Kenny Schneider of the Big Walnut High School boys golf team wasn't about to let a 25-foot putt scare him. The sophomore was thinking birdie in a three-player playoff during a Division I sectional at Clover Valley on Oct. 3.
He was a little too aggressive.
"I probably hit it about 35 (feet)," said Schneider, who shot an 80 through 18 holes. "I really went at it, because (Westerville North's) Pierre (Southibounnorath) was close enough where I figured he could two-putt."
Despite missing the long putt, Schneider's confidence wasn't shaken.
While Southibounnorath missed a 3-foot par putt and Dublin Scioto's Nick Rath took bogey, Schneider sank his 10-foot par putt on the first playoff hole to secure the fourth and final individual district-qualifying spot.
He will join teammate Michael Ford in the district tournament Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Apple Valley, where the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Ford was the top individual district qualifier at sectional. The senior carded a 75 to tie for third overall, behind St. Charles' Anthony Ricaurte (74) and New Albany's Logan Spiess (74).
The Golden Eagles placed seventh (339) at sectional, behind district-qualifiers St. Charles (300), Upper Arlington (311), New Albany (319) and Dublin Coffman (328) as well as Scioto (329) and Watterson (337).
Also competing for Big Walnut were senior Michael Ruark (87), freshman Austen Bennett (97) and junior Zack Herbert (102). Both Ruark and Herbert were well above their averages, according to coach Chuck Workman.
"Even if they would've shot their average -- or just above their average -- we would've qualified," Workman said. "We were 11 strokes behind the fourth-place team. My last three guys didn't have their best day."
The girls team closed its second season with a 10th-place finish (418) in a 12-team Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Mentel Memorial.
Qualifying for district Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek were Dublin Jerome (314), Gahanna (339) and Coffman (346).
Junior Sydnie Wright carded a 102 to lead the Golden Eagles, followed by sophomore Jenna Allen (103), junior Mikayla Colvin (105), junior Grace Hofer (109) and sophomore Emily Kuederle (111).
Football team preps
for New Albany
The football team has grown accustomed to its physical contests against OCC-Capital Division rival New Albany, and it must be prepared for a running game that features many contributors when the two teams meet Friday, Oct. 13, at Big Walnut.
"They're a very good team that's well-coached and athletic," coach Joe Weaver said of New Albany. "It's always a big game to play, because it's smash-mouth football. They're a ground-and-pound type of team, and they like to get after it."
While New Albany doesn't have a workhorse at running back this season, it has plenty of capable ball carriers.
Michiah Burton and Alex Cox have been splitting time at running back behind quarterback Jalin Jackson, and even cornerback Gabe Owusu-Antwi has pitched in at running back for New Albany, which is 4-3 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Capital after defeating Newark 40-6 on Oct. 6.
In the Eagles' 23-3 win over Canal Winchester on Sept. 29, Cox rushed for 79 yards on 15 carries, Jackson ran for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries and Owusu-Antwi had 47 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
Through six games, Burton had 426 yards and three touchdowns on 104 carries. He was limited to 29 yards on 14 carries against Canal Winchester.
Big Walnut defeated host Newark 47-14 on Sept. 29 to post its first victory of the season. The Golden Eagles improved to 2-5 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Capital after defeating Franklin Heights 21-14 on Oct. 6.
Fullback Nathan Lawyer shined against Newark, rushing for three 4-yard touchdowns in the first half as the Golden Eagles led 40-7 at halftime.
"We went to a two-back set, and with what they were giving us, the fullback was a better option," Weaver said.
Quarterback Tyler Ronk scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and added a 34-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Seiple in the second quarter to finish the first-half scoring. Eli Myers and John Sutton also scored on runs of 3 and 4 yards, respectively.
"The kids have worked their tails off and fell short a couple of times this season," Weaver said, referring to a 3-0 loss at Johnstown on Aug. 25 and a 21-14 overtime loss to Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 1.
"They've become resilient. They've pulled in tight. That's what I'm most proud of, just how tight they are the more difficult the situation becomes. ... They push each other and pick each other up."
Girls tennis team
The girls tennis team competed in a Division I sectional Oct. 5 and 7 at Pickerington Central, where the top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to the district tournament Thursday, Oct. 12, at Hilliard Bradley and Saturday, Oct. 14, at Upper Arlington.
At district, the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Runners getting set
for league meet
The cross country teams competed in the Les Eisenhart Invitational on Oct. 7 at Thomas Worthington. The meet served as a final tuneup for the OCC-Capital meet Saturday, Oct. 14, at Lancaster.
Last season, the boys took fourth in the league meet, while the girls were third.
The girls finished fifth (164 points) of 18 teams in the Panther Invitational on Sept. 30 at Pickerington North, behind champion Shaker Heights (59).
Colbi Borland led the Golden Eagles, placing 11th of 299 runners in 19 minutes, 58.71 seconds. Leksi Murnieks (24th, 20:52.58) was next for Big Walnut, followed by Hannah Wilson (32nd, 21:14.78), Ruthann Armbrust (47th, 21:41.09) and Alina Pecci (59th, 22:02.62).
Jacob Hutchinson placed 48th (17:58.66) of 354 runners in the Panther Invitational to pace the boys, who finished 14th (336) of 17 teams, behind champion Parkersburg (87) of West Virginia.
Will Hefner (54th, 18:06.16) was next for Big Walnut, followed by Jacob Krous (69th, 18:19.23), Leif Anderson (102nd, 19:01.03) and Austin Stewart (115th, 19:11.19).
Below are the coming schedules for the Big Walnut boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Groveport
Oct. 12 -- At Olentangy
*Oct. 10 -- At Groveport
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Groveport. The Golden Eagles defeated the Cruisers 25-5, 25-17, 25-12 on Sept. 19.
Oct. 12 -- At Upper Arlington