Boys team 'anxious' to play Grove City
The opportunity to advance to the next round of the postseason won't be the only thing on the line when the Westland High School boys soccer team faces Grove City in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
Bragging rights also will be at stake when the South-Western City Schools teams meet Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Grove City.
"This is for the championship of the (school) district," coach Dan Heckler said. "We'd like to play them every year. They're right next door, they're a good team and the guys know each other."
Westland is seeded 34th in the Central District and was 6-5-4 overall before playing Tree of Life on Oct. 11. Grove City is seeded 23rd and was 5-5-5 before playing Lancaster on Oct. 11.
The winner will play at 12th-seeded Westerville South in the second round Saturday, Oct. 20. The second-round winner advances to a district semifinal Oct. 24 against sixth-seeded Olentangy Orange or Franklin Heights, another SWCS team.
Westland and Grove City played Sept. 6, but the game was stopped in the second half because of lightning with the score tied at 0.
"Both teams are real anxious to play this game," Heckler said.
The Cougars are looking for their third win against a SWCS opponent this season, as they defeated Franklin Heights 3-1 on Sept. 22 and beat Central Crossing 3-0 on Oct. 9. The win over Central Crossing was the Cougars' lone victory in OCC-Central Division play, as they finished 1-5-1 in the league.
Westland, which tied Hilliard Davidson at 0 on Sept. 11, finished seventh in the OCC-Central behind Olentangy Liberty (6-1), Dublin Coffman (5-2), Thomas Worthington (4-1-2), Davidson (3-2-2), Marysville (3-2-2) and Upper Arlington (2-4-1) and ahead of Central Crossing (0-7).
Liberty, which fell to 13-1 overall with a 2-1 loss to Thomas on Oct. 9, was first in the state poll last week and is the top seed in the district tournament.
Against Central Crossing, Eric Quiroz, Jack Fischer and Dylan Hernandez scored and goalkeeper Shawn Draper had four saves.
Through 15 games, Quiroz had a team-high six goals, followed by Fischer with five and Bachir Bah and Ibrahima Diallo each with four. Draper had 95 saves.
"There's always a couple things to work on, sharpen the game up, but we're ready (for the district tournament)," Heckler said.
Girls soccer team prepares for Kilbourne
Girls soccer coach Pat Ellis is hoping his team gets some valuable postseason experience when it faces host Worthington Kilbourne in the second round in the Division I district tournament Thursday, Oct. 18.
Both teams have a first-round bye.
Westland is seeded 33rd and was 2-9-2 overall before playing Ready on Oct. 13, and Kilbourne is seeded eighth.
The winner plays 10th-seeded Liberty, Canal Winchester or Delaware in a district semifinal Oct. 23.
"Kilbourne is going to be a challenging team," Ellis said. "They have a good squad. We just want to go in there and be as competitive as we can and try and make some things happen and, who knows, maybe we will be able to pull something off."
The Cougars and Wolves last meet a year ago as members of the OCC-Central, with Kilbourne winning 15-1. As part of OCC realignment, the Wolves moved to the OCC-Cardinal this season.
Westland ended OCC-Central play Oct. 9 by tying Central Crossing at 5. The Cougars went 0-6-1 in the league to tie Central Crossing for seventh behind Coffman (6-0-1), Davidson (6-1), Liberty (5-2), Thomas (3-3-1), Marysville (2-2-3) and Upper Arlington (2-4-1).
Keila Herrera had three goals against Central Crossing and Juliann Cooper and Camryn Moreno each scored one. Herrera had a team-high 12 goals through 13 games.
"It was a competitive game," Ellis said of the contest against the Comets. "We had to deal with some injuries, so we had to shuffle people around."
Football team getting ready for Golden Bears
Football coach Steve White is hoping his team can close the season on a positive note.
Westland travels to Upper Arlington on Friday, Oct. 19, before playing host to Central Crossing on Oct. 26. Both are OCC-Central games.
The Cougars were 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Central before playing Coffman on Oct. 12.
UA, which defeated the Cougars 63-7 last season, was 3-4 and 2-2 before playing Marysville on Oct. 12.
The Golden Bears lead the series 19-1, with Westland's lone win being 19-7 in 1990.
"They are one of the traditional powers," White said of UA. "Their kids expect to win no matter what they're doing and, because of that, they're always going to be difficult. They haven't had as much success this year, but we still have to play a really great game, no turnovers, and we need to get a big play."
Westland lost to Olentangy Liberty 63-7 in a league contest Oct. 5. The Cougars trailed 28-0 in the second quarter when Myles Fowler scored on a 90-yard kickoff return for their only score.
"They got on us fast and they have some good skilled guys," White said of Liberty, which outgained the Cougars in total yards 383-263. "They just hit us on big plays."
Quarterback Jalen Brown rushed for 128 yards on 22 carries against Liberty. Through seven games, he had rushed for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns on 176 carries and had completed 55 of 132 passes for 770 yards and seven touchdowns.
Tennis team ends season at sectional
The girls tennis team ended its season in the Division I sectional tournament held Oct. 4 and 6 at Davidson, as Cougars had no district qualifiers.
Juniors Karen Olguin and Cassidy Dyer each went 1-1 in singles and the doubles team of juniors Sierra Trimmer and Mackenzie Smith went 1-1. Going 0-1 were junior Jenna Neff in singles and the doubles team of sophomore Madison Qualls and freshman Brittany Wolford.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district Oct. 12 and 13 at Davidson.
Westland finished 2-11 overall, with its victories coming against Teays Valley (3-2 on Sept. 10) and Franklin Heights (5-0 on Sept. 17), and went 0-7 in the OCC-Central. The Cougars finished eighth in the final league standings with four points, behind UA (80, 7-0), Liberty (61, 6-1), Coffman (61, 5-2), Davidson (45, 4-3), Thomas (31, 3-4), Marysville (23, 2-5) and Central Crossing (8, 1-6).
Westland had finished 0-11 overall in 2011.
"All of the girls can return next year if they choose to since there were no seniors again this year," coach Shaela Hinckley said. "We had (two) wins this season, an improvement from last season, and I am very proud of the work the players have put into this season."