The Columbus Academy boys golf team is getting ready for its final test in its pursuit of a second consecutive Division II state title.
The Vikings moved closer to back-to-back championships and their ninth overall by winning the district title Oct. 3 at Denison Golf Club.
Academy shot a 304 to finish first of six teams, ahead of Bexley (309), Hartley (323), Jonathan Alder (326), Northridge (328) and Marion Pleasant (341), and earn the lone qualifying spot for the state tournament Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13, at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
"Every year anybody can win. That's what competition is all about," coach Craig Yakscoe said. "We just need to come in and do our thing. We're going to go for it. That's our ultimate goal."
Ali Khan led Academy with a 72 at district to earn medalist honors. Kahmar Byers and Matthew Cammeyer both shot 77, Griffin Mitchell had a 78 and Russell Ahmed had an 80.
"This was one of our goals, to get back (to state)," Yakscoe said. "Our ultimate goal is (this) weekend (at state), but you can't look past (district). This is the tight one. It was a great day altogether. It was tight all the way through and it came down to the last few holes, the back nine. Our kids stayed nice and steady and even and played very well."
Cammeyer will compete in his first state tournament after serving as an alternate last season. He shot an 80 at district last fall.
"I'm not an alternate this year," Cammeyer said. "I didn't play too well (at district this season), but I was pretty happy overall. I was a little bit disappointed not playing (at state last season). I've had a chip on my shoulder ever since. I've just tried to get better and better and grind."
Yakscoe is not surprised by Cammeyer's motivation.
"You can look back at past decisions, but it worked out well," Yakscoe said. "It makes them a little more resilient, a little stronger both physically and mentally. That's what makes them better. They push each other and one plays better and then a whole lot play better and that makes them a better team."
Last season, the Vikings shot a 596 at state to finish 10 strokes ahead of runner-up Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.
Girls tennis team prepares for district
The girls tennis team will be well represented in the Division II district tournament as four courts qualified from a sectional held Oct. 5 and 6 at home.
Sydni Ratliff won the singles title, defeating Bloom-Carroll's Stephanie Graham 6-0, 6-0 in the final. Ratliff finished second at state last season, losing to Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown's Nicole Gillinov 6-2, 6-4.
Himaja Reddy and Alex Graham won the sectional doubles title, defeating teammates Carmen Merkel and Lauren Motta 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 in the final.
Haylee White also earned a district berth after reaching a sectional semifinal in singles.
"It was a pretty good day," coach Tom Haddow said. "Both of our doubles teams battled. It started at 10:40 (a.m.) and I got out of there around 3:30 (p.m.). There was a 45-minute rain delay. They went on for four hours. It went on and on and on."
The top four finishers in singles and doubles at sectional advanced to district Thursday, Oct. 11, at Columbus School for Girls and Saturday, Oct. 13, at Reynoldsburg. At district, the singles and doubles champions advance to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
"We have a strong shot in singles with Sydni," Haddow said. "In doubles, Wellington is pretty strong and there are a couple strong teams from the other sectional, but if we play like we did (Oct. 6), we have a pretty good shot. It will be close matches."
Academy played Wellington on Oct. 9 in an MSL-Ohio Division match that also was a Division II district final in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament. The match was postponed Oct. 2.
Football team looks to end losing streak
The football team enters its game against visiting Bloom-Carroll on Friday, Oct. 12, looking to end a three-game losing streak while also keeping its Division V, Region 19 postseason hopes alive.
The Vikings fell to 3-4 with a 56-42 loss to Ready on Oct. 5 at Fortress Obetz.
Academy was projected to be 14th in Region 19 this week. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
"We need to buckle down even more and focus on the details needed to win," coach Robin Miller said. "We can't just show up, especially against good teams. There's no finger-pointing happening and nobody is making excuses. It's 100 percent on us and we're the only ones who can fix it. With our backs against the wall, our ability to handle adversity will reveal a lot about our character."
Bloom-Carroll defeated Amanda-Clearcreek 33-23 on Oct. 5 to improve to 6-1.
Against Ready, Brady Hess threw for 211 yards and four touchdowns and Dorrian Moultrie had seven receptions for 127 yards and three scores. Carter Warstler returned the opening kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown.
Otto Kuhns led Bloom-Carroll against Amanda-Clearcreek, passing for 128 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 124 yards and a score.
"Bloom is loaded and really hitting its stride," Miller said. "Everything flows through Kuhns. He is very impressive and so calm back there, nothing seems to rattle him. He's certainly got some weapons around him as well and their defense is playing very aggressively. They've got a great scheme for their kids and are certainly playing with a ton of confidence, especially after beating Amanda."
Below are the coming schedules for the Academy cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 13 -- MSL-Ohio meet at Camp Bobcat in Chillicothe
Oct. 17 -- Home vs. 18th-seeded Olentangy Berlin in second round of district tournament. The Vikings are seeded first of 18 teams.
Oct. 11 -- At Hamilton Township
Oct. 13 -- Home vs. Granville
Oct. 20 -- Home vs. 11th-seeded Buckeye Valley or 14th-seeded Caledonia River Valley in second round of Division II district tournament. The Vikings are seeded second of 24 teams.
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 13th-seeded Tree of Life in first round of Division III district tournament. The Vikings are seeded fourth of 16 teams.
*Oct 11 -- At Whitehall. The Vikings defeated the Rams 25-19, 25-13, 25-12 on Sept. 26.
Oct. 16 -- At fifth-seeded Fredericktown in first round of Division III district tournament. The Vikings are seeded 13th of 23 teams.