With underclassmen filling numerous key roles on his team this season, Worthington Christian High School boys soccer coach Dan Roads isn't surprised it has dealt with a learning curve this fall.
Despite not having a winning record heading into the postseason, however, the Warriors again put themselves in position to compete for a Division III district title.
"The season has been one of growth and development," Roads said. "We've transitioned through many formations and positions, with the end result creating a team primed for the tournament."
The fifth-seeded Warriors pulled off a minor upset when they defeated fourth-seeded Tree of Life 1-0 in the second round of the district tournament Oct. 17 to improve to 8-7-2. They played host to ninth-seeded Liberty Union in a district semifinal Oct. 23.
The winner plays second-seeded Wellington or 10th-seeded Grove City Christian in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at a neutral site.
The district champion faces Grandview, Horizon Science, Fairbanks or Johnstown in a regional semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Gahanna. The regional final is Nov. 3.
The Warriors, who were district runners-up in both 2015 and '16 and were regional semifinalists last season, got the game's only goal against Tree of Life from sophomore forward Tyler Kindberg.
Kindberg was the team's leader in goals heading into the district semifinal with 13.
Sophomore goalkeeper Ethan Kraynak, who had nine saves against Tree of Life, also has been a standout, according to Roads.
Vallangeon advances to regional meet
Senior Taylor Vallangeon of the boys cross country team will compete in the Division III regional meet Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pickerington North.
At regional, the top 20 individuals advance to the state meet Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.
Vallangeon was runner-up (16 minutes, 27.1 seconds) in the district 2 meet Oct. 20 at Hilliard Darby, as the Warriors finished fifth (161 points) of 11 teams, behind champion Fredericktown (33).
The top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced to regional.
Noah Denorme (35th, 19:00.5) was next for the Warriors, followed by Samuel Spires (40th, 19:15.8), Peter Tsibouris (46th, 19:36.9), Nathan Vallangeon (48th, 19:46), Mackay Lykens (50th, 19:55) and Turner Burns (53rd, 20:08.6).
The girls team placed eighth (205) in the 10-team district 2 meet, behind champion Centerburg (37), as Madelyn Skidmore placed 18th (21:27.6) to finish two spots shy of advancing.
Skidmore was followed by Joy Pitzer (49th, 24:02.3), Andrea Hess (53rd, 24:30.4), Reagan Bowen (56th, 24:41.2) and Katherine Todd (60th, 24:59.6). Morgan Lawrence also competed.
Girls soccer team makes district semi
The top-seeded girls soccer team played third-seeded Wellington in a Division III district semifinal Oct. 24.
The winner plays second-seeded Grandview or fourth-seeded Columbus Academy in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at a neutral site.
The district champion faces Zanesville Rosecrans, Cadiz Harrison Central, Berlin Hiland or Richmond Edison in a regional semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Lakewood. The regional final is Nov. 3.
The Warriors opened the district tournament with a 7-0 win over 16th-seeded Madison Plains on Oct. 16 and beat ninth-seeded Ready 4-0 in a second-round game Oct. 18 to improve to 12-0-5.
Blessing King scored two goals against Madison Plains and Grace Todd scored three against Ready.
Season ends for volleyball team
The 19th-seeded girls volleyball team lost 25-12, 25-17, 25-12 at second-seeded Marion Pleasant in the second round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 20 to finish 8-14.
The Warriors are losing four seniors, led by CeCi Dalton (setter) and Betsy Cunningham (outside hitter/defensive specialist).
Junior middle hitter Jenna Kray is expected to be a key returnee next year after leading the Warriors with 183 kills during the regular season.
Other key players eligible to return include junior Isabelle Gilham (outside hitter) and sophomores Libby Dalton (setter/defensive specialist), Alyssa Frumkin (middle hitter/outside hitter), Mary Lake (outside hitter) and Hannah Walters (libero/defensive specialist).