Although it can do little to improve its finish in the final OCC-Capital Division standings, the Delaware Hayes High School boys golf team's objective entering the fourth round of the league tournament is to close strong.
The Pacers head into the final round Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Granville Golf Course with a 4-17 record through three rounds. They are seventh in the league behind New Albany (20-1), Olentangy (19-2), Mount Vernon (13-8), Olentangy Orange (12-9), Big Walnut (10-11) and Worthington Kilbourne (6-15) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-21), which does not have a complete team.
Sophomore Grant Godfrey leads Delaware with a 75.7-stroke average through three rounds, tying him for fourth in the league. Last season, he finished with the league's eighth-best average at 79.8.
"Grant has had an exceptional season and is shooting numbers that I don't recall many sophomores ever shooting at Hayes," coach Mike Nesselroad said. "I think (2001 graduate) Chad Poling was the last underclassmen to average under 80 for an entire season. He did it as a sophomore and a junior."
Godfrey shot a 79 in the opening round Aug. 6 at Apple Valley and carded a 77 in the second round Aug. 12 at Darby Creek before posting a 71 in the third round Aug. 28 at Turnberry.
"I'm hitting a lot more greens, although I'd like to make more of my birdie chances," Godfrey said. "My putting is better than last year and I'm not getting frustrated if I make bogey. I just try for par on the next hole and try to continue having fun."
"That approach is the big difference between last year and this year for him, and it remains one of the differences between him and his teammates," Nesselroad said. "He's averaging 14 greens and at Turnberry he made 18 greens and had two birdies. Once he starts making a few more birdies, his score will really drop.
"He's not a big risk taker. He won't scramble or gamble to try to make par and will accept a bogey. The others get frustrated and try to make a miraculous shot after a bad one, which usually leads to turning a bogey into a (quadruple bogey).
"Grant is the first sophomore captain I've ever had, and it's not just because his game is better. It's because he leads by example with his work ethic and mentality."
Godfrey is the only Delaware player who ranks in the top 30 of the league scoring averages. Jordan Lanham and Cole Haferman both are averaging 89.0, followed by Cody Ross (93.7) and Dan Van Brimmer (94.0).
"Ross and Haferman both have had some good scores but have been inconsistent," Nesselroad said. "As a matter of fact, that's the team in a nutshell. We are consistently inconsistent. They need to play more conservatively."
Football team expects to be tested by Jerome
The football team is expecting to face its biggest challenge to date when it closes its non-league schedule against Dublin Jerome on Friday, Sept. 13, at home.
Jerome, which opened with a 16-14 loss to Dublin Coffman on Aug. 30 and played Beechcroft on Sept. 6, won last season's meeting 49-14 en route to a 4-6 finish. The Pacers beat Buckeye Valley 51-0 in their opener Aug. 30 and played Canal Winchester on Sept. 6.
"I know (Jerome) lost a great running back in the Wilson kid," coach Zebb Schroeder said, referring to 2013 graduate Donovan Wilson, who set program records last season with 2,068 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns on 383 carries and now plays for Georgia Tech. "But they also had a super defense. I honestly believe they had to be one of the best 4-6 teams in the state last year. Their defense was very impressive and they were hard-nosed."
Against Coffman, Jerome was led by running back Steve Kidwell, who rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Schroeder lauded the play of inside linebackers Ernest Bonsu and Shawn Johnson and outside linebacker Ethan Tucky against Buckeye Valley.
"Bonsu and Johnson had the best games combined of inside linebackers we've had here since I've been coaching," Schroeder said of the opener. They led us and our defense was flying around. We had a few missed tackles, but all in all it was a tremendous defensive effort. Tucky had three impact plays behind the line of scrimmage."
Offensively, the Pacers spread the wealth against Buckeye Valley, as six players reached the end zone.
Running back Cody Wooten scored on runs of 3 and 29 yards and quarterback Jante' Wright scored on a 1-yard run and threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Caleb Howell. Theoun Sorn, Anthony Hinton and Caleb Cooper also had touchdown runs and placekicker Joseph Sanfillipo was 7-for-7 on extra-point attempts.
Wooten rushed for 138 yards on 14 carries to lead the Pacers, who finished with 412 total yards, including 386 on the ground.
"I thought Wooten, Hinton and Sorn ran the ball real hard and I like that our offense promotes unselfishness," Schroeder said. "Everyone contributed and defenses will have trouble trying to take away one player because someone else will hurt them in this scheme.
"However, we had too many negative plays, with four fumbled snaps, penalties and two or three misreads in the option game, so we've got plenty to work on."
Schroeder said his offense will be tested by Jerome's 4-4 defense, which is led by lineman Nate Fairand and linebackers Louis Torchio and James Hanson.
Girls tennis players showing consistency
Girls tennis coach Bob Claymier is pleased with the consistent play of his team at the midpoint of the season.
Delaware was 4-4 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Capital after losing to Olentangy 4-1 on Sept. 5.
"The girls give a consistent effort every day and I truly appreciate that," Claymier said. "I have received compliments from other coaches about how scrappy we are, how much effort we play with and the way that they play with class and good attitude. That means a lot to me to have a group that carries themselves well."
Senior Blair Ramsey recently ascended one spot in the lineup to first singles, switching places with classmate Claire Brennan. Through seven matches, Ramsey was 6-1 overall, including 5-0 at second singles, and Brennan was 5-2, including 4-1 at first singles.
"Blair has settled back into No. 1," Claymier said. "She earned it and has been solid lately. She's playing with more aggressiveness and more confidence. Claire is like a backboard out there. She returns everything and is real steady. She's starting to move it around and add more facets to her game."
Through seven matches, Darcy Flanagan was 4-3 at third singles, Caroline Proffitt and Lexus Wolf were 3-3 at first doubles and Amy Co and Elizabeth Russell were 4-2 at second doubles.
"Proffitt and Wolf have a strong return game and are aggressive at the net," Claymier said. "Co and Russell cover the court very well and are much improved at the net. We're excited to see what we can do from here."