Facing a four-stroke deficit after the first round of the Division II state tournament Oct. 13 at NorthStar, Columbus Academy boys golf coach Craig Yakscoe told his team to remain poised and confident.
The Vikings responded with another strong effort Oct. 14, cruising past opening-round leader Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin to earn the program's eighth state championship.
Led by sophomore Ali Khan, Academy finished first (596) of 12 teams ahead of the runner-up Lions (606).
"These are all special," said Yakscoe, who also led the Vikings to the Division III state title in 2014. "I kept telling the kids to enjoy these moments. You don't know how often you're going to have them. We're fortunate to have two (championships) in four years and that's just very extra special. Hopefully they'll keep enjoying the moments along the way and good things will keep happening."
The Vikings trailed the Lions 297-301 after the first round. Khan sparked their comeback with a second-round 67 to finish with a two-day total of 145 to tie for fourth of 71 golfers and earn first-team all-state honors.
Senior Cole Walter finished sixth (146) and was second-team all-state. It was his second state title, as he started as a freshman on the 2014 team.
"This one feels a little more special," Walter said. "We're (in) Division II now, so that's always harder. It's been a struggle to get out of district (in Division II), so to do it with these guys and with Sam (Vogel), it's just awesome."
Sophomore Griffin Mitchell carded a 151 to tie for ninth and earn second-team all-state. Vogel, a senior, tied for 14th (154) and sophomore Kahmar Byers tied for 36th (163).
Vogel did not compete during the 2014 postseason.
"I was here for the first one, I watched it both days," Vogel said. "It was a little different this time. The scores were so low this year, it was ridiculous."
The Vikings also won state titles in 1983 (Class A), 1991 (Division II), 1995 (Division III), 1997 (Division III), 1998 (Division III) and 1999 (Division III). They also have nine runner-up state finishes.
Academy earned its state berth by edging Bexley to win the district tournament Oct. 4 at Denison Golf Club at Granville. The Vikings shot 302 to finish first of six teams, just ahead of the Lions (306).
Academy won the 12-team sectional Sept. 26 at Oakhaven with a 303 and captured the MSL-Ohio Division title at 11-1, ahead of Bexley (10-2), Worthington Christian (6-6), Grandview (3-9) and London (0-12).
Girls tennis team set for busy weekend
The girls tennis team has a chance to win multiple championships this weekend.
Three members of the team will compete in the Division II state individual tournament Friday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Oct. 21, at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. The Vikings then will compete in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division II state team tournament Sunday, Oct. 23, at Reynoldsburg.
In Mason, freshman Sydni Ratliff will compete in singles and the team of senior Georgia Tuckerman and junior Himaja Reddy will compete in doubles after winning district titles Oct. 14 at Upper Arlington.
In district finals, Ratliff defeated Wellington's Akua Antwi-Woods 6-0, 6-0 and Tuckerman and Reddy defeated teammates Maddie Tuckerman and Lexis Hughes 6-4, 6-1.
"Our goal was to get one singles and one doubles to state," coach Tom Haddow said. "If they play the way they've been playing, they should do OK."
Also in singles at district, freshman Lauren Motta went 1-1, losing to Ratliff 6-0, 6-1 in a semifinal, and sophomore Alex Graham went 0-1.
Academy defeated Wellington 4-0 on Oct. 11 to win a district title in the team tournament.
Field hockey coach reaches milestone
Field hockey coach Anne Horton earned her 500th career win with a 9-0 victory over Lancaster on Oct. 11.
Horton was recognized after the game, including receiving a letter of acknowledgement from Gov. John Kasich. The letter was read by head of school Melissa Soderberg.
"You can't do it alone," Horton said. "You have to have great support. ... I can't say enough about (assistant coach) Danielle Sparks. JoAnne Adams is the face of our lower-level program and she gets them ready for us. It's collaborative teamwork."
Horton was 428-33-27 in 26 seasons with the Vikings before they played Dublin Coffman in the first round of the district tournament Oct. 17 at home. She previously coached at Asheville (North Carolina) School and North Ridgeville Lake Ridge Academy and was 502-59-37 overall.
The second-seeded Vikings were 14-2 before playing the 15th-seeded Shamrocks. The winner plays seventh-seeded UA or ninth-seeded Olentangy Orange in a semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 24, and that winner plays fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty, sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne, 10th-seeded Bexley, 11th-seeded Dublin Jerome or 16th-seeded Dublin Scioto in a district final Oct. 28 at Liberty.
"We're ready for the tournament," Horton said. "We've been very open and honest up front, they need to own this. If they want to get where they want to be, they have to be thinking about it and taking responsibility for their actions. It's been a very vivid part of where our journey is this year and the kids are eager to see what they can do."
Football team looks to rebound
The football team will look to bounce back from a 30-17 loss at Bloom-Carroll on Oct. 13 when it visits Liberty Union on Friday, Oct. 20.
The Vikings are 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the MSL-Ohio and were projected to be seventh in the Division V, Region 19 computer ratings this week. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
Liberty Union is 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the MSL-Ohio.
Academy led Bloom-Carroll 10-0 in the first quarter before the Bulldogs rallied.
Herman Moultrie led Academy with 130 yards rushing and a touchdown. For the season, he has rushed for 833 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Quarterback Matt Saling has completed 98 of 177 passes for 1,041 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions, and Dorrian Moultrie has 45 catches for 486 yards and seven touchdowns.
Liberty Union has lost four consecutive games, including 22-13 at Grandview on Oct. 13. Cole Peardon threw for 123 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 64 yards and a score.
Boys soccer team opens tournament
The fourth-seeded boys soccer team was 9-4-3 before opening Division II district tournament play Oct. 17 at home against 26th-seeded Lakewood.
The winner plays 11th-seeded Centennial or 21st-seeded Caledonia River Valley in the second round Saturday, Oct. 21, at the home of the better seed, and that winner plays second-seeded Bexley, 14th-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek or 19th-seeded London in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the home of the better seed.
The Vikings beat Bexley 2-1 on Oct. 4 and London 3-0 on Sept. 19 in MSL-Ohio play.
The district final is Oct. 28 at a neutral site to be determined.
Girls soccer team begins postseason
The second-seeded girls soccer team was 11-2-2 before playing host to 15th-seeded Madison Plains on Oct. 17 in the first round of the Division III district tournament.
The winner plays seventh-seeded Columbus School for Girls or 10th-seeded Fisher Catholic on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the home of the better seed, and that winner plays third-seeded Fairbanks, fifth-seeded Worthington Christian, 12th-seeded Marion Pleasant or 13th-seeded Liberty Union in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the home of the better seed.
The Vikings tied Worthington Christian at 1 on Sept. 6 in MSL-Ohio play.
The district final is Oct. 28 at a neutral site to be determined.
Boys cross country team wins league title
The boys cross country team won the MSL-Ohio meet Oct. 14 at London, scoring 40 points to finish ahead of Grandview (50), Bexley (72), Worthington Christian (91), London (110) and Whitehall (157).
Nick Robie led the way by finishing third in 16 minutes, 42 seconds.
The girls team finished third (79) in the league meet behind Bexley (31) and Grandview (54) and ahead of Whitehall (105), London (124) and Worthington Christian (133).
Annalise Grammel finished second (19:36.82) and Regan Cornelius was third (20:13.7).
The boys and girls will compete in the Division III, district 2 meet Saturday, Oct. 21, at Watkins Memorial. The top four teams and top 16 individuals advance to the regional Oct. 28 at Pickerington North.
Volleyball team opens postseason
The 22nd-seeded girls volleyball team opened Division III district tournament action at fourth-seeded Galion Northmor on Oct. 17.
The winner plays 20th-seeded Northridge in the second round Saturday, Oct. 21, at the home of the better seed, and that winner plays fifth-seeded Newark Catholic, 23rd-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek or 25th-seeded Grandview in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Buckeye Valley.
The district final is Oct. 28 at Buckeye Valley.