Poised to win OCC-Central Division Player of the Year honors and propel the Upper Arlington boys golf team to its fourth consecutive league championship, Jud Turner seemed to have an air of confidence before the fourth and final round of the league tournament Sept. 11 at Darby Creek.
"He looked like he was ready to go right away," coach Troy Arbaugh said. "I told him, 'You're one of the best golfers in the area and you know it.' He just looked ready. When he walked off the green at No. 18, I could see he had a bit of a smirk on his face. It was that kind of day."
Turner shot a 70 to earn medalist honors for the round, clinch league Player of the Year honors and lead the Golden Bears to a team score of 303, ahead of Dublin Coffman (311), Hilliard Davidson (327), Marysville (355), Central Crossing (446) and Westland (483).
Also scoring were Daniel Goldberg (76), Joe Mollica (76) and Ryan Carpenter (81).
UA finished 19-1 in the overall league standings, ahead of Coffman (17-3), Davidson (12-8), Marysville (8-12), Central Crossing (4-16) and Westland (0-20).
"I've felt comfortable all year with my irons and drivers," said Turner, who averaged 72.75 strokes per round in the league tournament, two strokes better than runner-up Zach Burton from Davidson. "I don't know if how you feel on the driving range dictates how the day will go, but I did feel pretty confident (Sept. 11). I think I've been better at just being smart on the golf course. If I have a bad day, I've been good at getting past my mistakes. If I've gotten off to a slow start, I've been able to bounce back."
In an illustration of UA's depth, seven players participated in at least one round of the OCC-Central tournament.
Carpenter, who has alternated between varsity A and varsity B, shot a 76 in the St. Charles Invitational on Sept. 7 at Brookside.
Max Sloan played in two rounds and Carpenter and Dylan Cullman each participated in one.
"I'm not sure I ever thought we'd be this balanced," Mollica said. "Will Cohen came out of nowhere and shot a couple rounds of 74 (including an 83 at Darby Creek). I'm excited to see our scoring come together. It makes us really happy. Being a veteran, I feel like the team depends on me to have a good round, but if I have a bad day, I'm pretty confident somebody else is going to make up for it and have a good round. It's a little less pressure on everybody, but you also don't want to let the team down."
UA's best 18-hole team score entering the week was a 294 in the Dublin Invitational on Aug. 13 at Golf Club of Dublin. The Bears also went under 300 with a 299 in the first round of the league tournament Aug. 6 at Turnberry.
"If there are days we shoot a 315 or so, I cringe a bit because I know what we're capable of," Arbaugh said. "(On Sept. 11,) I saw what we were capable of. We're getting to the point in the season where, as a coach, I can't do much for them now. Whatever we do as a team from now on is in their hands. I think we're starting to be talked about as one of the top four or five teams in the area. Hopefully, with (the Division I sectional tournament) coming, we'll be playing well at the right time and we can do some good things."
Girls tennis team sustains strong start
Although the girls tennis team's undefeated start came to an end Sept. 12 with a 3-2 road loss at Dublin Jerome, the Bears will try to close out another OCC-Central championship when they play host to Davidson on Thursday, Sept. 19.
UA is 12-1 overall and 4-0 in the league entering the match against Davidson, which had been postponed Aug. 27 because of bad weather. The Bears clinched at least a share of their 30th league title in 31 seasons with a 4-1 win at Coffman on Sept. 5.
Seven of the Bears' first 11 wins came by 5-0 scores, and the rest -- against Dayton Chaminade Julienne on Aug. 9, Cincinnati Sycamore on Aug. 10, Coffman and Massillon Jackson on Sept. 14 -- were 4-1.
UA also remains alive in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I district tournament after defeating host Pickerington Central 5-0 in a quarterfinal Sept. 16. The Bears will play host to Jerome in a semifinal on a date to be determined.
Boys soccer team wins league opener
The boys soccer team has played well during a challenging early schedule, as it was 5-3-1 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Central before playing Davidson on Sept. 17.
UA has played three teams ranked in the top 10 in Division I as of last week, including a 1-0 home loss to fifth-ranked Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 12. Goalkeeper Mac Scholl made five saves against the Wolves.
Two nights later, Joe Cannon's two goals led the Bears to a 5-0 win at Central Crossing in the league opener for both teams.
UA lost to second-ranked Olentangy Liberty 6-2 on Aug. 20 and tied sixth-ranked Beavercreek at 0 on Sept. 7.
Cannon had scored six of the Bears' 21 goals through eight games. Anthony Reisman and Perry Stevenson both had four goals and Matthew Acock and Alex Woods both had two.
Below are the coming schedules for the Upper Arlington cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls volleyball and water polo teams:
Sept. 21 -- Boys: Tiger Invitational at Pickerington Central; Girls: Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster
*Sept. 25 -- Home vs. Olentangy Orange
Sept. 21 -- Upper Arlington Masters Invitational at Scioto Country Club
Sept. 23 -- Nolan Belden Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 19 -- Lady Bear Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 21 -- Marysville Invitational at Darby Creek
Sept. 23 -- Jerome Invitational at Darby Creek
Sept. 24 -- New Albany at Scioto Country Club
Sept. 19 -- At Gahanna
*Sept. 24 -- At Westland
*Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson in makeup from Aug. 27
*Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Westland
*Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Central Crossing. The Golden Bears defeated the Comets 25-17, 20-25, 25-27, 25-19, 15-12 on Sept. 3.
*Sept. 24 -- At Hilliard Davidson. The Golden Bears defeated the Wildcats 25-14, 25-23, 25-10 on Sept. 5.
Sept. 20-21 -- Boys: Cincinnati Princeton Invitational