The disappointment Reynoldsburg junior Jamison Boykins felt at the end of the previous two boys golf seasons finally was alleviated Oct. 2 in a Division I sectional tournament at Turnberry.
Boykins was in contention to qualify for district in each of his first two prep seasons but fell one stroke short of advancing both times.
In this year's sectional, Boykins' consistent round earned him a tie for third place (75) and advanced him to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.
"It means a lot to me to finally make it to districts, especially since I was one shot from making it to districts the past two years," Boykins said.
Olentangy Berlin's Bryce Reed and Pickerington North's Elijah Hale were co-medalists at sectional as both shot 74, and Boykins tied Delaware's Luke Gazarek and Gahanna's Max Hahn for third. Reed, Hale and Hahn all advanced to district with their teams, and Gazarek and Boykins qualified individually.
The Raiders shot a season-best 371 to finish 11th of 15 teams behind champion North (306). The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district, where the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams moved on to the state tournament Oct. 18 and 19 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Boykins, who shot 37 on the front 9 and 38 on the back 9 at sectional, credited his ability to scramble and his mid-range putting as his biggest strengths.
"It was one of the most consistent rounds that he's had all year," coach Scott Brewer said. "If you look at his scores throughout the year, just watching him play (at sectional) he just hit more consistent shots throughout the round, tee to green. His short game is always pretty good."
Boykins shot a 73 on Aug. 12 at Apple Valley during the second round of the four-round OCC-Ohio Division tournament.
"I was following him around closely the last few holes (at sectional) to make sure there weren't any issues with how he wanted to play certain holes and he was fortunate enough to get past hole No. 7 with a par because that has given him some problems (in other rounds)," Brewer said. "He chipped in for par on No. 5 and that was the key to his round."
Also competing at sectional were sophomore Alex Perez (91), sophomore Evan Litton (99), senior Spencer Daugherty (106) and freshman Dylan Austin (112).
"We shot our lowest round as a team in the most important and most pressure-packed tournament of the year," Brewer said. "It matters the most because of what it means and how much pressure there was."
Girls volleyball team finding its rhythm
In regards to how far it has come in recent weeks, the girls volleyball team is "just getting started," according to coach Brittney McKenna.
The Raiders took a big step forward Oct. 3 when they spoiled Pickerington North's last OCC-Ohio home match of the season with a 25-23, 20-25, 25-19, 17-25, 15-7 victory. The Panthers were 16-4 overall before playing Olentangy Orange on Oct. 8 and are 6-3 in the league.
That victory concluded a week in which Reynoldsburg won three in a row, with the other wins coming Sept. 30 at Groveport (25-16, 25-16, 25-20) and Oct. 1 at Logan (25-14, 25-14, 26-24).
Before closing OCC-Ohio play and the regular season Oct. 9 against Lancaster, the Raiders were 7-14 overall and 1-8 in the league.
"It was a hard fight (against North) and my girls were not letting up," McKenna said. "It was a big win for us."
Seniors Maya Carter, Kayla Ferguson, Olivia Kirksey, Elysia LaPrade and Jessica Ricks and sophomores Kaylynn Gianettino and Kyra Frasier have been among those in the middle of the team's stronger play of late, according to McKenna.
"The seniors are fighting, and so are the underclassmen," McKenna said. "(Junior) Aiyana (Peters) was libero (against North) and shocked everyone with her aggressiveness and passing."
Tennis team does well at sectional
The girls tennis team had its season end in a Division I sectional Oct. 5 at home, but not without earning several wins.
Two of the Raiders' singles entrants and one of their doubles teams advanced to the quarterfinal level, falling one win short of advancing to district.
In singles, seniors Hope Chaffin and Nia Harris each won a play-in match and then won in the first two rounds Oct. 3 before losing in a quarterfinal Oct. 5.
The doubles team of senior Abi Swift and freshman Rowan Toole lost in a quarterfinal Oct. 3.
Freshman Olivia Cox, who spent most of the season at first singles, lost in the second round. The doubles team of junior Emili Pavlovska and freshman Lorelei Dunlap lost in the first round.
Another highlight of the season took place when the Raiders beat Grove City 3-2 on Sept. 20 to earn their first league victory since 2015. Reynoldsburg tied Lancaster and the Greyhounds for fourth (1-4) in the OCC-Ohio behind champion Pickerington North (5-0).
The Raiders went 6-12 overall. Their match against Delaware on Sept. 16 was suspended while tied at 2 and won't be completed.
Below are the coming schedules for the Reynoldsburg cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 12 -- OCC-Ohio meet at Lancaster
Oct. 15 -- Home vs. 52nd-seeded Independence in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 14th-seeded New Albany or 16th-seeded Hilliard Bradley in second round Oct. 17 at home of better seed. The Raiders are seeded 12th.
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 23rd-seeded Dublin Scioto in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner visits 15th-seeded Olentangy Berlin in second round Oct. 19. The Raiders are seeded 22nd.
Oct. 16 -- At seventh-seeded Scioto or home versus 42nd-seeded Northland in second round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 10th-seeded Gahanna, 23rd-seeded Dublin Jerome or 25th-seeded Delaware in district semifinal Oct. 22. The Raiders are seeded 29th.