The challenges continue to get tougher for the Watterson football team.

After opening with a 24-22 victory over Division I Lancaster on Aug. 30, the Eagles controlled Division VII state-power Maria Stein Marion Local 31-7 on Sept. 6 and survived long weather delays to edge Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 24-21 on Sept. 13.

Then on Sept. 20, Watterson beat Carroll 41-28 at Ohio Dominican in another game that stretched late into the evening because of weather delays. According to coach Brian Kennedy, Carroll is the best team the Eagles have faced thus far.

Watterson now must travel Friday, Sept. 27, to face Dayton Chaminade, which was sixth in last week's Division III state poll but dropped to 3-1 with a 47-26 loss to Hartley on Sept. 20.

Not looking ahead to a Week 6 matchup at DeSales also is paramount for the Eagles, who are 4-0 and were ranked ninth in last week's state poll.

"They're another very athletic team that was a playoff team last year and went 8-3," Kennedy said. "They've had some kids transfer in and now those kids are eligible. They're top six in the state for a reason. Any time you've got to go on a bus for that long, that's tough."

The game against Chaminade Julienne -- which also is nicknamed the Eagles -- will mark the final time Watterson will have junior running back Cam Nickelson as one of its assets.

A transfer from Dublin Scioto, Nickelson is only available for the season's first five weeks because of the OHSAA transfer rule.

Against Walsh Jesuit, Nickelson had 17 carries for 155 yards as the Eagles survived despite only having senior running back Tommy Bair on a limited basis because of injury.

Chaminade Julienne has shown a mix of the run and pass, with senior Marquis Henry rushing for 432 yards and seven touchdowns and senior quarterback Ryan Minor throwing for 454 yards and three scores through three games.

Watterson and Chaminade Julienne have met three times, with Watterson winning 27-7 in 1989 and 19-16 in 1990 in regular-season games and 42-35 in 1999 in a Division III state semifinal.

Girls golfers head into stretch run

The girls golf team is preparing for a Division I sectional Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Royal American, where the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams move on to the district tournament Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.

After finishing fourth at sectional last season to miss advancing to district by one spot, the Eagles could be on the district bubble again this year.

Also at the Royal American sectional are perennial state-power and OCC-Cardinal Division champion Dublin Jerome, OCC-Cardinal co-runners-up Delaware and Hilliard Darby, OCC-Ohio runner-up Pickerington North and OCC-Buckeye third-place finisher Olentangy.

The Eagles also are preparing for the final round of CCL action, which will be held Oct. 5 at NorthStar. They are 3-3 in league play and have been averaging 180 for nine holes on the season.

Senior Sammy Politz, junior Victoria Alves and sophomores Sophia Roncone and Anna Stauffer have been among the team's top players and junior Katherine McGrath and sophomore Amelia Walker also have contributed, according to coach Mike Crotty.

"(They've shown) lots of hard work and dedication," Crotty said.

Field hockey team not backing down

The field hockey team dropped to 5-3 overall after losing 3-1 to Shaker Heights and 3-2 to Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown on Sept. 21.

The Eagles, who have just two seniors, were 2-1 in the COFHL-East Division before playing New Albany on Sept. 23 and continue league action Thursday, Sept. 26, at Columbus School for Girls.

On Sept. 18 in a 4-1 victory over Upper Arlington, junior attacker Alex Picolo had three goals, junior Cailin O'Reilly scored one and junior goalkeeper Caroline Dunham made six saves.

Sophomore attacker Grace Cantwell scored two goals in a 3-0 win over Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame on Sept. 14 and Picolo had all of the Eagles' goals in a 3-0 victory over Olentangy Orange on Sept. 9.

Watterson's other loss through eight games came against defending state champion Columbus Academy, 1-0 on Sept. 5.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Watterson cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 28 -- Panther Invitational at Pickerington North

FIELD HOCKEY

*Sept. 26 -- At Columbus School for Girls

Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington

*Oct. 2 -- At Worthington Kilbourne

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 28 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry

Oct. 1 -- Division I sectional at Denison Golf Club. Top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.

GIRLS GOLF

Oct. 1 -- Division I sectional at Royal American. Top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the district Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 28 -- At Reynoldsburg

*Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Hartley

GIRLS SOCCER

*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Hartley

Sept. 28 -- At Olentangy Berlin

Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington

GIRLS TENNIS

Sept. 26 -- At Wellington

Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Berlin

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Sept. 28 -- At CSG

Oct. 1 -- At Olentangy Liberty

*League contest