Eli Myers of the Big Walnut High School football team could hear the screams coming from his brother and knew it wasn't good.
Near the end of the first half in the Golden Eagles' 35-10 loss to visiting Olentangy Orange on Sept. 15, Abe Myers hit the ground after taking a handoff, coming down on his right foot.
"Somebody tackled me, and I got twisted up," said Abe, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior running back and linebacker who rushed for 51 yards on 18 carries against Orange. "It was the weirdest sensation I've ever had. It was pretty painful, but my adrenaline was going so fast. It was more weird than anything."
Eli, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior who plays linebacker, defensive end and H-back, rushed to his brother's side.
"I just turned around and he's one foot away from me, and I see his ankle backward," Eli said. "It hit me pretty hard, honestly. It really shook me up. I've never seen him injured from all the time I'm playing with him."
The diagnosis for the Golden Eagles' leading rusher, who has more than 450 yards on the season, was a broken right fibula, which will force him to miss the rest of the season. The injury leaves Eli on the field without his best friend and longtime motivator.
For much of their lives, the Myers brothers have played football together.
"It's a pretty unique situation with the two of them," said coach Joe Weaver, whose 0-5 team travels to 0-5 Newark on Friday, Sept. 29, for its OCC-Capital Division opener. "They compete with each other, but they are very close. Their passion for the game comes from each other. They feed off each other."
The Myers brothers have been doing so since their father, Barry, got them involved in flag football at a young age. Barry played football and competed in track and field for Miami University.
Over the years, the brothers' competitive nature has flourished. From video games to athletics, Abe and Eli, who were born 20 months apart, have tried to get the best of one another. Neither likes to lose, even at the dinner table.
"It's always who can eat more, and who can eat the fastest," Abe said. "We fight to see who cleans the plate first and see who can eat the most every night."
While the brothers didn't play together in middle school, they were reunited with the Golden Eagles last season, and the two hope to be teammates at the next level, often going on recruiting visits together.
Abe has scholarship offers from Kent State and Ohio University and is being recruited by Air Force. He also has talked with Ohio State about being a preferred walk-on next season.
While Eli has yet to receive any offers, he has visited or talked to coaches at Arizona State, Cincinnati, Louisville, Michigan State, Penn State and Purdue. He even has his own website -- eliasmyers.com -- to show off his abilities, including how to do a back tuck.
Through three games, Eli had 32 solo tackles, 28 assisted tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
"I'm trying to do as much as I can to expose myself and get my name out there," Eli said. "Coaches say they like that I've got a high motor and I'm intense. My favorite thing is making big hits and sticking people."
Abe said taking college visits together has helped boost their recruiting efforts.
"He knows how to push me and he knows how to get the best out of me and I know how to do the same for him," Eli said. "We've always been trying to make each other better."
For now, though, Abe will have to do that from the sideline.
with girls runners
Cross country coach Kevin Lewis has been impressed by the girls team's progress this season, including the Golden Eagles' performance in the Otterbein Invitational on Sept. 16.
Three Golden Eagles -- Colbi Borland (fourth, 19 minutes, 53.5 seconds), Leksi Murnieks (eighth, 21:04.3) and Hannah Wilson (10th, 21:22) -- finished in the top 10, and Ruthann Armbrust (20th, 22:23.4) and Alina Pecci (22nd, 22:32.8) were among the top 25 as Big Walnut placed third (64 points) of seven teams, behind Westerville Central (39) and Dublin Coffman (49).
"I think we're ahead of where I thought we'd be at this point," Lewis said. "They've really been pushing each other. Borland is out in front, but behind her the next six or seven girls are pretty closely packed. There's only a 40-second gap between (runners) two through eight."
Borland ran 18:46 in the McGowan Invitational on Sept. 9 at Watkins Memorial, eclipsing the school record she set last season by 13 seconds.
Big Walnut has been working toward the OCC-Capital meet Oct. 14 at Lancaster. Last season, the Golden Eagles finished third (52) in the league behind New Albany (40) and Canal Winchester (47).
"We're really trying to peak for the OCC meet," Lewis said. "We're getting better, but New Albany continues to get the better of us. They're going to be our competition. We've got another month to see what happens."
The boys team finished sixth (159) of nine teams in the Otterbein Invitational, behind champion Coffman (53).
Jacob Hutchinson finished 21st (18:15.1) to lead the Golden Eagles, followed by Kaleb Disbennett (22nd, 18:15.6), Will Hefner (30th, 18:28.9), Jacob Krous (41st, 18:43) and Leif Anderson (73rd, 19:29.5).
"We're waiting for somebody to crack the 18-minute mark," Lewis said. "It hasn't happened yet. The three seniors are closing in on it. I don't know if it's a mental barrier or what, but they're working hard."
Girls golfers place
fifth in league
The girls golf team finished fifth (5-15) in the four-round OCC-Ohio tournament, behind co-champions Pickerington North and Gahanna (both 18-2) as well as Grove City (11-9) and Pickerington Central (7-13) and ahead of Lancaster (1-19).
As a first-year program last season, the Golden Eagles finished seventh in the eight-team OCC-Cardinal tournament.
Junior Sydnie Wright led Big Walnut with a 96.25 league average this year. Sophomore Jenna Allen (98.67), juniors Mikayla Colvin (102.25) and Grace Hofer (108.33) and sophomore Emily Kuederle (125.25) also competed in at least three rounds of the league tournament.
Big Walnut will open the postseason Oct. 3 in a Division I sectional at Mentel Memorial, where the top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advance to district Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek.
Boys golfers place
fourth in Delaware Cup
The boys golf team shot a 347 in the Delaware County Cup on Sept. 18 at Delaware Golf Club to finish fourth behind Olentangy Liberty (301), Olentangy (309) and Orange (329) and ahead of Delaware (374) and Buckeye Valley (401).
Michael Ford, who earned OCC-Capital Player of the Year honors, carded a 79 to lead the Golden Eagles. Also scoring were Michael Ruark (81), Kenny Schneider (90) and Reno Overbaugh (97).
Big Walnut will open the postseason Oct. 3 in a Division I sectional at Clover Valley, where the top four teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team advance to district Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.
Below are the coming schedules for the Big Walnut cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 30 -- Panther Invitational at Pickerington North
Sept. 25 -- Reynoldsburg at Royal American
Sept. 27 -- Westerville North at Bent Tree
Sept. 28 -- New Albany at New Albany Country Club
*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Newark
*Sept. 26 -- At Newark
Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian
Sept. 26 -- At Worthington Christian
*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Canal Winchester. The Golden Eagles beat the Indians 25-18, 25-20, 25-23 on Sept. 5.
Sept. 30 -- At Hilliard Davidson