Daivion Greene-Tucker enjoys the ocean so much that he's considering studying marine biology when he begins college next year.
The senior running back also loves being a leader for the Columbus South football team.
"I just really like the water, the ocean, but I've got the other side, too," Greene-Tucker said. "I try to bring in a lot of guys to play. Anybody that looks like a great fit for the football team, I just try to get them on board. We've got a lot of guys buying in."
The example Greene-Tucker has set on the field has been paying off the Bulldogs, who improved to 4-0 with a 66-20 victory over visiting Briggs on Sept. 20 in their City League-South Division opener.
Considering its next two opponents, Africentric (Friday, Sept. 27) and West (Oct. 4), both are 0-4, South looks poised to post its second consecutive winning season.
The Bulldogs, who play on the road against the Nubians and Cowboys, won their first three games last season and six of their first seven, with their only loss during that stretch coming to eventual Division III state semifinalist Eastmoor (47-6).
South lost its final three games a year ago to finish 6-4, but still posted its first winning season since 2006. From 2007-17, the Bulldogs went 21-88 with 11 of the wins coming against Africentric or Briggs.
This season, the Bulldogs have strong participation numbers and an experienced roster on their side.
"Something I always tell my guys is that you are responsible for the team and I'm responsible for the program," coach George Yates II said. "This team tends to be more balanced and I think it has a more mature personality than last year. We're deeper. We have 63 names on the roster and I've only got 50 varsity jerseys, so this thing is really growing. That group last year was a really special group and put us on the right track. The next logical step is that we'd be a year more mature, a little bit faster and more fundamentally sound."
Greene-Tucker and junior Dawson Clark-Croone have been leading the rushing attack behind junior quarterback Ronmel Robinson.
Through three games, Clark-Croone had 24 carries for 264 yards and three touchdowns, Greene-Tucker had 28 carries for 211 yards and three touchdowns and five receptions for 105 yards and two scores and Robinson had completed 19 of 31 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Robinson also had 158 yards and four touchdowns on 33 carries in addition to being one of the team's leading tacklers and one of its punters.
Junior Shermar Lindsey, who did not play last season, has been what Yates II calls a "cornerstone tackle."
"Statistically, we've run the ball well," Yates II said. "Our passing numbers have gone up. We're old school. About 95 percent of our plays (in a 55-20 win over) Whetstone (on Sept. 13), we ran power, over and over and over.
"We've just got a great group of guys. I know what the outside world thinks about us, but they'd be blown away by our character. We want our guys to be excellent human beings first. I'm very thankful."
Perhaps the biggest example of what Yates II wants from his program is reflected in Greene-Tucker, who is interested in colleges such as Division III perennial national power Mount Union and Akron.
He's ranked in the top 10 in the senior class and is the president of the school's National Honor Society.
"We've got to work on being perfect," Greene-Tucker said. "Right now, we're just working against ourselves. We've got a lot of young players stepping up. It's been great."
City football action starts in North
The City-North football schedule continues for six programs Friday, Sept. 27, with Northland playing host to Whetstone, East visiting Centennial and Linden-McKinley playing host to Mifflin.
Beechcroft will complete its non-league schedule by traveling to Toledo Waite on Saturday, Sept. 28.
The Cougars are 2-2 after opening league action Sept. 20 by beating East 29-15.
Waite is 0-4 and has been outscored 139-20, although its first four opponents are a combined 13-3.
Beechcroft averaged just seven points over its first three games before breaking out against the Tigers with 23 first-half points.
Alhaji Sidibe returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown, quarterback DeShannon Butler threw an 86-yard touchdown pass to Davon Wooden and Diante Latham rushed for two touchdowns to lead the Cougars.
Northland was outscored 169-7 in its first three games but beat Mifflin 25-0 in its league opener Sept. 20 to improve to 1-3.
The Vikings have won the last three matchups with Whetstone, which was 1-2 before opening league action Sept. 23 against Linden.
Vikings tennis team 'doing really well'
The Northland girls tennis team is 5-5 overall heading into its match Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Marysville.
The Vikings, who finished 2-2 in the City-North, have only one senior in doubles player Tenasia Watson.
Juniors Twei Twei Aung and Constansia Materu and sophomores Florence Bless Annor, Mary Kim, Karmela Reed and Dalisa Roberts also have been key players.
Northland lost to Whetstone, which will represent the City-North in the City championship match, 5-0 on Sept. 11 and fell to Centennial 3-2 on Aug. 26.
The City League Coaches Tournament was held Sept. 23 and 25 and Division I sectional competition begins Oct. 3.
"I've got some girls that have never played before, but they're doing well," coach Dan Zedeker said. "They're doing really well and I'm enjoying it. It's a really great group of kids. I want them to have fun and we're going to be OK."