Worthington Kilbourne High School boys golf coach Gavin Meeks is hoping his team will make steady improvement over the course of the season.
The Wolves return three starters from last season when they finished seventh in the OCC-Cardinal Division and ninth in the 14-team Division I sectional at Darby Creek in senior Riley Hull and juniors David Gorman and Tate VanArsdale.
Gorman had the best score at sectional last year among the Wolves' returnees. He carded an 83 as Kilbourne shot a 333 to finish 10 strokes behind the fourth and final district qualifier, Hilliard Davidson (323).
"We have a positive attitude and a willingness to work," Meeks said. "Our biggest concern at this point in the season is our short game. We need lots of work around the greens."
Competing for playing time are junior Nick Holman, sophomores Rob Lacey, Jack Maloney and Jacob Streets and freshmen Liam Graney, Jack Nourse and Matt Wilbur.
Kilbourne, which went 4-24 in the four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament last year as eventual Division I state champion Dublin Jerome (28-0) won the title, has moved to the OCC-Capital this year.
New Albany is the defending OCC-Capital champion, having gone 28-0 last year to finish ahead of Mount Vernon (20-8), Olentangy (20-8), Olentangy Orange (18-10), Big Walnut (13-15), Watkins Memorial (9-19), Delaware (4-24) and Franklin Heights (0-28). Watkins Memorial no longer is in the league.
The Wolves opened league play Aug. 7 at Apple Valley, shooting a 348 to finish seventh behind New Albany (289), Olentangy (309), Mount Vernon (311), Orange (331), Big Walnut (339) and Delaware (341).
Gorman and VanArsdale each shot an 83 to lead the Wolves, followed by Hull (89), Maloney (93) and Streets (99).
"It doesn't really matter what division you play in in the OCC. All of the divisions are tough and have really good teams," Meeks said.
The Wolves finished fifth (328) in the second OCC-Capital tournament Aug. 12 at Darby Creek behind champion Olentangy (304).
Kilbourne opened the season Aug. 6 in the eight-team Cardinal Invitational at York, shooting a 331 to place seventh behind champion Olentangy (323). Gorman led the Wolves with a 76, followed by VanArsdale (79), Streets (85), Hull (91) and Maloney (93).
Cardinals return state qualifier
Thomas returns four starters, including a Division I state qualifier in sophomore Curtis Salmans.
The Cardinals also return seniors Sam Ankrom and Joshua Zeledon and junior Dominic Caminiti. In addition, senior Jack Uhlman, a two-time letterwinner, is back after not playing last season.
Sophomores Brown Icenhower and Jake Walter also are expected to contribute.
Salmans carded a 177 (88-89) in the two-round state tournament last year to tie three others for 57th of 72 players. He was the only freshman to qualify for state as an individual in Division I.
According to coach Jay Addy, Salmans was the first state qualifier for Thomas since 1997 when the Cardinals qualified as a team.
Salmans advanced to state by carding a 73 at district at Apple Valley after shooting a 77 in the sectional at Granville Golf Course. The Cardinals were seventh (340) in the 13-team sectional as Mount Vernon (316) secured the fourth and final district-qualifying berth.
"We have five guys who can go below 80 on any given day," Addy said. "Curtis and Dom have the ability to go very low and are a nice 1-2 punch. Right now, we need to work on consistency and getting four good scores on the same day."
Thomas opened Aug. 6 by placing second (324) in the Cardinal Invitational. Salmans was medalist (72), followed by Uhlman (83), Zeledon (84), Caminiti (85) and Icenhower (96).
The Cardinals then shot a 332 in the first round of the OCC-Central tournament Aug. 7 at Granville Golf Course to place fifth, behind Dublin Coffman (296), Upper Arlington (310), Olentangy Liberty (322) and Marysville (331) and ahead of Davidson (336), Central Crossing (348) and Westland (467).
Salmans carded a 74 to tie Liberty's Cameron McCloskey for second behind Coffman's Nick Sparling (64). Caminiti (79) was next for the Cardinals.
In the second league tournament Aug. 12 at Apple Valley, the Cardinals were sixth (330) behind champion Coffman (294).
Thomas placed fourth (13-15) in the OCC-Central last year behind UA (27-1), Coffman (24-4) and Liberty (21-7) and ahead of Davidson (12-16). Coffman went on to place third at state and UA, Liberty and Davidson were district qualifiers.
"We're in one of the toughest conferences in the area with (four) teams from (the OCC-Central) reaching district," Addy said.