Whether or not the Granville High School football team squeaks into the Division III, Region 11 playoffs when postseason berths and first-round matchups are announced Sunday, Oct. 30, it has been a fine fall all around for the Blue Aces.

Whether or not the Granville High School football team squeaks into the Division III, Region 11 playoffs when postseason berths and first-round matchups are announced Sunday, Oct. 30, it has been a fine fall all around for the Blue Aces.

The boys cross country team cruised to the Division II, district 1 championship, scoring 27 points to easily outdistance runner-up Bexley (89) on Oct. 22 at Watkins Memorial. Freshman Ryan Black (17 minutes, 4 seconds) and senior Luke Baker (17:12) finished 1-2 on the muddy course as the Blue Aces claimed six of the first nine places.

The girls cross country team, led by senior Ali Larsen's seventh-place finish in 18:55.4, also won a Division II district title. It used a tight pack to score 61 points and also easily outdistance runner-up Bexley (111).

"That was our third district championship in a row for the boys and girls teams," coach Bob Hollen said. "Both have also been to state the past two seasons, and we would also like to continue that streak."

Both cross country teams competed in regional meets Oct. 29, with the top four teams and top 16 individuals advancing to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 5, at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.

The Granville boys soccer team was hoping to follow that same script in a Division II district final Oct. 29, as it tried to win the title and make Bexley the runner-up.

The Blue Aces beat Jonathan Alder 2-0 in a semifinal Oct. 25, as seniors Patrick Arant and Ryan Rosinski scored. Seniors Paul Hofmeister and Jarrod Wise made defensive plays to help freshman goalkeeper Parker Siegfried post the team's fifth consecutive shutout and its 11th overall.

It was the first time Granville played in a district final since 2002. Granville and Bexley played to a 1-all tie on Sept. 6 and tied for second place in the MSL-Ohio Division behind Columbus Academy (7-0).

"We've noticed the Bexley theme in these sports, too," third-year coach Shawn King said. "It's kind of neat because they're our big rival right now. I like the fact we can focus on it being a rival game and take our nerves away from thinking about a district championship."

The Blue Aces, seeded fourth, were 12-4-2 overall before the district final and Bexley was 7-9-2 and seeded eighth. The winner will play Franklin Fenwick or Springfield Greenon in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Huber Heights Wayne. The regional final is 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Hilliard Bradley.

The girls soccer team beat Jonathan Alder in a Division II district semifinal, winning 3-1 on Oct. 26 to advance to its first district final. The third-seeded Blue Aces were 13-4 before their district final Oct. 29 against top-seeded DeSales, which beat fourth-seeded Bexley 2-1 in a semifinal Oct. 26. The winner will play Chillicothe or Chillicothe Unioto in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Upper Arlington. The regional final is at noon Saturday, Nov. 5, at Zanesville.

"With the soccer teams, it's also unusual that we both played Jonathan Alder in semifinals and had the chance to play Bexley in the final," King said. "The overall success of our teams this fall has been tremendous and it's a neat bond because most of these athletes are also fans of the sports and show up and cheer when they can. It's really united the building and made it fun. I know athletics director Kevin Jarrett is happy about keeping busy and scheduling buses and those types of things."

In girls volleyball, Granville was seeded sixth and reached a district semifinal, where it lost to Sparta Highland 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22 on Oct. 26 to finish 18-5.

Earlier in the postseason, the Granville boys golf team played in Division I for the first time and finished sixth in the district tournament. The girls golf team finished seventh in the Division II district tournament.

"What I think really helps us here is that 70 percent of our students are participating in at least one sport," Hollen said. "Even ones who concentrate on a winter or spring sport play other sports and that helps greatly. We don't have many athletic kids just roaming the hallways, at least not as many as other schools do."

•Also competing in the regional cross country meet at Pickerington North were Newark sophomore Toby Hardwick and junior Kameron Carpenter in Division I. Hardwick was 15th (17:14.45) and Carpenter earned the last qualifying berth from the district 2 race, finishing 20th (17:23.31).

Watkins Memorial advanced both its boys and girls teams.

Joining Granville at regional in Division II in the girls race were Johnstown's Stephanie Loshbough and Meghan Schulze, Licking Valley's Mackenzie Butler and Heath's Kali Hastings. Loshbough won a district title in 18:55.14, Schulze was fourth (19:30.26), Butler was fifth (19:41.74) and Hastings was 12th (20:51.65).

In the boys race were Johnstown's Tyler Estep (fourth, 17:22.33) and Jacob Wall (fifth, 18:09.95).

Also advancing from the Division II district but competing Oct. 29 in the regional at Troy was the Lakewood boys team, which won the district 2 race with 58 points. The Lancers were led by David Briggs (second, 17:17.77), Brendan Walburn (fifth, 17:40.23) and Chris Briggs (ninth, 17:56.13). They were joined by Heath's Freddy Stinson (eighth, 17:53.54).

The Newark Catholic boys competed at Troy in Division III after finishing third in its district 2 race. The Green Wave was led by Ryan Lally (eighth, 18:23.98).

Newark Catholic senior Mariah Brennan competed in the Division III regional at Pickerington North after finishing 14th (22:06.09) in her district 2 race.

•In girls volleyball, second-seeded Newark played 13th-seeded Watterson for a Division I district title Oct. 29, with the winner advancing to a regional semifinal against Findlay or Mansfield at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Hilliard Davidson. The regional final is 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Davidson. Possible opponents include Dublin Coffman, Olentangy Liberty, Pickerington North and Thomas Worthington.

Newark lost a district final in 2008 and also was runner-up in 2006 and 2004. Its last district title was in 2000. Watterson won a district title in 2010 and six in a row from 2002-07.

In Division IV, third-seeded Newark Catholic defeated fifth-seeded Gahanna Christian 25-16, 25-18, 25-16 on Oct. 27 and played sixth-seeded Fisher Catholic in a district final Oct. 29.

The winner plays South Webster or Beaver Eastern in a regional semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, at Lancaster. The regional final is 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Lancaster. Possible opponents include Reedsville Eastern, Shekinah Christian, Waterford and Worthington Christian.

In Division III, Heath lost to top-seeded Marion Pleasant 23-25, 25-14, 25-15, 25-13 in a district semifinal Oct. 27.