Grant Godfrey of the Delaware Hayes High School boys golf team hopes to know a whole lot more about Ohio State's Scarlet Course before competing in the Division I state tournament Friday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 19.
The sophomore advanced to state for the first time by shooting a 1-over-par 73 at district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley to secure one of three individual qualifying berths. He tied St. Charles' Eddie O'Brien for the third-best score, behind New Albany's Avery Schneider (68) and Pickerington North's Nick Montes (72).
"I'm going to get information on the yardage and course layout and I'm going to talk to a friend's dad who is familiar with the course," Godfrey said. "Coach (Mike) Nesselroad will help me and we'll come up with a game plan. We get a practice round on (Thursday, Oct. 17) and a chance to walk the course."
Godfrey was the Pacers' lone district competitor.
"I'm so tickled for Grant because he played golf every month the past year," Nesselroad said. "He plays all year when possible and just loves the game. He's a hard worker and this is a tremendous achievement.
"I don't think he even realizes how big this is. There are over 300 kids in Division I schools that can make it to (district) and only 18 go to state. ... Let's put it like this, I've been coaching here since 1991 and he's the first state qualifier I've had. I've had three others lose on playoff holes in the (district)."
According to Nesselroad, Godfrey is the school's third state qualifier, joining Tim Ailes (1988) and Travis Dalton (1986). Ailes placed second at state and Dalton finished ninth.
"I didn't have a great start," Godfrey said of his district round. "I bogeyed No. 1. I think it was first-hole nerves. (Nesselroad) told me, 'Don't worry, 17 pars and a bogey is still a good round.'"
Godfrey birdied No. 6 and was even-par heading to the back nine. He birdied No. 10 and bogeyed Nos. 12 and 15.
"When I got to 1-under at (No.) 10, it really pumped me up and I knew if I kept my composure from there I'd have a good chance (of advancing to state) even with a bogey or two," he said. "We were the next-to-last group on the course, so I didn't have a long wait to find out if my score would hold. When I was (tied for being) the top (individual) qualifier and there was just one group remaining, it was a great feeling."
Football team hits road to face Jackets
The football team knows what awaits when it travels to play Mount Vernon on Friday, Oct. 18, in an OCC-Capital Division game.
"It's always a physical and emotional game between old rivals," coach Zebb Schroeder said. "It's just always a challenge. They're off to a fast start. They have a playmaker at quarterback (Ryan Fitzgerald) and they have a truly great running back (J.D. Orr)."
The Yellow Jackets were 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Capital before playing Big Walnut on Oct. 11. The Pacers lost to New Albany 31-9 on Oct. 4 and were 3-3 and 1-2 entering their game against Olentangy Orange on Oct. 11.
According to Schroeder, running back Cody Wooten was expected to return to the lineup against Orange after missing four games with a leg injury, which he sustained in a 23-7 win over Canal Winchester on Sept. 6.
Running back Anthony Hinton, who had been alternating with Wooten in the backfield, also was injured against Canal Winchester but was lost for the season.
With the injuries to Wooten and Hinton, fullback Ernest Bonsu was moved to tailback in the option offense.
"Bonsu did a great job filling in and he's also our weak-side linebacker," Schroeder said. "He rarely came off the field because he's on some of our special teams as well, and his offseason workouts allowed him to handle that."
However, having several two-way players has hindered the Pacers to an extent, particularly in the game against New Albany. The Eagles were 6-0 and 3-0 before playing Olentangy on Oct. 11.
"We've got seven guys going both ways and (New Albany) had very few," Schroeder said. "They also have 36 seniors who are committed to football. Their depth and experience showed. They finished drives and we did not. We moved the ball at times, but twice we failed to score when we got (deep in New Albany territory).
"Defensively, we played well for the most part, but they just wore us down. They're an outstanding team."
Tennis team ends season at sectional
The girls tennis team's season ended in the Division I sectional held Oct. 3, 5 and 7 at Hilliard Davidson.
Senior Blair Ramsey came the closest to advancing to district Oct. 11 and 12 at Davidson, as she won two matches before losing to top-seeded Eleanor Bullock of Dublin Jerome 6-0, 6-0 in a district-qualifying match.
Ramsey defeated Westland's Cassidy Dyer 6-2, 6-0 in the first round and Hilliard Darby's Abigail Greene 6-1, 6-2 in the second.
"Blair has been a strong player for us for three years, so it was good to see her go out and battle and play to her ability," said coach Bob Claymier, who concluded his 18th season leading the program. "Bullock was not just the No. 1 seed in our sectional, but she's the top-ranked player in our district.
"I was pleased with everyone because they all played to their capabilities. They were ready for the sectional and they played tough. It was one of our better sectionals in years."
Also competing in singles at sectional were seniors Clair Brennan and Darcy Flanagan, both of whom went 1-1.
In doubles, seniors Amy Co and Liz Russell went 1-1 and seniors Caroline Proffitt and Lexi Wolfe went 0-1.
"Of our top 14 players, 12 were seniors," Claymier said. "I tell people I have more seniors than a nursing home. It's a fluky thing. There will be plenty of openings for any girls interested in playing next season."
The Pacers finished 11-8 overall and 2-5 in the OCC-Capital. They tied host Newark for third (7) in the sixth-place OCC tournament Sept. 28, finishing behind Marysville (16) and ahead of Canal Winchester (5).
"It was a fabulous season and the kids worked so hard," Claymier said. "I never once had to ask them to work harder. They were dedicated and determined and very competitive."
Boys soccer team gets set for tourney
The boys soccer team is seeded 26th of 45 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play host to 27th-seeded Zanesville in the first round Wednesday, Oct. 16.
The winner will play at 12th-seeded St. Charles in the second round Saturday, Oct. 19, with the second-round winner advancing to a district semifinal Oct. 23 against eighth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne or 43rd-seeded Columbus West at the site of the higher seed.
Delaware lost to Kilbourne 3-0 in OCC-Capital play Aug. 27 but has not played Zanesville, St. Charles or West this season.
The Pacers are 6-10 overall after closing the regular season Oct. 10 with a 2-0 loss to Westerville South. They lost to Olentangy 4-1 on Oct. 8 to finish 2-5 in the league.
Girls soccer team to face Cardinals
The girls soccer team is seeded 30th of 40 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play at ninth-seeded Thomas Worthington in the first round Tuesday, Oct. 15.
The winner will play 29th-seeded Reynoldsburg in the second round Thursday, Oct. 27, at the site of the higher seed. The second-round winner plays in a district semifinal Oct. 22 against seventh-seeded Dublin Jerome or 35th-seeded Northland at the site of the higher seed.
Delaware, which has not played any of those teams this season, finished the regular season on 4-10-2 overall and 2-4-1 in the OCC-Capital after tying Olentangy at 1 on Oct. 8.
Volleyball team set for tourney opener
The girls volleyball team opens the Division I district tournament Monday, Oct. 14, at sixth-seeded Westerville Central, with the winner playing 39th-seeded Licking Heights in the second round Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the site of the higher seed.
Delaware, which is seeded 42nd of 46 teams in the district, has not played either team this season.
The second-round winner advances to a district semifinal Oct. 24 at Bloom-Carroll against fifth-seeded Kilbourne, 41st-seeded Teays Valley and 44th-seeded Watkins Memorial.
Delaware was swept by Kilbourne in OCC-Capital play, losing 25-15, 25-17, 23-25, 25-11 on Aug. 27 and 25-23, 25-6, 23-25, 25-15 on Sept. 18.
The Pacers finished the regular season 2-19 overall and 2-12 in the OCC-Capital after beating Franklin Heights 25-15, 25-20, 25-22 on Oct. 8 and losing to Olentangy 26-24, 25-13, 25-14 on Oct. 10.
Runners prepare for district meet
The boys and girls cross country teams will spend the week preparing for the Division I, district 2 meet Saturday, Oct. 19, at Watkins Memorial.
The top five teams and top 20 individuals will advance to regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North. Last season, neither the boys nor girls team had any regional qualifiers.
Delaware swept the titles in the Kenton Invitational on Oct. 5. The boys team scored 16 points in the three-field meet to finish ahead of Kenton (56) and Waynesfield Goshen (62).
Jason Watkins led the Pacers, finishing first of 47 runners in 18 minutes, 20 seconds. Also scoring were Justin Hernan (second, 18:55), Corbin Binkley (fourth, 19:15), Drew Williams (fifth, 19:22) and Nathaniel Koehler (seventh, 19:57).
The girls team scored 24 points in the four-team meet to finish ahead of Kenton (48), Goshen (79) and North Lewisburg Triad (86).
Alicia Rittenour finished first (22:12). Also scoring were Sammi Piroska (third, 23:13), Courtney White (fourth, 23:18), Alyssa Wheeler (fifth, 23:31) and Tessa Perry (12th, 25:04).
Delaware competed in the OCC-Capital meet Oct. 12.