Coach Ryan Snivley couldn't be happier about the postseason destination for his Olentangy Liberty High School boys golf team.
On Tuesday, Oct. 2, sixth-seeded Liberty plays in a Division I sectional tournament at Darby Creek. The Patriots have been grouped with fifth-seeded Dublin Coffman and eighth-seeded Lancaster.
Top-seeded Pickerington North plays at Granville Golf Course with third-seeded Upper Arlington. Defending state champion Dublin Jerome, the second seed, plays at The Players Club at Foxfire.
The top four teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team advance from each sectional to district Oct. 9 at Apple Valley.
"I think going to Darby Creek is great for us because we played our best (league) tournament there and even during summer tournaments, that is where the team performed well," said Snivley, whose team finished second (297) behind UA (287) in the eight-team OCC-Central Division tournament Sept. 5 at Darby Creek. "The players are confident on that course and hopefully that will translate into getting four scores in the 70s. I think by this point in the season, we have four really solid players and hopefully we can have the No. 5 man put together a great round and help out the team."
The Patriots finished third in the OCC-Central at 21-7, behind UA (27-1) and Coffman (24-4) and ahead of Thomas Worthington (13-15), Hilliard Davidson (12-16), Marysville (11-17), Central Crossing (4-24) and Westland (0-28).
Senior Jordan Callicotte was first-team all-league with an average of 77.25, and freshman Cameron McCloskey (78.75) and senior Max Helgreen (80.25) were on the second team. Senior George Dunlap (81.75) was third-team all-league and senior Grady King (80.0) was honorable mention.
"Jordan Callicotte has been solid for us all season," Snivley said. "He has been team medalist 10 times. Cameron McCloskey has also been playing well with his average as a freshman in the upper 70s, which is great since he has never competed on most of the courses we are playing. George Dunlap shot a 72 for us at Moundbuilders (on Sept. 17 in the OCC Shootout), which really helped the team to a fourth-place finish out of 25 teams."
In the 14-team sectional at Darby Creek last season, the Patriots finished third (323) behind Coffman (296) and Davidson (317) and ahead of the final district qualifier in fourth-place Big Walnut (324). Callicotte shot a 79 and Dunlap had an 83.
"We have played some courses that we are not familiar with and in less than ideal conditions, which prepares us for any weather that could hit us at the beginning of October," Snivley said. "We have also had members of the team step up and be the team medalist instead of it always being Jordan."
Braves tie for 2nd in OCC-Capital
The Olentangy boys tied Mount Vernon for second (16-8) in the OCC-Capital behind New Albany (24-0). Orange was fourth (14-10), followed by Big Walnut (9-15), Watkins Memorial (5-19) and Delaware (0-24).
The Braves play Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the Division I sectional at The Players Club at Foxfire.
"We got to play The Players Club in the third (league tournament), so it helped our three (golfers) who hadn't played it before," said coach Joel Glassburn, whose team finished second (335) in that OCC-Capital tournament Sept. 5 behind New Albany (313). "That also helped us by letting us see what we need to work on between now and then, which is mainly our long-iron shots as well as our shots from 115 yards and in."
Junior Dylan Ahonen (78.5) was second-team all-league, while senior Nick Morrison (82.0) and junior Evan Wilson (85.75) were honorable mention.
"Evan Wilson has really developed over the course of the season and has been playing better over the last couple of weeks," Glassburn said. "Nick and Dylan have been consistent throughout the whole year, but adding the third score around 80 or just under (80) has really helped."
Last year, Olentangy (317) took the final district-qualifying spot from the sectional at Granville Golf Course behind UA (298), St. Charles (303) and Granville (311). Morrison had an 84 and Ahonen shot an 85.
"We need to stay positive and in the moment," Glassburn said. "Sometimes we have a tendency to dwell on the past, but we have been working hard about staying in the moment and putting all our focus on the shot at hand.
"It's going to take four good scores to advance and I'm confident that we can get that at The Players Club."
Orange to play Granville sectional
The Orange boys begin the postseason Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the Division I sectional at Granville Golf Course.
On Sept. 19 at Granville Golf Course, Orange finished fifth (344) behind champion New Albany (313) in the final OCC-Capital tournament. Three days later on the same course, the Pioneers finished fifth (324) behind champion Wellington (316) in the 26-team Rodney Butt Classic.
The Pioneers finished fourth (14-10) behind champion New Albany (24-0) in the OCC-Capital.
"We had hoped the final OCC (tournament) at Granville and the (Rodney Butt Classic) would give us plenty of familiarity with the course," coach Mark Corica said. "However, our OCC round was our highest of the year, but we were able to knock off a lot of those strokes a few days later (in the Rodney Butt Classic)."
Senior Austin Wallace (83.25) and senior John McHale (83.5) were third-team all-league and junior Ray Albertini (85.25) was honorable mention.
"Actually, it has been a mixed bag for us," Corica said. "Austin Wallace and John McHale shot 76 and 78, respectively, at Moundbuilders (on Sept. 17 in the OCC Shootout) but then came back with 88 and 87, respectively, at Granville (on Sept. 19). Sophomore Luke Buchy has been our most consistent player this fall, while Ray Albertini had our low score at Granville with a 77 in (a) preseason (round) and an 82 in the OCC (Shootout on Sept. 17)."
Last season, McHale shot a 77 to qualify for district as an individual from the sectional at Darby Creek, where Orange was ninth (341) of 14 teams. Albertini had an 83 and Wallace shot a 94.
"We have the ability to shoot a low number if we all play together and keep the big numbers out of our game," Corica said. "The key will be for four players to do that all in the same day.
"One thing I can assure you is that our players will not give up under any circumstances and will grind out the best score they can have on the day of sectional."