Richard Scase is pleased with what he has seen in his first season as Northridge High School boys golf coach.

Richard Scase is pleased with what he has seen in his first season as Northridge High School boys golf coach.

The Vikings finished second to open the season in the Utica Invitational on Aug. 6 at The Links at Echo Springs and were fourth in the first LCL tournament Aug. 7, also at The Links at Echo Springs.

"We have been having some success and having some fun," said Scase, who replaced four-year coach Tony Bilderback. "We're not where we want to be, but we're getting there."

Northridge returns three regulars from last season in juniors Brandon Estep, Chris George and Steele Strout.

Estep started strong with a 74 in the Utica Invitational, finishing third behind co-medalists John Carlisle and Dalton Hastings of Johnstown-Monroe, as both shot 72. The Vikings shot 336 to finish as runner-up to Johns-town (324) in the six-team event. Freshman Jared Teeter added an 85, followed by Strout (86) and junior Tyler Rosshirt (92).

"Brandon has started well, but he knows that he can play better," Scase said. "Jared Teeter is getting his feet wet as a freshman and was our No. 3 player in tryouts (behind Estep and Strout)."

In the opening LCL tournament, the Vikings (333) finished behind Newark Catholic (312), Granville (314) and Watkins Memorial (316) and ahead of Johnstown (338), Utica (357), Licking Valley (363), Heath (365), Lakewood (385) and Licking Heights (441). Estep and Strout both shot 80, followed by Teeter (82) and George (91).

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.

Also on the roster are senior Andy Wilson, juniors Garrett Carr, Joel Hale and Cole Wilson and sophomores Wyatt Bunstine and Cordell Smith.

"We had 18 kids come out and Wilson and Hale did not participate early because they were showing livestock at the Hartford Fair," said Scase, whose team finished sixth (13-14) in LCL last season behind champion Johnstown (27-1). "I think they grind it out as a group and they haven't given up, even when they have a round in the 90s."

Scase said he's working on helping his golfers with course management.

"We're trying to teach them how to handle the little things on the course," he said. "Things like making a bogey instead of a triple bogey, or not trying to hit it over a pond on a par-5 hole for birdie when you might bogey if you hit the water. Our goal is to get them playing better percentage golf."

Football team getting stronger

The football team had a "lift-a-thon" Aug. 8 to show off the school's new weight room.

First-year coach Shawn Hinkle already has seen a difference in his players.

"From what the kids told me, we only had a total of three juniors and seniors who could squat more than 300 pounds last year, and we're much-improved over that," said Hinkle, whose team opens Aug. 28 at Washington Court House. "This year we have 21 juniors and seniors and only four of them did not go over 300. Two of those reached 295, so they were close."

The facility is located in a former industrial arts room at the high school.

"A few weeks ago there was still a drill press here and a sander over there," Hinkle said. "We're stronger and a better-conditioned group and that makes what you see on the field better."