When Caitlyn, Cassie and Josh Tasney decided to take up golf as young children, it seemed like a natural fit.

Their father, Bob, golfed for 17-time Division I state champion Upper Arlington in the late 1970s and early 1980s and walked on at Ohio State. He also has been a professional at The Lakes Golf and Country Club at Westerville.

Because of that, Bob made sure of one thing if his children were going to play the game, however casually.

"We asked to hit golf balls one day, and he said if we were going to hit balls, we were going to do it the right way," Caitlyn said. "He really got us into it."

At least this year, the Tasneys can stake a claim as the first family of golf in Pickerington.

Josh, a senior, is in his second season as No. 1 golfer for the Pickerington High School North boys team, while Caitlyn, a senior, and Cassie, a freshman, hold the top two spots, respectively, for the girls team.

Josh is averaging 74 per 18 holes, ahead of Caitlyn (78) and Cassie (80).

"We're always out there fighting each other on the course," said Josh, who clinched OCC-Ohio Division Player of the Year honors last week by averaging 75.25 for the four rounds of the league tournament. "We don't play as often as you might think because of our (teams') schedules and the matches we have, but when we do, it's really competitive. That in itself makes you better."

The Tasneys helped keep their teams at or near the top of their respective leagues.

The girls team tied Gahanna for the OCC-Ohio championship, shooting a 344 in the final round of the league tournament Sept. 12 at Mentel Memorial to finish behind the Lions (336) and ahead of Grove City (392), Big Walnut (397), Lancaster (397) and Pickerington Central (405). North and Gahanna each went 18-2 in the league, ahead of Grove City (11-9), Central (7-13), Big Walnut (5-15) and Lancaster (1-19).

Caitlyn (80.25) and Cassie (81.25) had the Panthers' top two averages in league play.

Gahanna ended the boys team's 12-year league championship streak Sept. 13 at Turnberry. The Panthers shot 325 to finish second to the Lions (313) and ahead of Central (326), Grove City (338), Lancaster (358) and Reynoldsburg (363).

North finished second in the league at 14-6, behind Gahanna (17-3) and ahead of Grove City (13-7), Central (12-8), Lancaster (4-16) and Reynoldsburg (0-20).

Josh was the No. 2 player at Reynoldsburg as a freshman, then No. 3 at North as a sophomore. He was 5-foot-3, 110 pounds as a freshman but now stands 6-0, 140.

Caitlyn was the No. 5 player on the Raiders' boys team as a freshman and has fended off challenges from her younger sister for the top spot with the Panthers this season, much to Cassie's chagrin.

"She is a pit bull," Caitlyn said. "She gets very serious out there. She told me before tryouts, 'Caitlyn, I'm going to take your No. 1 spot.' I told her, 'In your dreams.' "

Cassie acknowledges she will have to wait until next year to take over the top spot.

"I've beaten my sister, so I know I can be in that No. 1 spot. I think I can handle it," she said.

That does not surprise girls coach Kitty McGrievy, who was a witness two years ago as Cassie made a hole-in-one at Turnberry.

"She has no fear. That's what happens with younger siblings," McGrievy said. "I have watched this teaching for 40 years. The first kid is kind of tentative, the second one has a little more in the way of nerve and then the third and fourth ones have it all figured out. I think that's where Cassie will be."

More Tasneys are on the way, as Cayla is 11, Jacob is 9 and Jonah is 7.

Although Josh and Caitlyn are in the same grade, Josh is a year-and-a-half older than Caitlyn and was held back in the first grade.

Josh said driving is his strength, while Caitlyn and Cassie pointed to their irons and short game.

"He's a lot longer this year and he's trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together," boys coach Steve Schill said. "He's a lot longer, but he is taking more risks this year. That is an advantage he has and I want him to use that. He is very competitive and wants to be 'the man.' "

The Tasneys wouldn't have it any other way.

"We're a very, very competitive family," Caitlyn said. "We expect ourselves to be at that top level."

Boys runners
continue strong start

The state-ranked boys cross country team continued a strong start to the season Sept. 16, when it finished fourth in the Division I race of the Galion Cross Country Festival at Amann's Reservoir Park.

Ashwin Briggs placed fifth (15 minutes, 55.3 seconds) to lead North, which scored 197 points to finish behind champion Strongsville (138) in the 37-team meet. Also scoring for the Panthers were Matt Duvall (sixth, 15:59.9), Harper Moore (ninth, 16:05.9), Nate Rini (87th, 17:32.9) and Jake Prestileo (90th, 17:35.2).

Briggs has finished in the top five in each of his four races this season, and North has placed three runners in the top 10 at three consecutive events.

The Panthers were ranked eighth in Division I in the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches state poll released Sept. 13.

The girls team competed Sept. 16 in the 19-team Cedarville Invitational, finishing 11th (316) behind champion Springboro (29).

Scoring for the Panthers were Skylar Briggs (41st, 21:09.7), Brianna Bowden (76th, 21:59.1), Claire Touvell (102nd, 22:35.5), Audrey Monge (105th, 22:37.2) and Annabel Malone (106th, 22:37.3).

Boys soccer team
racking up wins

The boys soccer team tried to continue its recent hot streak when it played host to Gahanna on Sept. 19.

North won two games last week, 5-0 at Central on Sept. 12 and 2-0 over Davidson on Sept. 14 and was 5-3 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Gahanna.

North now leads the all-time series with Central 8-2-2.

The Panthers had not allowed a goal in any of their wins before Sept. 19. They also shut out Licking Heights 9-0 on Aug. 18, Worthington Kilbourne 3-0 on Aug. 22 and Westerville North 8-0 on Aug. 31.

Will Harr had a team-high 11 goals entering the week. River Allbaugh had six and Noah Kenyon and Brennan Nincehelser had three each.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the North cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 23 -- Tiger Invitational at Pickerington Central

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 23 -- Upper Arlington Masters Invitational at Scioto Country Club

Sept. 25 -- Canton Central Catholic/Akron Hoban Invitational at Brookside Country Club

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 23 -- Marysville Invitational at Darby Creek

Sept. 25 -- Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty and Watterson at Turnberry

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 21 -- At Westerville South

*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Lancaster

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 21 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

*Sept. 26 -- At Lancaster

GIRLS TENNIS

Sept. 23 -- At Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame

Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Olentangy Orange

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Sept. 21 -- Home vs. Mount Vernon

*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Pickerington Central. The Panthers defeated the Tigers 22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-22 on Sept. 5.

*League contest