Tyler Jones didn't lose sleep following the opening round of the Division III state boys golf tournament despite what he deemed a less-than-great round Oct. 12 at NorthStar.
His track record of not panicking paid off, as the Worthington Christian High School senior shot a tournament-best 70 on Oct. 13, giving him a two-day total of 145 to earn the state championship.
Heading into the final round, he was three strokes out of first.
"I slept well," Jones said. "I knew I was three back, but I normally play pretty well when I'm a couple back. I knew I just had to go out and play well and see what happened. I knew I wouldn't really know where things stood because the guys who were leading were (not competing as individuals). I just had to hope I did enough. I definitely was relaxed and wasn't really too worried."
A Marshall commit, Jones was a first-team all-state honoree last season when Worthington Christian won the team championship on Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
He shot a 68 in the district tournament Oct. 3 at Denison Golf Club to help the Warriors shoot a 296, but Wellington finished with a 295 to earn the only state-qualifying berth.
At state, the Jaguars' Aidan Schumer and Garrett Thesing were co-leaders with a 72 after the opening round, but Schumer ended up third (149) and Thesing tied for fifth (151) as Brookfield's Conner Stevens placed second (147).
"I can't say enough good things about Tyler," coach Zac Hess said. "He embodies everything as a program that we want as a person, and the way he played (at state), to hang in there despite a couple unfortunate swings and the way he played in the district, it was gutsy golf. He played phenomenal."
Jones, whose father, Scott Jones, is a golf pro at Turnberry, was medalist with a 70 as the Warriors shot a 299 in a sectional Sept. 28 at Turnberry to edge Wellington (300) for the title.
In his final prep round, he birdied his first two holes and shot a 35 on both the front and back nine.
"It feels really good," Jones said. "I'm glad all the hard work has paid off and I was able to scratch this off my list of the things I wanted to accomplish in high school. I definitely got better (this season) off the tee. My drivers had been iffy the past three years and I've been able to hit my driver really well, but I've just consistently gotten better over the last four years.
"I've been playing with a (golf) club since I could stand. My dad gave me a plastic club. It's always been my favorite sport and I've known from an early age that this is what I wanted to do. I love the pursuit of getting better."
Jones was part of a six-member senior class that also included Noah Elliott, Will Evans and Blake Lawson.
Evans, who shot a 71 at district, has committed to Tiffin and Lawson will play for Grace College.
Sophomore Ben Evans, who was the Warriors' No. 4 player, and freshman Sam Evans should be the top returnees.
Juniors J.R. Bowers and Tony Romanelli and freshman Brandon Nowery are others who figure to battle for spots next season.
Playoff hopes alive for football team
The football team takes a four-game winning streak into its matchup Friday, Oct. 19, at home against Fairfield Christian.
While the Knights are 0-8 overall and 0-4 in the MSL-Cardinal, the Warriors are 5-3 and 3-1. Worthington Christian's three losses have come against teams that are a combined 23-1, including a 16-12 loss to Harvest Prep on Sept. 14. Harvest Prep is 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the league.
Worthington Christian likely needs to win out and get help to earn a Division VI, Region 23 playoff berth.
In a 41-12 victory over Cincinnati North College Hill on Oct. 12, the Warriors led 34-0 after the first quarter and scored all of their points in the first half.
Quarterback Lucas Hartings completed nine of 10 passes for 109 yards. Michael King had four catches for 61 yards and two touchdowns and Michael Hartings rushed eight times for 113 yards and one score.
Boys soccer team wins tourney opener
Boys soccer coach Dan Roads was hoping his team would "become a bit more dangerous offensively" during the postseason.
The Warriors, who averaged 1.5 goals during the regular season, improved to 7-7-2 with a 2-1 win over 11th-seeded Granville Christian in the opening round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 15 at home.
Worthington Christian, which is seeded fifth, played at fourth-seeded Tree of Life in the second round Oct. 17, with the winner facing seventh-seeded Madison Christian or ninth-seeded Liberty Union in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 27.
Worthington Christian had won three of four games heading into the postseason, but lost 2-0 at Olentangy Berlin in its regular-season finale Oct. 13.
Girls soccer team opens tourney play
The top-seeded girls soccer team began the Division III district tournament Oct. 16 at home against 16th-seeded Madison Plains.
The winner plays eighth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek or ninth-seeded Ready in a second-round game Thursday, Oct. 18, at the home of the better seed. That winner faces third-seeded Wellington, fifth-seeded Fairbanks, 11th-seeded West Jefferson or 14th-seeded Marion Pleasant in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 27.
Worthington Christian tied Wellington at 1 on Sept. 10 and beat Fairbanks 4-0 on Oct. 8.
With a 4-1 win over Hartley on Oct. 11, the Warriors improved to 10-0-5. Riley Myers and Grace Todd each scored two goals against the Hawks.
Vallangeon wins MSL cross country title
Senior Taylor Vallangeon of the boys cross country team captured the MSL-Ohio championship Oct. 13 at Grandview, finishing in 17 minutes, 1.6 seconds to edge the Bobcats' Derek Amicon (17:02.9) for the title.
The Warriors finished fourth (98) in the five-team league meet behind champion Columbus Academy (43).
Also competing were Jonathan Sanders (22nd, 20:51.1), Samuel Spires (23rd, 20:55.7), Peter Tsibouris (25th, 21:27.9), Mackay Lykens (27th, 21:30.3), Nathan Vallangeon (28th, 22:02.4) and Turner Burns (35th, 23:03.1).
The girls team also was fourth in the league meet, scoring 93 points as Bexley (31) won the title.
Madelyn Skidmore placed 11th (23:12.7) to lead the Warriors, followed by Andrea Hess (17th, 24:54.9) and Katherine Todd (19th, 26:20.4). Reagan Bowen, Hannah Smilges and Morgan Lawrence also competed.
Both teams will compete Saturday, Oct. 20, in the Division III, district 2 meet at Hilliard Darby, where the top four teams and top 16 individuals advance to regional Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
Volleyball team to open postseason
The 19th-seeded girls volleyball team will open the Division III district tournament at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at second-seeded Marion Pleasant or at home against 23rd-seeded Mount Gilead in a second-round match.
The winner plays seventh-seeded Cardington or 16th-seeded Liberty Union in a district semifinal Oct. 25 at Mount Vernon Nazarene.
The Warriors lost to Bexley 25-16, 24-26, 25-14, 25-11 on Oct. 11 in their regular-season finale to drop to 8-13 overall and finish third (4-4) in the MSL-Ohio behind co-champions Columbus Academy and Bexley (both 7-1).
Against Bexley, Jenna Kray had 17 kills, 10 digs and 25 serves received, CeCi Dalton had 25 assists and Betsy Cunningham had 19 serves received.
Tennis season ends at district for Mayottes
Senior Amanda Mayotte and her sister, sophomore Abby Mayotte, closed the season for the girls tennis season at the Division II district tournament Oct. 11 at Columbus School for Girls.
Amanda Mayotte, the Warriors' No. 1 singles player, lost to Bloom-Carroll's Stephanie Graham 6-3, 7-6 in her district opener, while Abby Mayotte lost her opening district match 6-0, 6-2 to Columbus Academy's Sydni Ratliff, the eventual district champion.
"They're both pleased to get to the district," said Stefanie Mayotte, who is the mother and coach of the Mayotte sisters. "Abby didn't get here last year, so it was her first time and it was Amanda's second."
The Warriors, who went 7-8 overall and placed fourth (2-3) in the MSL-Ohio behind champion Academy (5-0), will lose four other seniors, including Anna Kremnitzer, Caroline Mousa and Emma Morris.
Kremnitzer and Mousa lost in the first round of the sectional Oct. 5 at CSG in doubles, while Morris teamed with junior Amber Ralston to reach the second round at sectional in doubles.
The Warriors' other singles competitor at sectional was junior Laura King, who reached the second round.
Another player who could contribute next season is Meghan Mayotte, an eighth-grader who also is a daughter of coach Mayotte.