Feeling slighted was a driving force for seniors Margaret Baur and Abbey Giesler of the Watterson girls tennis team at a Division I sectional held Oct. 3 and 5 at Pickerington Central.
Junior Caroline Goodlive also found plenty of incentives to play well.
That trio will represent the Eagles at the district tournament being held Thursday, Oct. 10, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at Reynoldsburg, with the top four finishers in singles and doubles advancing to the state tournament Oct. 18 and 19 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Baur and Giesler teamed up at first doubles all season and were not seeded for the sectional.
The duo defeated Olentangy Berlin's fourth-seeded team of Janna Harris and Vidya Puttagunta 6-4, 6-0 in a second-round match and beat Watkins Memorial's Amy Wright and Kenzie Fadorsen 6-1, 5-7, 7-5 in a quarterfinal match to advance to district. Baur and Giesler went on to finish fourth.
"Not being seeded was definitely a huge motivation for us," Baur said. "It felt so good being able to prove ourselves as a team that should be recognized."
According to Giesler, having a "positive mental mindset" helped the duo advance to district for the first time.
"It was super cool and exciting, especially when you get to win with your best friend," Giesler said.
Goodlive played first singles most of the last two seasons for the Eagles and was seeded third for the sectional. She defeated Watkins Memorial's Julie Sanchez 6-2, 7-5 in a quarterfinal match to advance to district and went on to reach the final, where she lost to Berlin's Ella Franz 6-0, 6-0 to finish second.
"My third match got a little dicey, but it was OK," Goodlive said. "(Making district) was definitely something I wanted to do. It was a goal for the season, so it was obviously very exciting."
Also competing in singles were freshman Katherine Braidech, who lost to Marion Harding's Tyler Simmers 6-7, 6-2, 6-5 in the first round, and senior Layne Geswein, who lost 7-6, 7-5 in the first round to Pickerington Central's Alexis Heren.
In doubles, senior Caroline Bouchard and junior Isabella Roscoe lost in the second round to Watkins Memorial's Journey Kissel and Lillia Walter 6-2, 6-1.
Football team looks to bounce back
After winning its first four games, the football team lost back-to-back contests to teams that are 5-1 in Dayton Chaminade Julienne (28-7 on Sept. 27) and DeSales (20-16 on Oct. 4).
In the CCL-opening loss to the Stallions, Watterson led 16-6 but couldn't hold on. DeSales intercepted Eagles quarterback Jake Hoying three times in the second half, including one by Jordan Johnson early in the third quarter that set up the game-winning touchdown.
"We made mistakes, especially in the second half," coach Brian Kennedy said. "They say every football game comes down to five or six plays, and they made the five or six plays tonight."
Watterson is 4-2 entering its matchup Friday, Oct. 11, at home against Youngstown Ursuline, which beat Youngstown Chaney 27-26 on Oct. 5 to improve to 1-5.
The Fighting Irish went 1-9 last season, with their only win being a 24-21 victory over the Eagles in Week 7.
Ursuline rotated quarterbacks against Chaney, with Brady Shannon completing seven of 12 passes for 43 yards and a touchdown to Matt Reardon and Reardon going 7-for-15 passing for 83 yards.
On the season, Davion Jones has 52 carries for 260 yards and Trenton Hill has 88 carries for 255 yards to lead Ursuline's running game.
Linebacker Dante Walker leads the Fighting Irish's defense with 43 tackles and six tackles for loss.
"We're still a good team," Kennedy said. "The last two weeks we've played really good teams. I thought we played really well (against DeSales), but a few things didn't go our way and they capitalized on it."
Young players to fill key boys golf roles
With four seniors among its top five players, the boys golf team will build next season around sophomore Carson Trafford.
At a Division I sectional Oct. 1 at Denison Golf Club, the Eagles shot a 328 to finish fifth of 14 teams, as the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district. Westerville Central (320) earned the final qualifying spot.
"(The seniors) were an exceptional group of young men and were a delight to coach," coach Olin Melaragno said.
Senior Patrick Sellers shot a 78 to lead the Eagles at sectional, finishing two strokes behind the final individual district qualifier.
He was followed by seniors Fred Gilbert (81) and Michael Reis (83), Trafford (86) and senior Max Ritchey (90).
Freshmen Deacon Pinson and Noah Stauffer also contributed this season.
All of the regular competitors averaged between 40 and 42 strokes for nine holes for the Eagles, who finished second in the CCL at 6-2 behind St. Charles (8-0).
Girls golf team 'came a long way'
Of the five players who represented the girls golf team at a Division I sectional Oct. 1 at Royal American, the only senior was Sammy Politz.
Watterson finished sixth (380) at the 11-team event behind champion Dublin Jerome (321). Sophomore Anna Stauffer led the Eagles with a 16th-place finish (91) and sophomore Sophia Roncone shot a 92 to tie for 17th as the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.
Also competing were sophomore Amelia Walker (97), junior Victoria Alves (100) and Politz (102).
"We learned a lot and I'm very proud of what they did," first-year coach Mike Crotty said. "I lose one senior. I saw a lot of improvement in this team, from the short game, especially, and with putting and chipping. We came a long way."
Others in the program were junior Katherine McGrath and sophomores Hannah Ashmore and Brooke Davenport.
Watterson shot a 377 to place second behind DeSales (350) and ahead of Hartley (395) and Ready (497) in the CCL postseason tournament Oct. 5 at NorthStar to finish second overall in the league at 4-2, behind the Stallions (6-0).
According to Crotty, Politz, Roncone and Stauffer all averaged about 43 strokes in nine-hole matches.
Below are the coming schedules for the Watterson cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 12 -- CCL meet at Otterbein
Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Granville
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 16th-seeded Lancaster in second round of district tournament. The Eagles are seeded third.
Oct. 12 -- Home vs. Hamilton Township
Oct. 16 -- At seventh-seeded Jonathan Alder or home vs. 19th-seeded Eastmoor Academy in second round of Division II district tournament. The Eagles are seeded ninth.
Oct. 12 -- At Olentangy Liberty
Oct. 19 -- Home vs. 32nd-seeded Logan or 33rd-seeded Lancaster in second round of Division I district tournament. The Eagles are seeded sixth.
Oct. 12 -- At Olentangy Orange
Oct. 14 -- Home vs. 47th-seeded Mifflin in first round of Division I district tournament. The Eagles are seeded third.