One of the biggest concerns for the Ready High School girls cross country team entering the season regarded who would lead the way in the mold of 2008 graduate Sarah Welsh-Huggins.

One of the biggest concerns for the Ready High School girls cross country team entering the season regarded who would lead the way in the mold of 2008 graduate Sarah Welsh-Huggins.

That fear quickly was erased with the emergence of freshmen Niki Brown and Michelle Kaiser. Ready finished fifth at the Division III, district 1 meet a year ago, but it it left this year's district meet Oct. 18 at Watkins Memorial in much happier spirits.

Despite competing with five freshmen and two sophomores, the Silver Knights earned a third-place district finish to advance to the regional last Saturday at Pickerington North. Brown was 11th (20 minutes, 27.93) and Kaiser was 12th (20:28.41) to lead the way.

The top four teams and 16 individuals at the regional advanced to the state meet Saturday at Scioto Downs.

"Our coach has been telling us how good we are," Brown said. "We're just like, 'Yes, right, you probably tell that to all of your teams.' But it was great. I'm really hoping for the best.

"There was one race that (Kaiser) beat me, but we're always right next to each other. She pushes me a lot. At the end of the race, I was really tired and she helped me keep going."

Although Andrew Mantell didn't advance to the regional for the second consecutive year for the boys team, sophomore Robert Reed took 16th to secure the final regional berth in the district 1 race Oct. 18.

He ran in the regional last Saturday, with the top 16 individuals advancing to state.

•The football team played Hartley last Friday in it regular-season finale knowing it could earn its second consecutive Division V, Region 19 playoff berth with a win.

The Silver Knights, who entered the game at 5-2 overall and on a three-game winning streak, could have earned as high as the No. 1 seed depending on results of other teams in the region. Wheelersburg was No. 1 before last Friday, followed by Nelsonville-York, Portsmouth West, Johnstown, Liberty Union and Ready.

•The boys soccer team lost to Johnstown 3-2 in the first round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 14 to finish 1-13-2 overall.

The Silver Knights, who went 0-5 in the CCL behind champion DeSales (5-0), earned their lone win over Northside Christian 4-0 on Oct. 2 and tied Liberty Christian at 2 on Sept. 4 and Briggs at 1 on Oct. 6).

Ryan Shepherd was first-team all-CCL. Junior Tom Rysavy and Colin Whyte made the second team. Shepherd also was second-team all-district.

Shepherd and Whyte were the only seniors.

Others eligible to return include juniors Pat Atchison, Mike Escolas and Steve Rysavy, sophomore Robert Reed and freshmen Matt Feldkamp, Joe Waldo, John Wright and Zach Wright.

"We have a wonderful core coming back," first-year coach Clyde Bowman said. "These guys are going to be good, strong leaders for a program on its way up. We can't wait for next year to start."

•After going 3-10-2 overall and 0-5 in the CCL last year, the girls soccer team showed significant improvement under first-year coach Elise Berry.

Ready, which beat Buckeye Valley 5-1 on Oct. 13 and lost to Wellington 5-0 on Oct. 15 in the first two rounds of the Division III district tournament, finished 6-5-3 overall and 1-2-2 in the CCL behind champion DeSales (5-0).

Seniors included Amanda Barch, Emily Helber, Alli Marion and Abbey Williamson.

Among those eligible to return are juniors Jessie Eramo, Merissa DePalma, Lauren Graessle and Heather Manning. Barch, Eramo and Manning were first-team all-CCL and Graessle and Williamson were named to the second team. Eramo was second-team all-district.

"I told the girls at the end of the season that if you'd have told them they'd only lose five games this year, they'd have been ecstatic," Berry said. "It was a great experience. My old coaches helped me out a lot. With us having more experience next year, we'll know what to expect."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Ready boys and girls cross country, football and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Oct. 18 -- Boys: Finished seventh (161) in 11-team Division III, district 1 meet at Watkins Memorial behind champion Grandview (37). Robert Reed was 16th (17:16.85), followed by Stephen Perry (18th, 17:19.19), Andrew Mantell (29th, 18:07.2), David Schlanser (48th, 19:40.29) and Christopher Gillis (58th, 21:07.86); Girls: Finished third (86) in eight-team Division III, district 1 meet behind Newark Catholic (49) and Fisher Catholic (54). Niki Brown was 11th (20:27.93), followed by Michelle Kaiser (12th, 20:28.41), Haley Widner (20th, 21:43.65), Elli Moehrman (24th, 22:07.7) and Jill Schwendenmann (27th, 22:30.08).

Last Saturday -- Competed in regional at Pickerington North. The top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced to state Saturday at Scioto Downs.

FOOTBALL

Oct. 18 -- Defeated Saltsburg (Pa.) Kiski Prep 43-0

*Last Friday -- Played Hartley

Of note: The Silver Knights were 5-2 before last Friday.

VOLLEYBALL

Oct. 18 -- Def. Grandview 25-15, 25-16, 25-11 in second round of Division III district tournament at New Albany

Last Thursday -- Played Jonathan Alder in district semifinal. The winner advanced to a district final last Saturday against top-seeded Marion Pleasant or ninth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek, with the winner of that advancing to a regional semifinal Thursday at Wilmington against Lees Creek East Clinton, Springfield Northeastern, Versailles or Brookville. The regional final is Saturday at Wilmington.

Of note: The Silver Knights were 16-7 before last Thursday.

*CCL contest