Reynoldsburg Roundup: Raiders cross country teams build from OCC performances

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Reynoldsburg's Avril Moyer, who has committed to Ohio University, finished second at the OCC-Buckeye meet Oct. 17 at Pickerington Central as the girls team placed third overall.

As it prepared for the postseason, the Reynoldsburg cross country program had its eye on having both its boys and girls teams qualify for regional competition and then have multiple individuals make it to state if they don’t qualify as a team. 

The Raiders made steady progress toward those goals late in the regular season, as both finished third in the OCC-Buckeye Division meet Oct. 17 at Pickerington Central.  

The boys and girls each were fifth in the OCC-Ohio last fall. 

Individually, senior Avril Moyer of the girls team and seniors Seth Davis and Mars Davis of the boys squad were doing their part to lead the way. 

Reynoldsburg opened the postseason in the Division I, district 3 races Oct. 24 at Hilliard Darby, where the top six teams and top 24 individuals advanced to the regional Saturday, Oct. 31, at Pickerington North. 

“I’ve been looking forward to the season around districts and regionals because that’s when a lot of our guys start to peak,” Seth Davis said. “We (were hoping) to make the regionals as a team and from there we have myself, Mars and Avril hoping to make it to state this year.” 

The state meet is Nov. 7 at Fortress Obetz, and both Seth Davis and Moyer were state qualifiers last season. 

At the league championships, Seth Davis captured the title in 16 minutes, 16.6 seconds and Mars Davis was fifth (16:41.2) in the boys meet, and Moyer was runner-up (19:20) behind Lancaster’s Sarah Craft (19:04.3) in the girls race. 

Moyer recently committed to compete for Ohio University. 

“I’ve run against (Craft) a couple times this season (and finished ahead of her),” Moyer said. “I was a little off (at the league meet) but that’s OK.” 

The girls team scored 65 points at the league meet to finish behind Lancaster (26) and Pickerington Central (47) and ahead of Newark (102), Central Crossing (138) and Groveport (177). 

Freshman Emma Hinds (12th, 21:27.8) and senior Kristin Sheets (13th, 21:29.4) were the Raiders’ next two finishers at the OCC meet, followed by junior Paige Castello (17th, 21:43.4), junior Abby Robinson (25th, 22:33.5), seniors Alyse Powell (32nd, 23:18.2) and Macy Thompson (45th, 24:06.1) and freshmen Grace Perez (47th, 24:20.4), Katie Castello (54th, 25:54.8) and Jenna Leach (60th, 26:42.2). 

“Our team is doing really well this season,” Hinds said. “I ran last year (in middle school and have) made a lot of improvements.” 

The boys scored 73 points at the league meet to finish behind Lancaster (33) and Pickerington Central (44) and ahead of Newark (88) and Central Crossing (152). 

Senior Dominic Sabo was the Raiders’ No. 3 runner, finishing 17th (17:35.9), followed by junior Andy Potter (30th, 18:16.3), freshman Jackson Powell (39th, 18:26.2), senior Mekhi Dejarnette (59th, 19:17.8), freshman Alex Begeny (63rd, 19:34.8), sophomore Jacob Hinds (80th, 20:54.2), freshman Christopher Kowalewski (93rd, 22:20), junior Caleb Perez (94th, 22:21) and freshman Jacob Brennan (101st, 23:20). 

“I’m looking to (run faster than 16 minutes) and Mars can hopefully be a sub-16 guy, too,” Seth Davis said. 

Reynoldsburg's Veron Fonegh attempts a bicycle kick past Groveport's Chandler Jones earlier this season. The boys soccer team defeated Mount Vernon 1-0 on Oct. 20 to open the Division I district tournament.

Boys soccer team 

falls in second round 

A strong close to the regular season continued for the boys soccer team as it began the postseason. 

The 23rd-seeded Raiders got a late second-half goal from junior midfielder Nassir Disuki and beat 28th-seeded Mount Vernon 1-0 on Oct. 20 in the first round of the Division I district tournament. 

“It doesn’t matter what way you get a tournament win as long as you get it,” coach Tony Labudovski said. “It was a big win for the guys’ confidence.” 

Reynoldsburg had gone 4-1-1 over its previous six games before losing to fifth-seeded Olentangy Berlin 2-0 in the second round Oct. 22 to finish 8-7-3 overall. 

The Raiders followed their OCC-Ohio title last season by finishing runner-up at 3-1-1 in the OCC-Buckeye Division behind Pickerington Central (5-0). 

The win over Mount Vernon marked the third consecutive season Reynoldsburg has won at least one tournament game. 

“We controlled the midfield, our defense was playing well and in the second half, we started playing better on the attacking end of the field,” senior forward Noah Paas said. 

Volleyball team 

excited for future 

After winning the first set Oct. 21 in its first-round district tournament match at 18th-seeded Big Walnut, the 26th-seeded girls volleyball team couldn’t keep the momentum going. 

The Raiders lost to the Golden Eagles 24-26, 25-21, 25-20, 25-10 to finish 10-11, but it didn’t take away from what first-year coach Cassie Tackett believes was a season of growth. 

“We kept battling,” Tackett said. “The first set was by far the best I’ve ever seen them play. That was the best takeaway from the whole season as a whole. As the night carried on, I think we got a little nervous.” 

It was the final prep match for senior outside hitter Jordan Brooks, who led the Raiders in kills, digs and serves received. 

Seniors Mica Crockett (right-side hitter), Arianne Melendez (defensive specialist) and Ariyana Peters (defensive specialist) also played key roles, and junior Kyra Frasier (setter) and freshmen Maren Chang (middle hitter), Carmen Heckman (outside hitter) and Sabrina Ripple (middle hitter) should be the top returnees. 

Juniors Emily Burt (defensive specialist/libero) and Ayanna Neal (right-side hitter) were important contributors as well. 

Others eligible to return include junior Kaylynn Gianettino (defensive specialist/libero) and freshmen Marissa French (outside hitter) and Jaidyn Turner (setter). 

“I have three freshmen playing, sometimes even four when it works out, and that’s young,” Tackett said. “I have three more years to build them up and be that team. I think we’re going to be something special. It’ll just be another year or two, but it’s coming and the Reynoldsburg name is going to come around.” 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek 

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL 

•Record: 10-11 overall 

•OCC-Buckeye standings: Pickerington Central (10-0), Lancaster (8-2), Reynoldsburg (5-5), Newark (4-5), Central Crossing (1-9), Groveport (1-8) 

•Seniors lost: Jordan Brooks, Mica Crockett, Arianne Melendez, Ariyana Peters and Syriah Williams 

•Key returnees: Emily Burt, Maren Chang, Kyra Frasier, Carmen Heckman, Ayanna Neal and Sabrina Ripple 

•Postseason: Lost to Big Walnut 24-26, 25-21, 25-20, 25-10 in first round of district tournament