Micah Fliegel heard three cracks and thought his 2015 season was over.

Micah Fliegel heard three cracks and thought his 2015 season was over.

Last August, the running back for the Bexley High School football team was making a cut during a scrimmage when his foot stayed put in the turf.

"It was the second or third play of the scrimmage and when I made a cut, my (foot) stayed in the ground," Fliegel said. "I heard three cracks and said to myself, 'Please don't be broken.' I started to get up, but the trainer said just to stay there. I thought I was done."

Fliegel missed nearly four weeks with a right high-ankle sprain before returning to play Centennial in week 3 of his junior season. One year later, he will take the field for a road game Friday, Sept. 9, against the Stars.

Last year, Fliegel rushed for touchdowns of 2 and 19 yards in limited play during a 49-0 win over Centennial.

"I was in a boot for a while and even wore it in school for (Centennial) week and I took it off to practice," said Fliegel, who finished last season with 727 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on 99 carries. "I was always nervous in that game about making cuts. I was just slowing down instead of cutting.

"I hadn't had contact in a few weeks, so that was a concern. When we played (Columbus) Academy (in week 9 that) was when I felt totally comfortable. It took awhile."

Fliegel started this season strongly, rushing for 208 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in a 41-20 win over Harvest Prep on Aug. 26. The Lions played Bloom-Carroll on Sept. 2.

"Our line has been together for a couple of years and they do a great job," Fliegel said. "They know how to work together and what they need to do. I know they will open up holes for us in the backfield."

As a sophomore, Fliegel stepped into the starting lineup when 2015 graduate Corbin Thompson was injured in the fifth week during a 9-0 loss to Whitehall in an MSL-Ohio Division game. He went on to earn honorable mention all-district and all-league honors, rushing for 765 yards and seven touchdowns on 78 carries.

"I can remember as a freshman (when he was on the junior varsity), Micah was playing against West Jefferson, which always is a hard-nosed, hard-hitting football team," said coach John Smith, who is in his 10th season. "He was a freshman starting at tailback, going up against sophomores and juniors. The way he played really opened our eyes.

"Micah's a pretty complete player. He plays with a lot of heart and is as good of a blocking back as we have had come through here. He runs well inside the tackles and runs hard."

Fliegel might not look the part of a bruiser, but he plays the role well. Despite being only 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds, he packs a punch against opposing defenses.

"I think Micah's sometimes hard to see out there," Smith said. "He runs low, he squares his shoulders then he makes his cut and goes."

Fliegel loves the game and the camaraderie with his teammates, but doesn't expect to play at the next level. He has a 3.3 GPA and wants to major in business.

"I'm not really into playing college football," he said. "I don't think my body could take it, but I'm going to have fun with it now.

"I really love the chemistry on the team and all of the things we do outside football ... like coming home from games and going to Steak 'n Shake, things like that. It's all about the team and being there for each other."

Boys golf team looks to shift to next gear

The boys golf team is looking for consistency from its Nos. 4 and 5 players.

Coach Jimmy Ryan said such an adjustment would be the difference between the Lions being a good team and an elite team.

"Our top three are playing really well, but we're struggling for consistency from our fourth and fifth golfers, although a couple of younger guys, Bo Collier and Aaron Meyer, are coming along pretty well," Ryan said. "We still have a month to go to put things together."

Bexley shot 308 to finish first, ahead of Academy (310), in the MSL-Ohio midseason tournament Aug. 27 at Turnberry. The Lions' Trevor Binau was medalist with a 71, followed by Josh Meyer (76), Zander Kauffman (80) and Will Hoyer (81).

Through two rounds, Bexley and Academy are tied atop the standings at 9-1.

The MSL-Ohio postseason tournament is Sept. 20 at Denison Golf Club at Granville.

"The only team to have beaten us this year is Academy, and we were able to avenge that," said Ryan, whose team finished behind the Vikings 298-316 in the MSL-Ohio preseason tournament Aug. 8 at Darby Creek. "We have a month before we have to settle on our fourth and fifth for sectional."

The Lions were the host team Sept. 3 for the Bob Darwin Memorial Invitational at Westchester, formerly the Bexley Invitational.

"We changed the name to honor one of (our) biggest supporters," Ryan said. "Bob was there when we won the (Division II) state title last fall and then he passed away two weeks later. We wanted to memorialize someone who meant so much to our program."

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

Schedules

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

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 10 -- McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial

FIELD HOCKEY

*Sept. 12 -- At New Albany

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 8 -- Hartley at Westchester

Sept. 10 -- Worthington Christian Invitational at Turnberry

Sept. 13 -- Grandview at Westchester

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 8 -- Logan Elm at Cooks Creek

Sept. 13 -- Liberty Union at Pleasant Valley

Sept. 14 -- Grandview at Blacklick Woods

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 10 -- At Zanesville Rosecrans

*Sept. 13 -- At Grove City Christian

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 10 -- At Johnstown

Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Fairfield Union

GIRLS TENNIS

*Sept. 8 -- Home vs. Grandview

*Sept. 13 -- At Columbus Academy

Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Gahanna

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 8 -- Home vs. West Jefferson

Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Westerville North

*Sept. 13 -- At Worthington Christian

*League contest