 2 when the Jaguars shot a 318 to win the 12-team district at River Greens ahead of runner-up Sugarcreek Garaway (325) and advance to state Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
"We play such a difficult schedule that we hadn't won anything this year, but I've always had a lot of faith in our guys even though most of them didn't start the season with a lot of varsity experience," Mosier said. "Our goal for district, first and foremost, was to finish in the top four to qualify for state. But with the progress we've made all season, I thought we had a chance of winning our district, and I'm really happy with the way our guys stepped up their games at district."
Chris Doody led the Jaguars at district with a 74. Also competing were Justin Perdue (76), Princeton Ball (79), Temidayo Dairo (89) and Noah Goss (95).
"Our No. 3 man, Chris Doody, had his best round of competitive golf of his career to tie for third place," Mosier said. "I'm very pleased that we've made it back to state for a sixth consecutive year. That's the second-longest active streak in Division III, just one year behind Sugarcreek Garaway."
Wellington is looking for its second state title in three years. The Jaguars placed second (651) behind Ashland Crestview (646) last year at NorthStar after finishing first (674) ahead of runner-up Lima Central Catholic (685) in 2011 at Scarlet.
In its other state appearances, Wellington finished eighth in 1997, seventh in 2008, fifth in 2009 and third in 2010.
"We've put some effort this year in getting to know the state tournament course and that will help us develop our strategy as we compete on it," Mosier said. "We feel like we have the toughness and talent to compete for a state title, but there's no defense in golf so we're just going to do our best and we'll see where that puts us.
"If we handle ourselves well and don't get out of our comfort zone, we'll be competitive."
Mosier identified Columbus Academy, Ashland Crestview and Toledo Ottawa Hills as the Jaguars' top competition for the state title.
Wellington shot a 318 in the 12-team sectional Sept. 24 at Darby Creek to finish runner-up to Academy (312), as only the top two teams advanced to district.
"Columbus Academy is very strong, with a lot of guys who can shoot in the 70s," Mosier said. "It's a testament to how strong our district is that we have to face Columbus Academy twice on our way to state."
Katapadi advances to district in girls tennis
Aashika Katapadi of the girls tennis team went 5-0 to win the singles title in the Division II sectional tournament Oct. 3 and 5 at Columbus School for Girls.
The junior, who advanced to district Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at CSG, defeated Granville's Charlotte Purnode 6-1, 7-5 in the final.
Also competing in singles were Nia Gill, who went 2-1 and fell one win shy of qualifying for district, and Neelu Paleti, who went 0-1.
The doubles teams of Gabrielle Berry and Rebecca Meeks and Casey Hansen and Delaney Perkins both went 0-1.
The top two finishers in singles at district will advance to state Oct. 18 at Ohio State and Oct. 19 at Hilliard Davidson.
Wellington beat Ready 5-0 on Oct. 1 to finish 7-9.
Girls golfers end season at sectional
The girls golf team ended its season in the Division II sectional Sept. 23 at Blacklick Woods.
Wellington finished fifth (471) of six teams, as the top two finishers, Licking Valley (373) and Columbus School for Girls (420), advanced to district Oct. 1 at Blacklick Woods.
Senior Katie King and sophomore Regan Price both carded a 109 to lead the Jaguars. Also competing were sophomore Quinn Coleman (121), senior Sarah Wayman (132) and sophomore Julia Doran (140).
Academy's Allison Wallace secured the second and final district-qualifying berth with a 91.
"We were happy with our results at sectional," coach Bill Miller said. "We could have played better and we could have played worse, but even if we had a great day and scored better than our average, the best we probably could have done was finish third, which isn't high enough to advance to district."
The Jaguars will lose King and Wayman to graduation, but Coleman, Doran, Price and juniors Sophie Hess and Kate Miller are expected to return.
"Our seniors were go-to players every match, but we've got five good golfers who played varsity coming back, so I feel good about next season," coach Miller said.