Caleb Davern is rested, refreshed and ready to begin his quest for a Division I state championship.
That has been Davern's goal since he started playing with the Central Crossing High School boys golf team as a freshman. Now, as a senior, he wants to make the most of his final chance and win medalist honors at the state tournament.
Before he can do that, Davern has to get through the sectional and district levels. That begins Tuesday, Oct. 2, with a sectional at Denison Golf Club, where the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 9 at Apple Valley.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on those teams advance to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
"I had a busy summer schedule traveling, and I knew I would miss the first (round of the) OCC(-Central Division tournament), so I focused on getting some rest for the long run," said Davern, an Ohio State recruit. "My whole goal is to peak at sectional, district and state, and I didn't want to burn myself out before that. I'd say I was a little burned out my sophomore year."
That was the only season Davern did not reach state. Last fall, he finished fourth with a two-round total of 148, four strokes behind medalist Maxwell Modolvan of Uniontown Green.
As a sophomore, he shot a 79 at district to tie for 28th. At state as a freshman, Davern tied for fifth (152) as the Comets' first state qualifier.
"Caleb really wants it," coach Justin Prati said. "He wants it pretty bad and knows it's his last chance. He's putting in the time and effort to prep for it. He'll be ready to rock and roll."
Davern was the OCC-Central Player of the Year the previous two seasons. This year, however, he was only eligible for honorable mention all-league honors after missing the first round Aug. 6 at Turnberry to play in an American Junior Golf Association tournament.
He averaged 74.33 in three league rounds, including being the medalist with a 71 in the final round Sept. 12 at Darby Creek. He shot 76 in both the second round Aug. 13 at Denison Golf Club and the third round Aug. 29 at Apple Valley.
"I think (Denison Golf Club) is the toughest of the three options for sectional for him," Prati said. "It definitely will test him and (prepare him) for district."
Davern said he started slow in the league event at Denison Golf Club and wasn't able to rebound the way he would have liked.
"I only played there once this year, but I didn't have a good warm up," he said. "I was 7-over (par) after three (holes) and finished with a 76.
"One thing that I like about (Denison Golf Club) is that it's pretty short so you can pretty much go driver-wedge most of the way. The course is pretty much in front of you."
Davern expects to make a couple of pre-district trips to play at Apple Valley, which is northeast of Mount Vernon.
"I was 3-under after five (holes in the OCC-Central event) at Apple Valley and shot 76," he said. "I will go up there a few times before I play up there in district. Ball-striking is the key there. Putting and chipping are not really as hard."
Davern said he's playing well heading into sectional.
"I'm definitely playing a lot better than my scores have shown," he said. "I'm doing better at ball-striking and my chipping and putting are better than they have been before."
Fry leads boys runners
Michael Fry led the boys cross country team in the Celtic Showdown on Sept. 22 at Dublin Jerome, finishing 35th (17 minutes, 43.5 seconds) as the Comets were ninth (223 points) of 11 teams behind champion Jonathan Alder (53).
Avery Wright (47th, 18:07.5), Dominic Manson (53rd, 18:11.9), Joey Taylor (62nd, 18:32.8) and Noah Reardon (63rd, 18:34.8) also competed.
The girls team was eighth (212) of eight teams in the open race behind champion Jerome (30). Rachel Sinyuk (27th, 26:42.8) led the Comets, followed by Mallory Lalonde (66th, 25:15.3) and Emma Thompson (86th, 25:15.3).
Girls soccer team aims for first league win
The girls soccer team was 4-4-1 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Central before playing Hilliard Davidson on Sept. 25.
In league play, the Comets lost to Upper Arlington 3-0 on Sept. 13 and Marysville 1-0 on Sept. 20.
Emma Malkowski had three goals and an assist and Maddie Ross had two goals and three assists as Central Crossing defeated Groveport 11-0 on Sept. 18. Hallie added one goal and three assists, and goalkeeper Brittany Hanson had three saves.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 29 -- Pickerington North Panther Invitational
Sept. 27 -- At Grandview
Sept. 29 -- At Whetstone
*Oct. 2 -- At Dublin Coffman
Sept. 29 -- Home vs. Logan Elm
*Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Coffman
Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby
*Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Westland
*Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington. The Comets lost to the Golden Bears 25-14, 25-15, 25-11 on Sept. 11.
Sept. 29 -- Home vs. Marion Harding
*Oct. 2 -- At Marysville. The Comets defeated the Monarchs 25-20, 25-20, 25-22 on Sept. 11.