Calm, composed and focused. That’s just three ways October Jill of the Month Amy Sarle has been described. Coach Elizabeth Kussman says the Oakwood High School junior midfielder “leads by example.” And while she may have questioned Sarle’s pre-game preparation at one time, she doesn’t any more.
“On my way to Lane one day for a game, I saw Amy walking up the large hill on Far Hills near Five Points. Her glasses were dark because of all the sun, she had headphones in, a scowl on her face, walking with a purpose and basically looked like the terminator. I was confused why she wasn’t at the field for our game yet and a little irritated. That game she went out and played unbelievable and I haven’t questioned her game preparation methods again!!” Kussman said.
Sarle says she started playing soccer when she was 10. While she also ran, swam and played tennis, soccer was always her favorite.
“Whenever I play, I can just relax and have fun. It’s a nice break from school and whatever else is going on,” Sarle said.
She may be relaxing but this team leader says she always puts 100% effort into her player. Her coach says she does even more than that.
“Amy gives 110% every time she steps foot on the field. She disrupts the defense of other teams with high pressure and can take anyone 1v1. She’s a versatile player, as well, and plays quite composed under pressure and distributes the ball so well from midfield,” Kussman said.
Kussman says it’s not just Sarle’s play that that makes her an asset to the team.
“Amy’s attitude and demeanor make her an absolute joy to coach. I wish I had multiples of her! She is the type of kid who will do anything she is asked without question. She excels on the soccer field, but the classroom as well.”
Tommy Lunne, the October Jack of the Month, is a three-sport athlete at Oakwood High School. Soon he’ll hang up his football pads and move into the Pit for the start of the basketball season. From there, he’ll head to the diamond for baseball, a sport he’s been playing since he was four years old. Obviously, this Jack senior loves sports.
“I love competing. It’s a great feeling winning a game with your friends,” Lunne said.
OHS Head Football Coach Butch Snider agrees Lunne’s competitive spirit helps him be the player he is.
“Tommy is a good athlete who works hard every day. He has the ability to both throw and run the ball effectively for us. He is a competitor who will do whatever is needed to help the team be successful,” Snider said.
As the quarterback this year, Lunne has been a leader on the field. Snider says his positive play doesn’t stop there.
“He is always a positive person who helps to make his teammates better and always displays great sportsmanship on and off the field of play,” Snider said.
Lunne says he tries “hard to be the best” he can be and his coach agrees.
“Not only is he a good football player but he is an outstanding person too. He is very unselfish and committed to giving his best effort not only for himself but for his teammates as well,” Snider said.
Sarah Hall, the September Jill of the Month, may be new to Oakwood High School tennis, being a freshman, but she’s not new to the sport in which she is excelling. She began playing tennis when she was seven and has stuck with it because she just loves playing.
Varsity girls’ tennis coach Kim Gilbert says no one should take her for granted based on her age or experience.
“Sarah is one of the most intense players I've ever coached. She is a freshman who plays with confidence, power and intellect,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert first met Hall at tryouts in August but very quickly knew the freshman would make an impact on the OHS tennis. At the Pickerington Central Doubles Invitational in mid-August, Hall joined sophomore Lily McCloskey to play first doubles. The pair won, helping OHS win the event and take down some of the toughest teams in the state.
“Her [Hall] performance on the court at the Pickerington Doubles tournament exceeded all of my expectations as an athlete and team player,” Gilbert said.
Winning the tournament ranks as one of Hall’s favorite memories in her young career, a career that has already seen a lot of success this season.
“Sarah is an excellent example of a talented athlete but keeping humble. She knows there are better players and she is looking for ways to improve, working and dedicating her time to tennis for the team,” Gilbert said.
In the future, Hall hopes to play tennis for a Division 1 college, and after that who knows how long she will stay on the court.
“Tennis is a great sport, because whether you’re 90 or 3, you can still play and have fun with it.”
Will Midtbo, the September Jack of the Month, has been making his mark on Oakwood High School soccer since he was a freshman.
“As a freshman, Will was a little smaller than he is now. At first sight, I was not sure how much he would be adding to the program, but watching that first burst of speed and ability, we knew early on that Will could help the program, he could help varsity from day one,” Varsity boys’ soccer coach Kyle Duwel said.
Midtbo says one of his “favorite” memories also comes from that first year playing for OHS.
“One of my favorite moments during my career was the first time I got an assist during a varsity game. I was just a freshman and everything seemed so overwhelming and fast paced. I don’t really remember how I got the assist but I just remember how much energy and excitement there was right after. It was something I hadn’t experienced during a game before,” Midtbo said.
Now a senior and captain of the team, Midtbo is a leader on and off the field.
“At the end of last season, Will was ready to lead from day one. He understood he wanted to be a leader for the team in his senior season and has done so. He wants the team to be great and he knows it starts by example,” Duwel said.
Midtbo began playing soccer when he was four. While he also played basketball and ran track, it was soccer that he loved playing.
“No matter who the other players are on the team or who the coaches are, I am going to play because of my love for the game. Fortunately, I have had Incredible teammates over the past years and knowledgeable dedicated coaches alongside me,” Midtbo said.
Even though he’s wrapping up his senior season, Midtbo says soccer will stay a part of his life.
“No matter what path I take in life. I hope I will always have soccer in it. Whether that be coaching or having a team I support and follow, it is important to me that soccer will always stay in my life.”