Hard running, improved blocking and determination have helped the Bexley football team put together back-to-back victories.
The Lions had to fight back for a 24-13 win Oct. 4 at Buckeye Valley in MSL-Ohio Division play. Bexley trailed by 10 points at halftime, but controlled the line of scrimmage in the second half.
"We trailed 13-3 at half, but there were no speeches at half or anything like that," said coach Mike Golden, whose team is 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the league. "The kids took it upon themselves to wake up and play well.
"They showed a lot of character and really took over the game, scoring three times. We played really sound, fundamental football in the second half."
Offensive lineman Justin Mauk said the Lions refused to lose and took control in the second half.
"It was a team thing," he said. "We weren't really clicking in the first half, and we knew we couldn't lose. We knew we had to come together as a team and decided to take care of things."
Troy Redmond led the Lions' running attack with 201 yards and one touchdown, and Patrick Beck had 90 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
"Our line has been doing way better every game," Redmond said. "They have been able to hold their blocks (and) push people, and I have been seeing a lot of pancakes. It has been easy to read (the blocks) and get past the front line."
Mauk said the change comes down to communication between the linemen.
"Communication is pretty key on the line," he said. "In the first week or two, we weren't sure how to communicate. These past couple of weeks, we have been clicking and it's been working really well."
The Lions will look for a third consecutive win when they play Friday, Oct. 11, at Whitehall. The Rams, who have won two in a row, are 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the MSL-Ohio.
"I've just seen a short segment on Whitehall," Golden said. "They have good speed and they have a lot of different sets on offense and they are very aggressive on defense."
The Rams edged Liberty Union 20-14 on Oct. 4 in league play as they totaled 390 yards rushing. Juvaun Blackshear led with 158 yards on 28 carries and Christian Gordon had 112 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.
"They have a very athletic team," Redmond said. "They're good and it's going to be a hard-fought game with a fight until the end."
Volleyball team hitting stride
Second-year coach Mindy Millard is pleased with the progress of the girls volleyball team.
The Lions had won eight of nine matches and were 12-5 overall and 9-3 in the MSL-Ohio after defeating Columbus School for Girls 25-22, 25-11, 25-20 on Oct. 7.
"I think these girls are working really hard and you are having an upswing when we need it," said Millard, whose team closes the regular season Thursday, Oct. 10, against visiting Ready. "We work hard every day and they learn something every day. I'm really proud of the effort they put in. They come into every game and refine their skills a little more over and over again."
One example of the progress was a 25-13, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20 win over Buckeye Valley on Oct. 1 in league play. The Lions lost to the Barons 19-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-11, 17-15 on Sept. 5.
"We need to come together as a team instead of just being individuals," said junior middle hitter Kate Huefner, who had team highs in blocks (32) and aces (35) through 16 matches. "Positive energy is also important. If you get down on yourself, you can make more mistakes. You have to ignore what you did in the past and focus on what you can do in the present and future."
The Lions are seeded sixth for the Division II district tournament. They open with a second-round match Wednesday, Oct. 16, against third-seeded Sparta Highland or eighth-seeded Caledonia River Valley at the home of the better seed.
Through 16 matches, Giulia Viglietta led the Lions in kills (164), Grace Satterwhite led in digs (170) and Madison Lampke had a team-high 450 assists.
Tennis team advances six players to district
The girls tennis team will be well-represented in the Division II district tournament Thursday, Oct. 10, at CSG and Saturday, Oct. 12, at Reynoldsburg.
Sydney Elliott and Stefanie Lehman will compete in singles. Playing doubles will be the teams of Katie Benedict and Ellie Levy and Ilsa Evans and Maxine Giller.
The singles and doubles champions advance to state Oct. 18 and 19 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
In a sectional Oct. 3 and 5 at Columbus Academy, Elliott finished 3-1 after defeating Lehman 6-2, 6-1 in the third-place match. Lehman went 2-2.
Evans and Giller went 3-1, falling to Academy's Anna Chang and Naomi Chen 6-2, 6-3 in the doubles final. Benedict and Levy also were 3-1, finishing third after winning by default over Academy's Lauren Motta and Carolyn Tsung in the consolation final.
Banion, Segerman qualify for district
Viviane Banion and Emma Segerman of the girls golf team competed in the Division I district tournament Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.
In a sectional Oct. 2 at Blacklick Woods, Banion shot an 84 and Segerman had an 85 to earn two of the three individual-qualifying berths to district.
Bexley finished fourth (360) behind district-qualifiers New Albany (286), Dublin Coffman (324) and Westerville Central (343).
Kate Maynard (91), Abbey Elizondo (100) and Audrey Lauerhass (101) also participated for the Lions.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on those teams qualified for state Oct. 18 and 19 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
Boys golfers fall short at sectional
The boys golf team concluded its season by finishing sixth (329) of 15 teams in a Division I sectional Oct. 1 at Denison Golf Club.
Dublin Jerome (294), St. Charles (304), Upper Arlington (310) and Westerville Central (320) advanced to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.
Senior Micah Rubinstein (80) led the Lions, followed by junior Will Meyer (82), senior Tyler Roberts (83) and juniors Ricky Walsh (84) and Ethan Thompson (92).
Bexley finished third (6-6) in the MSL-Ohio behind Academy (12-0) and Wellington (8-4).
Below are the coming schedules for the Bexley cross country, field hockey, boys soccer and girls soccer teams:
Oct. 12 — MSL-Ohio meet at Buckeye Valley
*Oct. 10 — At Columbus Academy
Oct. 12 — Home vs. Dayton Oakwood
Oct. 14 — At ninth-seeded Olentangy in first round of district tournament. Winner plays at fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty in second round Oct. 16. The Lions are seeded 12th.
*Oct. 10 — Home vs. Wellington
Oct. 12 — Home vs. Johnstown
Oct. 16 — Home vs. 15th-seeded Hamilton Township in second round of Division II district tournament. The Lions are seeded fourth.
*Oct. 10 — At Wellington
Oct. 12 — At Bellville Clear Fork
Oct. 15 — Home vs. 15th-seeded Cristo Rey in first round of Division II district tournament. The Lions are seeded third.