Days after undergoing shoulder surgery, Columbus Academy senior Herman Moultrie was back with the boys basketball team, offering support as the Vikings continued their pursuit of an MSL-Ohio Division title.
That came as no surprise to his coaches, as Moultrie is regarded as one of the top student-athletes in the school.
"He's a man of the people," football coach Robin Miller said. "I don't think he has an enemy on this earth. Everyone just loves him. He's friends with everyone. He could move from table to table in the dining hall and get along with everyone, ninth through 12th grade, and it's fun to be a part of his role here."
Moultrie excelled in football and basketball, with football emerging as his top sport. He'll play college football at Georgetown.
"It's always been my dream to play football at the next level in college," said Moultrie, who also considered Cornell and Bucknell and participated in Academy's collegiate signing ceremony Feb. 6. "This is like a moment you worked for. When you're a kid this is a moment you dream of, putting on that hat and deciding where you're going to. It's a testament to hard work paying off."
Despite undergoing surgeries on both shoulders, along with surgery on his left foot, Moultrie never missed a football game in his four seasons at Academy.
Moultrie had right-shoulder surgery Jan. 25, ending his basketball career. He was a key reserve for the Vikings this season.
Doctors have indicated he should be able to begin training in July for his freshman season at Georgetown.
He hopes to close his prep career by possibly competing in track and field in the spring if he is able to get medical clearance.
Moultrie missed the basketball season as a junior with a left-shoulder injury suffered during football season. He also missed most of the 2015-16 basketball season after undergoing foot surgery.
Despite playing with an injured right shoulder for most of last football season, Moultrie helped lead the Vikings to a Division V, Region 19 semifinal and a 9-3 finish.
He rushed for 1,194 yards and 14 touchdowns on 214 carries and had 34 receptions for 428 yards and four scores. He was named first-team all-district and all-league and third-team all-state.
"The shoulder was bothering me a lot during football season, but I played through it," he said. "I got it checked out after the football season. I didn't think it was as bad as it ended up being, but it ended up being worst in the (right) shoulder, so I had to make a decision about the surgery. It was wear and tear mostly."
The Vikings earned their first postseason win in 11 years and enjoyed their best season since 2003, when they won the Division V state title and finished 13-2.
Continuing his football career in college is "a storybook part of the process for (Moultrie)," Miller said. "It's incredible what he's done, taking advantage of the opportunities that he's been given. He leveraged everything in terms of Academy and the academics here and worked his tail off. The doors that opened for him academic-wise are just off the charts, so we're excited for him."
As a junior, Moultrie helped guide the football team to a Division V, Region 18 playoff berth and an 8-3 finish.
A standout running back and defensive back, he rushed for 938 yards and 13 touchdowns on 139 carries and was first-team all-district and all-league and special mention all-state.
As a sophomore, Moultrie rushed for 611 yards and nine touchdowns on 125 carries and was second-team all-league and special mention all-district.
"He's dedicated for sure. It's in his blood," Miller said. "He's been a crucial part of our program. We're going to miss him."
"I like the way that he carries himself and I like the way that he conducts himself with his teammates," basketball coach Jeff Warstler said.
"The athletic part is obvious. What he's been able to accomplish has been fantastic and then you take that and take the kind of kid he truly is, that's where I'm even more impressed."
Moultrie has been able to compete the past three years with his brother, Dorrian, a junior standout on the basketball court and football field.
Their freshman brother, Durell, also plays football and basketball.
"It's been really nice," Herman said. "We use sports as a bonding thing. We spent so much time together. We've gotten to know each other really well. Sports helps that bond, and you bring in Durell this past year. It doesn't happen too often to be able to have three brothers on the same team. It was real cool. I really enjoyed it. That's something I'm going to miss."
Boys basketball team snaps losing skid
The boys basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 63-32 win at Northridge on Feb. 12. Carter Warstler and Dalyn DeCree each scored 10 points.
The Vikings, who were 16-3 overall before playing Watkins Memorial on Feb. 13, are 6-3 in the MSL-Ohio and close league play Friday, Feb. 16, at Whitehall.
Whitehall and Grandview are tied for first at 7-2.
Academy lost to Grandview 55-46 on Feb. 9 as Dorrian Moultrie scored 16 points. The Vikings led 24-16 at halftime, but were outscored 22-8 in the third quarter.
Academy is seeded sixth of 25 teams for the Division III district tournament and plays host to 16th-seeded North Union in the first round Feb. 26.
Girls basketball team wins third in a row
The girls basketball team is closing the regular season on a positive note as it prepares for the Division III district tournament.
The Vikings defeated Whitehall 39-27 on Feb. 9 for their third consecutive win. Lexis Hughes led Academy with 10 points.
Hughes scored 18 points and Shelemiah Crockett added 14 in a 57-44 win over Horizon Science on Feb. 8, and Hughes had eight points in a 40-29 win over Columbus School for Girls on Feb. 6.
Academy is 9-11 overall and 2-7 in the MSL-Ohio.
Swimmers preparing for district meet
The boys and girls swimming teams will be looking to extend their seasons when they compete in the Division II district meet Friday, Feb. 16, at Ohio University.
The top two placers in each event automatically advance to the state meet Feb. 22 and 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each event based on district times statewide.
Divers Esther Lawrence and Jordan Skilken competed in the district meet Feb. 13 at Dublin Recreation Center. The top two girls finishers advanced to state Wednesday, Feb. 21.
The Vikings opened the postseason with strong performances in a home sectional meet Feb. 10.
For the boys, winners were Jacob Eismann in the 100-yard freestyle (49.35 seconds) and 100 backstroke (51.57), Eric DeVore in the 50 free (23.31), Mike DeAscentis in the 200 free (1:48.78) and Max Dreisbach in the 100 butterfly (54.3).
Academy swept the three relays, as Dreisbach, DeAscentis, Eismann and Jack Campbell won the 200 medley relay (1:42.06), DeVore, Jacob Beck, Ethan Nankervis and James Cao won the 200 free relay (1:33.96) and DeAscentis, Campbell, Dreisbach and Eismann won the 400 free relay (pool-record 3:15.57).
The Vikings finished first (326 points) of 18 teams, ahead of runner-up Granville (162).
For the girls, winners were Samantha Kass in the 100 free (54.54) and Kass, Sarah Cabre, Annalise Grammel and Jane Li in the 400 free relay (3:41.01).
Academy was third (203.5) of 18 teams behind champion Hartley (227.66).
At sectional, the winner of each event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectionals advanced to district.
Athletes announce college decisions
Along with Herman Moultrie, 11 other student-athletes announced their college decisions Feb. 6.
Kelley Marie Antoine will play field hockey at Wittenberg, Maddie DeAscentis will play field hockey at DePauw, Khloe Dubenion will compete in women's track and field at Ohio Wesleyan, Davis Friedman will play baseball and football at Rochester, Alyssa Kim will play women's golf at Washington University in St. Louis, Lawrence will compete in women's diving at Harvard, Clare Neltner will play women's soccer at Wittenberg, Olivia Ryan will play field hockey at Babson, Angus Soderberg will play men's soccer at Kenyon, Sam Vogel will play men's golf at Hamilton and Nick Watson will compete in men's cross country and track at Washington and Lee.
Below are the coming schedules for the Columbus Academy boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 16 -- At Whitehall. The Vikings lost to the Rams 55-48 on Feb. 5.
Feb. 20 -- At Northside Christian
*Feb. 15 -- At London. The Vikings lost to the Red Raiders 51-3 on Dec. 2.
Feb. 21 -- At 16th-seeded Mount Gilead in first round of Division III district tournament. Winner plays 17th-seeded Johnstown in second round Feb. 24 at home of better seed. The Vikings are seeded 18th of 24 teams.
Feb. 16 -- Division II boys sectional at HP Lanes. The top 12 teams and top 12 individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
Feb. 17 -- Division II girls sectional at HP Lanes. The top 12 teams and top 12 individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
Feb. 17 -- Pepper Pike Orange Tournament
*League contestAt a glance
Below are the district qualifiers with sectional time and district seeds for the Columbus Academy boys and girls swimming teams:
BOYS -- David Barren: 100 breast (1:10.13, 19th); Jacob Beck: 200 IM (2:22.07, 14th), 100 free (54.29, 18th); Zac Beck: 200 IM (2:34.56, 28th); Jack Campbell: 100 fly (54.64, fourth), 100 back (54.83, second); James Cao: 200 free (1:56.42, seventh), 500 free (5:18.42, fifth); Mike DeAscentis: 200 free (1:48.78, second), 500 free (5:00.64, second); Eric DeVore: 50 free (23.31, fifth), 100 free (51.84, seventh); Max Dreisbach: 200 free (1:48.93, third), 100 fly (54.3, third); Jacob Eismann: 100 free (49.35, third), 100 back (51.57, first); Christopher Heermann: 200 free (2:02.83, 17th), 500 free (5:51.71, 15th); Ethan Nankervis: 50 free (23.84, 10th), 100 free (54.1, 15th); Luke Tiberi: 100 breast (1:08.91, 13th); 200 free relay (1:33.96, second); 200 medley relay (1:42.06, first); 400 free relay (3:15.57, first)
GIRLS -- Sarah Cabre: 200 free (2:00.68, fifth), 100 fly (1:00.38, sixth); Sarah Edwards: 50 free (26.24, 15th), 100 back (1:09.7, 23rd); Annalise Grammel: 200 IM (2:22.46, seventh), 100 breast (1:13.07, 10th); Whitney Hannallah: 100 fly (1:02.07, 11th), 100 breast (1:11.06, fourth); Inji Kang: 100 fly (1:10.48, 29th), 100 back (1:05.74, 13th); Samantha Kass: 50 free (25.15, third), 100 free (54.54, first); Jane Li: 100 fly (1:00.74, seventh), 100 back (1:05.25, 12th); Callista Popp: 50 free (26.48, 22nd), 100 free (58.31, 17th); Rachel Raque: 100 free (59.48, 23rd), 100 breast (1:14.01, 14th); Taylor Warren: 100 free (59.53, 24th), 100 back (1:06.58, 16th); Abby Yakam: 50 free (26.91, 28th), 100 breast (1:09.25, third); 200 free relay (1:45.29, fifth); 200 medley relay (1:53.47, third); 400 free relay (3:41.01, first)