Squads set for tourney openers
The Delaware Hayes High School boys and girls soccer teams and girls volleyball team begin postseason play this week.
The boys soccer team plays host to Worthington Kilbourne in the first round of the Division I district tournament Wednesday, Oct. 17, with the winner playing at eighth-seeded Pickerington Central in the second round Saturday, Oct. 20.
"None of the guys on this team have ever been to the district-semifinal round before, but we're playing well right now and if we play to our ability in the tournament, we'll have a chance," coach Nathan Weakland said. "In this sport, you also need a little luck with a bounce or two because the scores tend to be very close, but we're optimistic."
The Pacers would need to win four games to earn their first district championship. They had a three-game winning streak snapped Oct. 9 when they lost to Olentangy 2-0 to finish 3-3-1 in the OCC-Capital Division and are 9-5-2 overall.
"We were rolling along and had just beaten a quality Thomas Worthington team (3-0 on Oct. 6), but we didn't play well at all against Olentangy," Weakland said. "We didn't create much and we struggled to find feet. When you're a possession team, you've got to find feet."
Kilbourne was 5-7-2 before playing Olentangy Orange on Oct. 11 and Pickerington Central was 10-3-3 after losing to Gahanna 3-1 on Oct. 9. The Pacers have yet to play Kilbourne this season but lost to Central 2-0 on Sept. 27.
"We played (Central) at their place in the rain and it was just one of those nights where we played very well and didn't get a result," Weakland said. "Phoenix Neitzelt, Nate Spahr and Clay Sparks all hit posts and we missed a penalty kick. We're confident we can play with them.
"But first we have to get by Kilbourne. They're better than their record might show. They play in a tough division (OCC-Cardinal) and I expect it to be a good game."
The Pacers tied Big Walnut (3-3-1) for fourth in the OCC-Capital, behind Orange (7-0), New Albany (5-2) and Olentangy (5-2) and ahead of Watkins Memorial (3-4), Mount Vernon (1-6) and Franklin Heights (0-7).
The girls soccer team plays at Canal Winchester in the first round of the Division I district tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 16, with the winner playing at 10th-seeded Olentangy Liberty in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18.
Canal Winchester was 7-7-1 after losing to Watterson 4-0 on Oct. 8 and Liberty was 8-5-2 after beating Thomas Worthington 3-1 on Oct. 9.
The Pacers lost to Olentangy 2-0 on Oct. 9 to fall to 4-8-4 overall and finish 1-4-1 in the OCC-Capital. They placed sixth in the league behind New Albany (6-0), Olentangy (4-2), Orange (3-1-2), Big Walnut (3-3) and Watkins Memorial (2-3-1) and ahead of Mount Vernon (0-6). Franklin Heights did not play a league schedule.
The girls volleyball team will play at 10th-seeded Kilbourne or Upper Arlington in the second round of the Division I district tournament Wednesday, Oct. 17, with the winner playing second-seeded Pickerington North, Franklin Heights, Hilliard Darby or Westerville South in a district semifinal Oct. 23 at Big Walnut.
The Pacers, who have a first-round bye, were 8-13 overall and 6-7 in the OCC-Capital after beating Franklin Heights 25-13, 25-16, 25-10 on Oct. 9. Entering play Oct. 11, Kilbourne and UA were 16-6 and 8-11, respectively. Pickerington North was 17-1 before Oct. 11 and was ranked ninth in the state poll last week.
Godfrey falls short of state golf tourney
Freshman Grant Godfrey of the boys golf team shot an 83 in the Division I district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley, missing the cut for the state tournament on Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Ohio State's Scarlet Course by 10 strokes.
"I thought he played OK, especially for a freshman," coach Mike Nesselroad said. "He finished 45th in a field of around 90 players, so basically he was right at the middle. He would tell you he wishes he could play the round again right now because it wasn't his best, and when you reach the district, you have to play your best."
The top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to state. New Albany (298) won the district championship, with Dublin Coffman (300) and defending state champion Dublin Jerome (306) also qualifying for state. Advancing as individuals were Thomas Worthington's Curtis Salmons (73), Reynoldsburg's Darnell Ellis (73) and Pickerington North's Scot Sapp (75), who won a four-player, two-hole playoff for the final qualifying spot.
Godfrey qualified for district by shooting an 80 in the sectional Oct. 2 at The Players Club at Foxfire to earn the third of four individual qualifying berths.
"Grant had one of the best freshman seasons I've ever seen as coach," Nesselroad said. "He averaged just under 80 for the season. The last two guys to do that here were Tyler Carney-Deboard and Matt Mosca as seniors (2009 season).
"The last underclassman to be under 80 was Chad Poling as a sophomore and junior in (1998 and 1999). He was down to 73 as a senior and went on to win the NCAA Division III national individual championship (in 2004 as a senior at Ohio Wesleyan). So Grant has a lot to look forward to."
The Pacers shot a 358 at sectional to finish eighth of 13 teams as New Albany (298), Jerome (305), Teays Valley (313) and Olentangy (323) advanced to district.
"We shot a 402 to finish last in the same sectional last year," Nesselroad said. "We turned things around and showed a lot of improvement throughout the season. It was a really fun, rewarding season and I wasn't ready for it to end."
At sectional, sophomore Cole Haferman had an 83 and missed joining a playoff group for the final district-qualifying spot by one stroke. Also competing at sectional were freshman Dan Van Brimmer (97), senior Kyle Gabbert (98) and junior Cody Ross (107).
Gabbert was the team's only senior.
"We had a number of kids do nice things, so I'm looking forward to seeing continued improvement next year and see where we can go," Nesselroad said. "We were so young. Hopefully, they'll come back and work hard again and we'll have some good eighth-graders come into the program."
Delaware went 4-24 in the four-round OCC-Capital tournament to finish seventh, behind New Albany (28-0), Mount Vernon (20-8), Olentangy (20-8), Orange (18-10), Big Walnut (13-15) and Watkins Memorial (9-19) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-28).
The Pacers completed their season as a team Oct. 4 in the Delaware County Cup at Glenross. They finished fifth (333) behind Orange (295), Liberty (302), Big Walnut (305) and Olentangy (315) and ahead of Buckeye Valley (339).
Football team gets ready for Falcons
The football team will play its final home game of the season Friday, Oct. 19, against Franklin Heights in an OCC-Capital contest.
The Pacers, who played Mount Vernon on Oct. 12, were 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Capital after a 24-10 loss to Orange on Oct. 5. Franklin Heights won its first two games but was 2-5 and 0-4 before playing Orange on Oct. 12.
Through seven games, the Falcons had allowed 35 or more points in each of their losses, including an average of 51.8 points in their league contests.
Delaware had four turnovers against Orange, including one at the Pioneers' 1-yard line and another just inside the Pioneers' 20. The Pacers trailed 10-7 at halftime and 17-10 after the third quarter, and their only touchdown came in the second quarter on a 20-yard pass from quarterback Alex Rafeld and wide receiver Jante' Wright.
Rafeld completed 11 of 26 passes for 169 yards and had seven carries for 52 yards, and Wright had seven receptions for 102 yards.
"We had four turnovers, dropped a touchdown pass, and had a touchdown called back because of a penalty ... Those are things you just can't do," coach Zebb Schroeder said. "That's just bad football. We have the potential, but we're not disciplined and that's on us coaches as well as the players. We have to grow up as a football team and football program."