The Johnstown-Monroe High School boys golf team is hoping for continued success after playing in the Division II state tournament and winning its fourth consecutive league championship last fall.

The Johnstown-Monroe High School boys golf team is hoping for continued success after playing in the Division II state tournament and winning its fourth consecutive league championship last fall.

The Johnnies return two starters from a team that finished seventh (676) behind champion Canton Central Catholic (630) in the 12-team state tournament at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.

Senior John Carlisle shot 163 at state and senior Dalton Hastings carded 183. Kaden Welch, a 2015 graduate, shot 160 to tie for 13th and two other 2015 graduates -- Steven Thiel (170) and Paul Michel (198) -- also participated.

"Kaden, Steven and Paul played a lot of varsity golf for us over the years, so replacing them will be tough," said coach Chris Carlisle, who is in his 12th season. "We have two players back from last year and we have some kids who mostly are playing their first varsity season. They will continue to improve as the season goes along."

The Johnnies won MBC titles in 2011 and 2012 before winning LCL titles in 2013 and last season. They started their defense of the championship by finishing fifth (338) in the opening LCL tournament Aug. 7 at The Links at Echo Springs. Johnstown finished behind Newark Catholic (312), Granville (314), Watkins Memorial (316) and Northridge (333) and ahead of Utica (357), Licking Valley (363), Heath (365), Lakewood (385) and Licking Heights (441).

John Carlisle (72) was runner-up to medalist Michael Griffin (69) of Watkins Memorial. Hastings shot 82, followed by sophomore Justin Walters (89), senior Jared Williams (95), sophomore Brady Fleming (99) and junior Austin Metz (104).

It was the first of four LCL tournaments this season. In the two previous seasons since the return of the LCL, there were two league tournaments and teams played duals against the other nine programs. There will be no duals this fall, with additional tournaments set for Monday, Aug. 17, at Cumberland Trail, Sept. 2 at Denison Golf Club at Granville and Sept. 23 at Longaberger.

"I don't mind the four (league) tournaments," coach Carlisle said. "It allows us to get in some other matches and tournaments."

John Carlisle and Hastings were co-medalists with 72 to help lead the Johnnies to the team title in the season-opening Utica Invitational on Aug. 6 at The Links at Echo Springs. Johnstown shot 324 to outdistance runner-up Northridge (336) in the six-team event. Fleming (87) was next, followed by Walters (90), Williams (93) and Metz (96).

Also on the roster are juniors Parker Calhoun, Joseph Currens and Jeremy Neff and freshmen James Lang, Conner Leatherwood, Derrick Sharrock and Hayden Turk.

"We need to see if we can improve some of the aspects of our games before the end of the season," coach Carlisle said. "Hopefully we can be a good golf team by then."

John Carlisle played in a pair of prestigious summer events. He competed for a second consecutive year in the IMG Academy Junior World Championships on July 14-17 at Torrey Pines South in La Jolla, Calif., near San Diego. He shot a three-round total of 235, but did not make the final round.

In the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships on July 26-31 at PGA National Resort and Spa in West Palm Beach, Fla., he shot a three-day total of 236.

Girls golf team led by familiar coach

The girls golf team is being led by a former coach of the boys team in Bill Green, who guided the boys before coach Carlisle took over in 2004.

Carlisle led the girls team in its three previous seasons.

"The girls are solid and have a chance to go far," said Green, a PGA Life Member who gives lessons at Westerville Golf Center and works for First Tee of Central Ohio. "We have had some interest and are working toward a good-sized golf (program). We have some freshmen interested and some middle-school girls out."

Currently, the girls team has four players. Senior Katie Grunkemeyer and juniors Karleigh Green and Marilyn Piper return and are joined by freshman Gabby Thomas.

On Aug. 7 at Willow Run in the first of four LCL tournaments, Johnstown tied Watkins Memorial with a 403 but did not have a fifth-player score, allowing the Warriors to place third while the Johnnies settled for fourth. Newark Catholic (370) won ahead of runner-up Granville (386), while Lakewood (441) was fifth and Licking Valley (459) took sixth.

Granville's Alyssa Newsom (86) was medalist, with Grunkemeyer and Licking Valley's Morgan Gossett tying for second (87). Thomas and Newark Catholic's Hannah Luft tied for fourth (90).

"That was our best finish ever in the league because the girls said they always had finished last in previous tournaments," said coach Green, who is assisted at the middle-school level by Jayson Grunkemeyer. "They were really excited about it. We have a lot of raw ability that just needs work."

The team has a limited schedule and is looking to add events.

"We should get several more (events) in the upcoming weeks," said coach Green, who gives free clinics at 5 p.m. each Sunday at Clover Valley.

Football players prepare for opener

The football team has its final scrimmage Friday, Aug. 21, at home against Duncan Falls Philo, Independence and Mount Gilead.

It's the third scrimmage for the Johnnies, who worked out against Mifflin on Aug. 11 and Newark on Aug. 15.

Johnstown opens for a third consecutive season against Chillicothe, playing at home Aug. 28. The Cavaliers won 20-7 to open 2013 and the Johnnies won 28-14 last season.

"The kids have been working hard and doing the right things to get ready for the season," coach Mike Cater said. "They are coming together as a team and we want to be ready to go for the opener."