Fitting in with his new teammates on the Whetstone High School boys golf team has been easy for junior Spencer Ball.
It doesn't hurt that the Braves remain the class of the City League.
Heading into the second round of league action Sept. 11, Whetstone was 7-0 in the City as it looks to extend its run of league superiority after winning nine titles over the past 10 seasons.
Ball, who previously was a member of Watterson's program, transferred to Whetstone in the offseason.
"I like it a lot (at Whetstone)," Ball said. "There's not a lot of stress, and you can play your own game. (My performance has) been all over the place, but mostly putting has been my best (part of my game)."
On Sept. 6 at Raymond Memorial, Ball shot a 41 over nine holes to earn medalist honors as the Braves finished with a 206 to beat Walnut Ridge (231) and Centennial (252).
Ball was followed by Nairan Normand (53), Victor Waitkus (55), Jay Johnson (57), Brian Carnas (57) and Eli Krabill (61).
Because of first-round postponements, it was uncertain heading into the week where the matches would be held during the second round.
There are three additional league matches followed by the league tournament, which will be held Sept. 27 at Airport.
Ball, who mentioned his friendship with Waitkus as being among the reasons he enjoys being on the team, could end up battling with Walnut Ridge's Naomi Idehen for league medalist honors in the City tournament. Idehen, who shot a 50 while teammate Belina Khammountry carded a 47 on Sept. 6, was medalist of last year's event.
"People are positive (on our team)," coach Tom Philip said. "(Ball) is by far the most consistent player we have."
Girls tennis team slowly making strides
Because of postponements, the girls tennis team went two weeks without competing before returning to action Sept. 6.
The down time was disappointing for coach Bucky Walters, whose lineup features several new players.
Still, he has pleased with the improvement of his players.
"(I've been) very impressed, especially with all the newness and inexperience they came into the summer program with," Walters said.
Whetstone was 2-3 overall before facing Thomas Worthington on Sept. 10 and opened City League-North Division play Sept. 11 against Eastmoor Academy and faced Centennial in a league match Sept. 12. It returns to City action Wednesday, Sept. 19, at home against Mifflin.
The Braves opened Aug. 15 with a 5-0 loss to DeSales, beat Franklin Heights 5-0 on Aug. 20, lost to Hilliard Davidson 4-1 on Aug. 22, defeated Ready 4-1 on Aug. 23 and lost to Hartley 3-2 on Sept. 6.
Against Hartley, freshman Alysia Swinehart and junior Anita Tamang won at second and third singles, respectively.
Freshman Stella Thompson lost to Hartley's Gia Green 7-5, 6-4 at first singles. Also coming up just short were junior Emma McAdams and sophomore Maizy Pratt at first doubles (4-6, 6-0, 6-2) and junior Sally Brackville and sophomore Melia Loar at second doubles (6-4, 6-4).
Football team looks to again beat Tigers
The football team will look to add to an 11-game winning streak against East when it visits Harley Field on Friday, Sept. 14, to face the Tigers in the City-North opener for both teams.
East improved to 1-2 with a 40-6 victory over West on Sept. 7, a performance that represented its most points since a 44-26 win over Centennial in Week 7 of the 2015 season.
The Tigers went 5-5 in 2012 but followed with a 2-8 finish in 2013 and finished 1-9 each of the past four seasons.
Wes Edwards, a former assistant at Brookhaven and Beechcroft, is in his second season as East's coach and appears to have the program heading in the right direction considering the Tigers scored in double figures in each of their final five games last season in addition to the victory over West.
East's only win last fall came against Linden-McKinley, 14-2 in Week 10.
Whetstone lost to Whitehall 26-7 on Sept. 7 to fall to 0-3, but it did produce its first offensive touchdown of the season when Rashaun Broomfield scored on a 22-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, the Braves held 2017 Division II playoff qualifier Whitehall to 230 total yards.
The player who Whetstone must have on its radar when it plays against East is Deo-Samuel Pierre, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior who sees time at several positions, including running back and linebacker. He rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns and also had two two-point conversion runs against West.
Below are the coming schedules for the Whetstone cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 15 -- Central Ohio Invitational at Three Creeks Metro Park
Sept. 19 -- Arrowhead Invitational at home
*Sept. 13 -- City League match at TBA
*Sept. 18 -- City League match at TBA
*Sept. 13 -- At East
*Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Beechcroft
*Sept. 13 -- Home vs. West
Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Tree of Life
Sept. 15 -- Grandview Invitational
Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Grandview
*Sept. 19 -- At Mifflin
*Sept. 13 -- Home vs. Northland
*Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Mifflin
Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Whitehall