Bryce Reed's mettle was tested right off the bat in his first two tournaments of the season with the Olentangy Berlin boys golf team.
The junior double-bogeyed his first hole in the season-opening Pickerington Central Invitational on Aug. 5 at Turnberry, but went on to shoot a 3-under par 69 to tie Hilliard Davidson's Zach Burton for medalist honors.
One day later in the opening round of the OCC-Cardinal Division tournament, Reed bogeyed his first hole at Apple Valley but ended up at 7-under 65, nine shots better than runner-up Tyler Groomes of Dublin Jerome.
"He's keeping his head more involved in the game," coach Andrew Fraley said. "Last year, if the putter wasn't working or his wedge shots were not where he wanted them, his body language would be a little down. Now as a junior, he has kept that inside more.
"A prime example of that was in the very first tournament of the year, when he double-bogeyed the first hole and that might have cost him as a sophomore. He did the same thing in the first OCC hole at Apple Valley and rebounded even better."
Through three rounds of league competition, Reed had the top average among all OCC golfers with a 69.0. The final round of OCC-Cardinal play was Sept. 11 at Denison Golf Club. Reed shot league rounds of 71 at Turnberry on Aug. 12 and Darby Creek on Aug. 28.
"Something that really helped me last year was playing with Jackson Chandler and all of the Jerome guys," Reed said. "They had a good team, and I was playing one shot behind them. Now I know I can play with anyone in the state."
That might have to do with Reed's dedication to the game. After playing a travel baseball schedule in past summers, he chose to spend this summer competing in golf tournaments in several states.
Reed won the Hudson Junior Invitational on June 25-27 at the Country Club of Hudson with a 219. He also won GolfWeek Junior Tour events at Cherry Blossom on March 23 and 24 in Georgetown, Kentucky, Boulder Creek on May 4 and 5 in Streetsboro and Avalon Lakes on May 18 and 19 in Warren.
"During the summer I played a lot of tournaments; I probably played in about 15 tournaments getting the reps in," Reed said. "I have been learning how to win a little more and it helps things pressure-wise."
Reed also worked on his fundamentals with swing coach Brian Unk, who also is the coach at St. Charles. Those offseason tweaks have helped his short game.
"Last fall when Bryce was 125 (yards) and in, he would try to hit it 7 or 8 yards behind the pin and rip it back with backspin," Fraley said. "Now he has two or three other shots in his repertoire, and he can control the trajectory of the ball a lot better. That has allowed him to score from a lot of different angles."
Entering the final round of OCC-Cardinal play, Berlin was second (18-3) behind Jerome (20-1). The Bears shot 303 in the third round at Darby Creek, as the two-time defending Division I state champion Celtics carded 309 for second.
"Our goal is to make it to state this year, but before we can do that we needed to beat the two-time defending champion, and we did that," Fraley said. "The kids saw that they can do it and now that's galvanized us even more."
The Bears will find out Sunday, Sept. 15, whether they will play in a Division I sectional at Darby Creek or Denison Golf Club on Oct. 1 or Turnberry on Oct. 2. The top four teams advance to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley, where the top two teams advance to state Oct. 18 and 19 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
"This is a fun team," Reed said. "We have a chance to do something pretty special this year. We just need to keep grinding and keep playing good golf."
Boys soccer team has balanced attack
The boys soccer team had nine players score goals through seven games.
The Bears were 4-1-2 overall and 0-1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Jerome on Sept. 10.
Will Harrington led the team with five goals, followed by Luke Eisenhower and Mason Morris with two apiece. Goalkeeper Connor Sexton had 17 saves.
Austin Corley and Harrington scored as Berlin defeated Worthington Christian 2-1 on Sept. 7. Sexton had three saves.
Walker leading girls soccer team in scoring
Sydney Walker has been the top scorer for the girls soccer team, which had won four of five games and was 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Jerome on Sept. 10.
Walker had eight goals through seven games, including all three in a 3-1 win over Dublin Scioto on Aug. 27 to open league play. Goalie McKinley Hoffmann had five saves.
Claire Walker and Cameryn Susey both had three goals through seven games.
Below are the coming schedules for the Berlin cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 14 -- Ohio Wesleyan Invitational at Liberty Park
Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Granville
*Sept. 18 -- At Orange
Sept. 14 -- Rodney Butt Classic at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 16 -- Liberty Invitational at Kinsale
Sept. 18 -- St. Charles at Bent Tree
Sept. 5 -- Olentangy at Oakhaven
Sept. 9 -- Dublin Scioto at Bent Tree
*Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington
Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Newark
*Sept. 17 -- At Thomas
Sept. 12 -- At Marysville
Sept. 16 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian
Sept. 17 -- At Olentangy
Sept. 18 -- At Liberty
*Sept. 12 -- At Dublin Scioto
*Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley. The Bears lost to the Jaguars 25-18, 25-11, 25-16 on Aug. 22.