Ready: Defense producing solid results for Silver Knights
Ready football coach Joel Cutler was bullish about the competition his team faced during the regular season.
It perhaps makes what the Silver Knights have accomplished, particularly on defense, even more impressive.
Facing solely opponents from the MSL-Ohio Division, the Knights are 4-2. Columbus Academy won the league title at 5-0, a game ahead of Liberty Union and Harvest Prep (both 4-1).
Ready beat Academy 33-7 on Sept. 11 and had close losses against the other two, falling to Liberty Union 7-6 on Aug. 28 and Harvest Prep 18-15 on Sept. 18.
The Knights posted their first shutout of the season Oct. 2, routing Bexley 38-0, and had a first-round bye in the Division V, Region 19 playoffs.
“We’re getting better,” Cutler said. “Having coached with (Bexley head coach) Mike Golden (and Bexley assistants) Dan Bjelac and Ed Golden, I know they’ve gotten a lot better. They weren’t lifting and were shut down right up until the governor approved football (Aug. 18), but they’ve gotten better fundamentally.
“The MSL is tougher than heck. We had Liberty Union at the beginning and then we had that gauntlet of three in a row where we had Academy, Harvest Prep and Whitehall in a row and those are bigger schools or state-ranked schools.”
Whitehall is a Division II program that Ready beat 42-17 on Sept. 24.
Ready is seeded sixth in Region 19 and opens the playoffs Saturday, Oct. 17, against 11th-seeded McDermott Northwest or 22nd-seeded Portsmouth. The winner plays third-seeded Wheelersburg, 14th-seeded Portsmouth West or 19th-seeded Chesapeake in a regional quarterfinal Oct. 24.
The Knights are competing in the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
Northwest was 5-1 and on a five-game winning streak and Portsmouth was 1-5 before their first-round matchup Oct. 10.
Making its first postseason appearance, Northwest gave up just 34 points during its five regular-season victories.
Portsmouth, which was making its third consecutive playoff appearance, had lost to five teams that entered the postseason with a combined eight losses.
Cutler is hoping for more defensive performances such as the one that took place against Bexley. The Knights gave up just 68 yards and got an interception from senior linebacker Jacob Metz.
Seniors Alex Contosta, P.J. Daniels and Cole Matthews, junior Zac McAndrews and sophomore Kaleb Schaeffer have been among those who also have seen action at linebacker.
Metz, who played several positions as a middle-schooler but became a linebacker because he likes “to hit people,” is excited about the defense's performance.
“We really click,” he said. “Our defense is playing our minds out. We’ve been growing tremendously.”
According to Cutler, Metz sets the tone for a defense that also has gotten key contributions from junior Devon Malone at nose guard.
“He’s a great weight-room kid and doesn’t miss,” Cutler said. “I’m real proud of his development.
“We (had) two losses (in the regular season) by a total of four points and the loss to Liberty Union was on a last-second Hail Mary. We’re not sure how we fit in with some of the southern (Ohio) teams (in Region 19), but I know they respect Bishop Ready for the program that it is and the job that we do. We probably seeded out close to where we ought to have been.”
at district tourney
Senior Clarissa Bachelder represented the girls golf team at the Division II district tournament for the second consecutive season.
After placing 27th (101) last year, Bachelder tied for 11th on Oct. 5 at Darby Creek with a 94. Newark Catholic’s Anna Crumrine shot 79 to earn the only individual state berth.
“I’ve definitely had fun and I’ve gotten to meet a lot of nice people through playing,” Bachelder said. “I’ve gotten better throughout the years.”
Bachelder placed 10th (92) in a sectional Sept. 28 at Blacklick Woods to qualify for district.
“I definitely had some pretty good drives (at sectional), which were helping me a lot,” Bachelder said. “I just had a fun time, which helps me keep going. I was looking forward to playing golf this fall and I was hoping we’d still be able to have a season with everything that’s been going on.”
The final round of the CCL tournament was Oct. 10 at NorthStar.
Boys golfers look
to add numbers
Of the five players who closed the season competing for the boys golf team, two were seniors.
One was Mitchell Clark, who led the Knights with a 100 on Oct. 1 in a Division II sectional at Turnberry. Ready didn’t post a team score because it had only three competitors.
Sophomore Ryan Petrella and freshman Nathan Bennett also competed.
The others on the team were senior Dario Scott and junior Westen Avery.
Ready went 0-8 in the CCL to finish fifth behind champion St. Charles (8-0).
“For the tournament we had to switch to individual entries because I was down to three active golfers,” coach Bob Wilson said. “We’re trying to recruit some students and see who might be interested in playing (next year). We’ve got three guys coming back. Nate, my freshman, was playing (at No. 3) a lot of the year and moved up to No. 2. He’s got some good potential. Dario just took up golf as a sophomore and went from shooting in the 70s (for nine holes) to shooting in the low 50s, so he came a long way in his three years.”