Notebook: Canal Winchester football team excited to extend season

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Canal Winchester's Reese Musick scores during a 28-21 loss to visiting Dublin Scioto on Sept. 11. The Indians, who lost to Massillon Perry on Oct. 16 in a Division II playoff game, will play Friday, Oct. 30, against Hilliard Davidson.

The Canal Winchester football team looked forward to the rare chance of ending its season with a win despite having been eliminated from the playoffs.

The 17th-seeded Indians lost 42-0 to top-seeded Massillon Perry in a Division II, Region 7 second-round game Oct. 16 but followed that up with an Oct. 23 visit to Groveport Madison and another regular-season game Friday, Oct. 30, at Hilliard Davidson.

“This is definitely a good opportunity. It’s a chance to keep playing and we get to play our rival,” linebacker Luke Twiss said. "Davidson runs the triple option. It’ll be another good test for our defense.”

Canal Winchester was 3-5 before playing Groveport. The Indians were outgained 372-58 by host Perry, with all the Panthers’ yards coming on the ground.

Indians running back Stephan Byrd limited to 20 yards on 13 carries.

The Indians and Cruisers had been scheduled to open the season against each other before schedule changes brought on by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Davidson was 1-6 before playing Grove City on Oct. 23. Seeded 15th in Division I, Region 3, the Wildcats lost 35-22 at second-seeded Pickerington North in a first-round game Oct. 9.

The OHSAA allowed teams to add regular-season games until Nov. 14 beyond the originally scheduled six and any playoff contests.

• The Canal Winchester and Groveport cross country teams participated in Division I district meets Oct. 24 at Hilliard Darby.

The regional is Saturday, Oct. 31, at Pickerington North.

On Oct. 17, the Indians girls finished second (79 points) in the OCC-Capital Division meet at Westerville North behind Dublin Scioto (63). Allena Klamorick was sixth (19 minutes, 48.5 seconds) and Bonnie Butler eighth (20:05.4) to lead Canal Winchester, followed by Lauren Crissinger (20th, 21:05.5), Alyssa Weller (21st, 21:08) and Brooklyne Redmon (24th, 21:26).

The boys team placed fourth (91) as Scioto (32) won the title. Scoring were Michael McKeon (10th, 17:02.2), Nate Hoffman (19th, 17:45.2), Brett Smithers (20th, 17:45.5), Josh Fearing (21st, 17:47.5) and Logan Hajes (26th, 17:56.3).

That same day in the OCC-Buckeye meet at Pickerington Central, Groveport’s girls finished last (147) in the six-team meet behind champion Lancaster (26). Grace White was 57th (26:29.9), followed by Agi Jobe (68th, 28:23.2), Annie Byerly (77th, 30:51.4), Crystal Russell (78th, 31:27.4) and Nijah Montgomery (79th, 31:46).

David Neal led the boys, which didn't qualify for a team score, with a 56th-place finish (19:12.2). Also competing were Kahari Davis (71st, 20:11), Eli Jackson (84th, 21:24.5) and Nick Shelton (87th, 21:31).

Groveport was in the district 1 meet, from which the top five teams and 20 individuals advanced to regional. Canal Winchester was in district 3, where the top six teams and 24 individuals advanced.

• Seeded 28th in the 41-team Division I district tournament, the Canal Winchester volleyball team lost 21-25, 22-25, 25-17, 25-15, 15-8 at 22nd-seeded Mount Vernon in the first round Oct. 20 to finish 8-13 overall.

The Indians will graduate most of their top players in Ally Hawkins (middle hitter), Avery Huntzinger (setter), Maddy Koehler (outside hitter) and Emi Waller (libero).

Hawkins had 234 kills during the regular season and Koehler added 185. Waller had 390 digs and 32 aces, which was third on the team behind senior defensive specialist Jordan May’s 35 and Huntzinger’s 33.

Players eligible to return include junior Marria Iulianelli (hitter) and freshmen Abby Hawkins (hitter) and Megan McConnell (defensive specialist).

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

CANAL WINCHESTER GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

•Record: 8-13 overall

•OCC-Capital standings: Dublin Scioto (14-0), Worthington Kilbourne (11-3), Delaware (10-4), Big Walnut (9-5), Canal Winchester and Westerville South (both 5-9), Westerville North (2-12), Franklin Heights (0-14)

•Seniors lost: Ally Hawkins, Avery Huntzinger, Maddy Koehler, Jordan May and Emi Waller

•Key returnees: Abby Hawkins, Marria Iulianelli and Megan McDonnell

•Postseason: Lost to Mount Vernon 21-25, 22-25, 25-17, 25-15, 15-8 in first round of Division I district tournament