The Groveport Madison High School boys soccer team thinks it is primed to make a run in the Division I district tournament.
The tournament draw was Oct. 8, with first-round games being played Wednesday, Oct. 18.
The Cruisers were 9-2-4 overall and 1-2-1 in the OCC-Capital Division before their regular-season finale Oct. 10 against Big Walnut.
"We're excited and looking forward to the tournament," coach Ivan Landaverde said. "We think we've benefited from a formation change a few weeks ago, and we're clicking on offense and defense now. We're jelling at the right time. I'm very happy that our offensive motor started running well."
But Landaverde anticipated the Cruisers' record would help in the postseason draw Oct. 8, where he hoped for a strong seed. Instead, Groveport is seeded 26th of 47 teams.
The Cruisers will play host to 28th-seeded Pickerington Central in the first round Wednesday, Oct. 18, and the winner will play at fourth-seeded St. Charles on Oct. 21.
Groveport rode an eight-game unbeaten streak into its contest against Big Walnut. The streak followed a 2-1 loss to New Albany on Sept. 14. The Cruisers' other loss came against Franklin Heights on Sept. 12. They won 8-0 on the field, but later had to forfeit the win for using an ineligible player.
"That one hurt our OCC-(Capital) record. We should be 2-1-1," Landaverde said. "But from top to bottom, we're playing well these past four games."
Following a 1-all tie with Grove City on Sept. 23, the Cruisers ran off wins against Fairfield Union (2-1 on Sept. 28), Newark (8-1 on Oct. 3), Northland (4-1 on Oct. 5) and Briggs (4-0 on Oct. 7).
"Our midfielders are winning more possession and getting the ball out to the forwards and we're also getting the ball on the edge more," senior forward Taj Vandyck said. "We're getting good crosses on our corners. I think Kelvin Kollie is owning the midfield and Austin Snyder is distributing the ball a whole lot better.
"I definitely think we can make a tournament run. We're focusing on reaching the district finals. I think in our only loss (on the field), we were a little unlucky. But we'll be ready and focused for the tournament."
Against Briggs, sophomore forward Austin Snyder scored two goals and Vandyck and freshman forward Jeffrey Asamoah both scored one.
district in golf
Junior Preston Nanthavong of the boys golf team competed in the Division I district tournament Oct. 10 at Apple Valley, where the top two individuals not on one of the two qualifying teams advanced to the state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Nanthavong advanced to district for the second year in a row. Last year, he shot a 91 at Apple Valley to tie for 67th of 72 competitors.
Nanthavong qualified for district by shooting a 79 in a sectional Oct. 3 at Clover Valley. His score tied for 10th in a field of 64 golfers and tied for second among the four individual district qualifiers.
Also competing at sectional was sophomore Ricky Cooper, who placed 57th with a 124.
Football team preps
for winless Wildcats
The football team travels to Newark on Friday, Oct. 13, in a matchup of winless teams.
The Cruisers and Wildcats both enter the contest 0-7 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Capital. Groveport is coming off a 24-7 loss to Canal Winchester on Oct. 6, while Newark lost to New Albany 40-6 that same night.
The Cruisers have scored more than 14 points in a game only once this season and are averaging 9.7 points. The Wildcats, however, are allowing 37.3 points per game.
Newark also has struggled on offense, as it is averaging 12.4 points. Groveport is allowing 31.9 points per contest.
The Wildcats have played without running back and linebacker D'ante Woods and defensive back Christian Black the past few weeks, and have started a freshman Jake Sherman at quarterback the past two games.
Newark has been led by receivers DeJuan Shackleford and Jade Batross and running back Levi McKee, but has struggled with a young offensive line.
Against Canal Winchester, a pair of sophomores -- quarterback Colin Rice and receiver Keimare Burnett -- hooked up on a 24-yard touchdown pass to give the Cruisers a 7-0 lead. The game was tied at 7 at halftime and the Indians led 14-7 entering the fourth quarter before pulling away.
Season ends for
girls tennis team
The girls tennis team will need to replace four seniors next season.
All four competed in a Division I sectional Oct. 6 at Upper Arlington.
In doubles, seniors Aleah Brown and Raaya Cummings lost to Athens' Maddie Strickland and Kaitlyn Bean 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the second round after having a first-round bye, and senior Sydney Crabtree and freshman Cassie Salva lost to DeSales' Aubrey Wilcox and Miranda Draminski 6-1, 6-1 in the first round.
In singles, senior Anahi Herrera lost to DeSales' Izzy Arbona 6-0, 6-2, junior Deonia Coleman lost to Athens' Yu-Shin Jeng 6-0, 6-0 and sophomore Kelsey Caldwell fell to DeSales' Alex Foos 6-1, 6-1 in first-round matches.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to the district tournament Thursday, Oct. 12, at Hilliard Bradley and Saturday, Oct. 14, at UA.
Groveport finished 2-8 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Capital, placing fifth behind New Albany (5-0), Big Walnut (4-1), Canal Winchester (3-2) and Newark (2-3) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-5).
Below are the coming schedules for the Groveport Madison cross country, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 14 -- OCC-Capital meet at Lancaster
Oct. 12 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg
Oct. 14 -- At Tree of Life
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 36th-seeded Logan in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays at sixth-seeded Olentangy in second round Oct. 19. The Cruisers are seeded 32nd of 42 teams.
Oct. 12 -- At Bexley
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 39th-seeded Licking Heights in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays at fifth-seeded Pickerington North in second round Oct. 18. The Cruisers are seeded 37th of 50 teams.