Gathered together after completing play in the Division II state tournament Oct. 13 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course, the Columbus Academy boys golf team did more than celebrate its second consecutive title and third in five years.
While the Vikings finished with a two-day total of 625, outdistancing runner-up Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (634) for the second year in a row, there also was a sense that the players didn't live up to their high expectations.
"I don't know if they really played the way they wanted to, but as a team they played the way they needed to," coach Craig Yakscoe said. "They played for each other and with each other."
Last season, Academy rallied from four strokes down after the first day to edge Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin 596-606.
The Vikings won their ninth state title behind junior Ali Khan, who shot a 154 to tie Ashtabula Edgewood's Dylan Fitchet for second of 72 golfers behind medalist Trevor Binau (146) of Bexley.
"I feel really good about this win, but I didn't play as well as I wanted to," Khan said. "We put our best round out there and we're all happy with another state championship. It doesn't feel as good as last year, but we're still really happy about how we played."
Khan and junior Matthew Cammeyer (155, tied for fourth) were first-team all-state and junior Kahmar Byers (156, sixth) was second-team all-state.
Junior Griffin Mitchell (160, tied for 11th) and freshman Russell Ahmed (167, tied for 25th) also competed.
With no seniors in the program, Academy already is looking forward to next season.
"With this young team I feel we'll be able to play a lot better and set more records for the school and in the state," Khan said.
The Vikings also won state titles in 1983 (Class A), 1991 (Division II), 1995 (Division III), 1997 (Division III), 1998 (Division III), 1999 (Division III) and 2014 (Division III).
Academy earned its state berth by edging Bexley to win the district tournament Oct. 3 at Denison Golf Club. The Vikings shot 304 to finish first of six teams, ahead of the Lions (309).
The Vikings won an 11-team sectional Sept. 25 at Oakhaven with a 314 and captured the MSL-Ohio Division title at 7-2, ahead of runner-up Bexley (6-3).
Khan, Byers, Cammeyer and Mitchell were first-team all-league and Ahmed and junior Anay Reddy were second-team all-league.
Juniors Shaan Arora, Andrew Cahall, Miles Razek and Ryan Wahl also are eligible to return.
Ratliff, doubles team advance to state
Girls tennis players Sydni Ratliff, Lauren Motta and Carmen Merkel earned Division II state berths by winning district titles Oct. 13 at Reynoldsburg.
Ratliff, a sophomore, defeated Olentangy Berlin freshman Ella Franz 6-0, 6-0 in the singles final. Motta, a sophomore, and Merkel, a freshman, defeated teammates Himaja Reddy and Alex Graham 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 in a doubles final that lasted 3 hours, 40 minutes.
Only the singles and doubles champions advanced to state Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Ratliff finished second at state last fall.
"I think this time will be different because I have a lot more experience with the environment and ... a lot more confidence than I did last year going into it," Ratliff said. "I think I'm playing really well going into state, so I'm really excited."
Football team looks to build on solid win
The football team plays host to Liberty Union on Friday, Oct. 19, looking to build on a convincing win over Bloom-Carroll.
The Vikings improved to 4-4 overall with a 59-9 victory over Bloom-Carroll on Oct. 12. Academy is 1-2 in the MSL-Ohio.
The Vikings were projected to be 10th in Division V, Region 19 this week. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
Carter Warstler ran for 180 yards and three touchdowns and Brady Hess passed for two scores and ran for two to lead Academy against Bloom-Carroll.
Liberty Union fell to 1-7 overall and 1-3 in the MSL-Ohio with a 46-19 loss to Grandview on Oct. 12.
Cross country teams compete at league meet
The boys and girls cross country teams prepared for the Division III district meet by competing in the MSL-Ohio meet Oct. 13 at Camp Bobcat in Chillicothe.
The boys finished first (43), ahead of runner-up Bexley (46). Liam McCann was fourth (17:32.3) and Luke Nester was fifth (17:38.3) of 35 runners to lead the Vikings to their fourth consecutive league title.
The girls finished second (55) behind Bexley (31) as Annalise Grammel finished first (19:48.9) and Regan Cornelius was third (20:43.7) of 29 runners.
Both teams will compete in the district 2 meet Saturday, Oct. 20, at Hilliard Darby. The top four teams and top 16 individuals advance to regional Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
Field hockey team caps perfect regular season
The field hockey team entered the district tournament coming off an impressive regular season.
The top-seeded Vikings were 16-0 overall before playing 18th-seeded Berlin in the second round Oct. 17, with the winner playing ninth-seeded Bexley, 10th-seeded Granville or 12th-seeded Dublin Coffman in a semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the better seed.
Academy outscored opponents 108-1 during the regular season.
"That's pretty incredible," coach Anne Horton said.
The Vikings closed the regular season with a 10-0 win over visiting New Albany on Oct. 10. Charlotte Adams scored three goals and Mercedes Crestanello and Callista Popp each added two.
Academy went 8-0 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-East to finish first ahead of second-place Worthington Kilbourne (7-1).
Boys soccer team earns share of league title
The boys soccer team earned a share of the MSL-Ohio title, tying Grandview for first at 2-1-1.
The second-seeded Vikings are 10-4-1 overall and play host to 11th-seeded Buckeye Valley or 14th-seeded Caledonia River Valley in the second round of the Division II district tournament Saturday, Oct. 20, with the winner playing seventh-seeded Berlin, 21st-seeded Eastmoor Academy or 22nd-seeded Licking Valley in a semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seed.
Academy defeated Hamilton Township 3-0 on Oct. 11 as Colin Sullivan scored two goals and David Barren added one.
Girls soccer team opens postseason
The fourth-seeded girls soccer team was 6-4-4 before playing 13th-seeded Tree of Life in the first round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 16.
The winner plays sixth-seeded Johnstown or 12th-seeded Liberty Union in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18, with that winner playing second-seeded Grandview, seventh-seeded Columbus School for Girls, 10th-seeded Fisher Catholic or 15th-seeded Cristo Rey in a semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seed.
The Vikings defeated CSG 4-1 on Oct. 10 as Katie Schiano scored all four goals.
Girls volleyball team earns share of title
The girls volleyball team defeated Whitehall 25-14, 25-21, 25-18 on Oct. 11 to earn a share of the MSL-Ohio title with Bexley at 7-1.
The 13th-seeded Vikings were 15-6 overall before playing at fifth-seeded Fredericktown in the first round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 16.
The winner plays host to 14th-seeded Northridge in the second round Saturday, Oct. 20, with that winner advancing to a district semifinal Oct. 25 at Mount Vernon Nazarene.