During her team's 12-1 victory over Newark on Sept. 8, Gahanna Lincoln High School girls soccer coach Natasha Churches saw what she called a "collegiate goal."

During her team's 12-1 victory over Newark on Sept. 8, Gahanna Lincoln High School girls soccer coach Natasha Churches saw what she called a "collegiate goal."

The play occurred when senior forward/midfielder Remi Eades took a pass off her head and banged it into the right corner of the net.

That sort of precision hasn't been unusual the last two seasons for Eades, who has developed into one of central Ohio's top scorers.

"She's just skilled beyond her age," Churches said. "It's literally God-given ability the way she moves the ball. She's very determined and extremely competitive, one of the most competitive players I've ever had."

Eades has been a key player since her freshman season for the Lions but blossomed into a go-to player last season, scoring 23 goals.

Her development has coincided with the improvement of Gahanna's program: After winning six and five games, respectively, during her first two seasons, the Lions went 14-3-1 a year ago.

Eades had eight goals through the first three games this season, including all of her team's goals in a 3-2 win over Watkins Memorial on Sept. 5. Her final goal of that game came on a penalty shot.

The Lions played Westerville Central to a scoreless tie on Sept. 10, tied Upper Arlington at 1 on Sept. 12 and are 3-0-2 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division. They continue league play Thursday, Sept. 17, at Reynoldsburg and Tuesday, Sept. 22, at home against Lancaster.

"We've started off pretty strong," Eades said. "I think we're going to be (better or) at least equal to last year. We're excited.

"We've had our ups and downs the last few years, but we've picked it up the last two years."

Eades, who has committed to Ohio University, is part of a senior class that also includes defender Megan Hersey and midfielder Teagan Pfister. Pfister scored against UA.

Around them, a junior class led by Morgan Marquez (defender) and Alison Smitley (midfielder) and a group of sophomores that includes Mia Dragich (midfielder), Allison Groves (defender), Madison Hansen (defender) and Molly Rose (midfielder) have the Lions feeling optimistic that their strong start will continue.

"We all play well off each other," Eades said. "Our back line is going to have a tremendous part of us winning, and Mia and Molly are extremely talented in the midfield."

Football team set for league opener

The football team enters the OCC-Ohio schedule believing it has been challenged.

Before beating Brantford (Ontario) St. John's 50-0 on Sept. 11, the Lions played a pair of teams in Westerville Central and Westerville South with Division I recruits playing key roles on offense.

Although the Lions returned seniors Jonathon Cooper (DL), Jake Chobany (DB) and Nathaniel Russell (DB) as well as junior Cael Baker (LB) on defense, seniors Jeremiah Campbell (DL), Derek Marcum (LB) and Austin Torr (DL) and junior Terone Gordon (DB) are taking on key roles for the first time.

Russell had eight tackles in a 28-21 overtime loss to Central on Aug. 28 but didn't play in a 20-13 win over South on Sept. 4 because of an injury. Junior Braden Barker, a newcomer to the program who is expected to be a key contributor at running back and linebacker, missed the first two games.

The Lions are hoping to have their entire unit when they open league play Friday, Sept. 18, at Groveport.

"If we focus our effort, energy and discipline, we can get anything done," Marcum said. "We pounded the ball in the second half (against Westerville South) and pretty much came together as a team and took some time off the clock."

Gahanna improved to 2-1 by beating St. John's. Kent Johnson rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns and Barker added 56 yards rushing and one score. Chobany and Russell each had interceptions, as did sophomore Cameron Carlisle (DB) and junior Dontae Deas (DB).

Groveport beat Westerville North 28-7 on Sept. 11 to improve to 3-0.

Also against Central, Cooper had six tackles, including two for loss. Then in Russell's absence against South, Gordon made seven tackles, Campbell had five tackles (two for loss), Torr had two tackles for loss and Cooper had three tackles for loss.

Campbell has been among the biggest surprises after playing little a year ago.

"He's a sleeper, but he's a senior and it's hard to count out what's in a senior's head," coach Bruce Ward said.

"I like to hit people," Campbell said.

Groveport won its first three games for the first time since 2010 when it started 4-0 but finished 6-4. Last season, the Cruisers went 2-8.

Seneca Cameron and Jacob Huffman have split time at quarterback for the Cruisers, with Brymar Payne and Corey Newman serving as the primary running backs.

Davis leading girls golf team

The girls golf team will learn its Division I sectional tournament draw Sunday, Sept. 20. The postseason begins Oct. 6.

The Lions placed fifth (346) during the fourth and final round of the OCC-Ohio tournament Sept. 8 at Royal American and also finished fifth (13-15) overall.

Pickerington North won the title at 27-1, followed by Upper Arlington (21-7), Hilliard Davidson (20-8) and Canal Winchester (19-9). Thomas Worthington (6-22), Hilliard Darby (4-24) and Lancaster (2-26) rounded out the standings.

Freshman Kayla Davis led the Lions with an 81.8 league stroke average and was averaging 83.5 overall through eight matches.

Also in league play, junior Katherine Pirro averaged 92, senior Svitlana Yakim averaged 94.3 and senior Alyson Johnson averaged 94.5. Senior Kelly Roberson, junior Bailey Johnson and sophomore Chelsea Regner have been other key players.

Davis made first-team all-league, and Pirro and Yakim were honorable mention.

"On the hottest day, with a long walking course, they still shot their lowest team score this season (in the final round of the league tournament)," coach Patty McQuirt said. "We were all very excited about how well the entire team did overall."