Grove City Christian football coach Hank Patterson noticed his players have been more upbeat lately, and it's made a difference on the field.
The Eagles earned their second win of the season, defeating visiting Fairfield Christian 26-7 on Oct. 4. They are 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the MSL-Cardinal Division.
"I had to pinch myself to see if it was real," Patterson said. "They've been upbeat for a couple of weeks and I'm thinking maybe they are trying to get it. They're gaining experience. It's been refreshing."
Patterson considers Fairfield Christian to be his team's top rival.
"Everyone wants to beat their rivals, so when it comes to that week we need to be sharp," he said. "It was really exciting. The players were really geeked about it."
Koby Brunney rushed for 125 yards and Christian Lautenschleger had 115 all-purpose yards to lead the Eagles. Lautenschleger returned after battling an ankle injury.
"Christian put it to work (Oct. 4)," Patterson said. "He had a lot of all-purpose yards catching passes out of the backfield."
Patterson added that fullback Joey Gallagher also contributed offensively and the team rushed for about 300 yards.
The Eagles will look for their second consecutive win when they visit Morral Ridgedale on Friday, Oct. 11.
The Rockets fell to 2-3 with a 46-0 loss to Berne Union on Oct. 4, as they were held to minus-25 total yards while allowing 392 yards. Sam Leach was 7-for-23 passing for 36 yards.
"They have a good ground game," Patterson said. "They have a good off-tackle game. They have some good coaching, so I'm going to expect a tough game from them.
"We've been on high alert since (Week) 1. With our youth as far as players' experience, it's mayday every Friday night."
Girls volleyball team preps for postseason
The girls volleyball team is preparing for what it hopes is a long postseason run.
The Eagles were 8-12 overall and 5-7 in the MSL-Cardinal before playing Fisher Catholic on Oct. 8.
Grove City Christian is seeded 10th of 20 teams for the Division IV district tournament and visits sixth-seeded Shekinah Christian in the first round Tuesday, Oct. 15.
The Eagles close the regular season Saturday, Oct. 12, at Zanesville Rosecrans. They lost to the Bishops 18-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-20 on Sept. 24.
Through 20 matches, Ashley Stoll and Bryanna Trout each had 82 kills to lead the team, followed by Alayna Riggs with 69.
Aliana Dawson led in assists (311) and aces (26), Trout (36) and Riggs (28) led in blocks and Stoll (140), Brooke O'Dell (133) and Dawson (111) led in digs.
Boys golf team completes season
First-year boys golf coach Josh Ipock was pleased with his team's progress this season.
The Eagles had 10 players on the roster, including five seniors.
"We had a great season," Ipock said. "I got to see our guys grow and mature as young men and golfers. Great relationships were built and I am thankful I got the opportunity to coach these guys. We improved so much since the beginning of the season. Many of our guys cut 20-plus strokes off their game because they put in the time to get better. It was fun to watch them improve."
Grove City Christian opted not to compete in the Division III district tournament Oct. 2 at Denison Golf Club. There were no sectional tournaments held in Divisions II and III because of a lack of teams.
The Eagles went 3-9 in the MSL-Cardinal to finish third behind champion Fisher Catholic (9-0).
Sophomore Connor Benson and freshmen James Cuckler, Kolton DeWine, Kaden Garringer and Quinn Garringer are eligible to return.
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City Christian cross country and boys soccer teams:
Oct. 12 -- MSL-Cardinal meet at Millersport
Oct. 17 -- Home vs. 13th-seeded Fairbanks in first round of Division III district tournament. The Eagles are seeded sixth of 23 teams.