The Watkins Memorial High School boys golf team has an opportunity to all but lock up the LCL championship in the third round of the league tournament Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Raccoon International.

The Watkins Memorial High School boys golf team has an opportunity to all but lock up the LCL championship in the third round of the league tournament Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Raccoon International.

The Warriors are 18-0 in the league after two rounds, well ahead of defending LCL champion Newark Catholic, Granville and Northridge, which are tied for second at 14-4. The fourth and final round is Sept. 14 at Kyber Run.

"We feel good about where we are, but the boys realize they need to execute shots on a course to win it all," first-year coach Kyle Rohrabaugh said. "They just can't show up and go through the motions. We won the first round pretty easily and then everyone tightened up to us in the second round."

The Warriors shot a 300 in the first round Aug. 5 at Willow Run, well ahead of runner-up Granville (323). In the second round Aug. 11 at High Lands, they shot a 335 with Newark Catholic (340), Northridge (343) and Granville (346) in close pursuit.

Cody Stonebraker was medalist in the first round with a 69. In the second round, Cody Cogdill was runner-up with a 78 and Gavyn Parman tied for fourth with an 82.

"Cody Cogdill has been our most consistent golfer all season, not just in the LCL," Rohrabaugh said. "He's good out of the tee box, drives it long. He's also very solid with irons and just has a good all-around game. He's got a calm temperament and can shrug off a bad shot or a bad hole and get right back after it on the next one.

"But everyone has had great rounds. Cody Stonebraker has been our No. 2 lately. He's been very solid and a good leader and is showing his maturity."

Volleyball coach likes team's response

Girls volleyball coach Kyle McFerin was pleased with the way his team bounced back from a 25-14, 25-15, 25-20 loss to Utica on Aug. 25.

The Warriors finished third in the Karen Wohrer Invitational at Lancaster two days later, beating Fisher Catholic 25-11, 25-16, losing to the host Golden Gales 25-19, 18-25, 25-15 and defeating Hilliard Bradley 25-18, 25-13.

"Utica is a good team, but we didn't compete well," said McFerin, whose team was 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the LCL-Buckeye Division before playing Licking Valley on Sept. 1. "We worked hard in practice the next day and the girls carried that over into the tournament and played very well.

"The match we lost to Lancaster was 11-7 in the third set, but we got caught in a bad rotation and they pulled away some."

Middle hitter Conley Day (19 kills, 6 blocks, 6 aces), outside hitter Kacie Klinglesmith (10 kills, 7 aces), setter Margaret Musselman (50 assists, 9 kills, 5 aces) and libero Carly Brandon (27 digs, 3 aces) led the Warriors in the tournament.

"I'm proud of the way the girls responded," McFerin said. "I thought Carly played really, really well defensively, and that allowed us to steal some points. She was digging very well."

Boys soccer team learning new system

The boys soccer team remains a work in progress, according to first-year coach Corey Kirk.

"We returned a lot of experience, but I've asked them to do different things and play in a style they aren't accustomed to playing for the good of the team and the program in order to be able to achieve more success against the Division I teams we will play," Kirk said.

"It's a more intricate style with the focus more on shifting defense to find setups, so timing is important. It's more tactical and they're starting to buy in. I have to make sure I give them room to grow and build into it together. In the meantime, I'm learning patience."

The Warriors fell to 2-2 overall with a 4-0 loss to St. Charles on Aug. 30. The Cardinals are expected to be one of the top Division I teams in central Ohio this season.

Watkins Memorial defeated Licking Heights 6-0 in its LCL-Buckeye opener Aug. 25 and played Lakewood in a league game Sept. 1. The Warriors opened Aug. 19 with a 3-0 loss to New Albany, but bounced back to beat Big Walnut 2-1 on Aug. 23.

"I think Zane Kaeztel is playing well in the central midfield," Kirk said. "He's got a big load on his shoulders, but he's stepping up. He's got a great attitude and training ethic and is focused and ready to work when he arrives. Matt Whitney also is playing well at attacking midfielder.

"Sam Blum, our center back, is a fourth-year starter and Corey Steer is a third-year starter in the back, and they've done very well organizing the defense as we expected."

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