Ryan Kayalar has been money for the Hilliard Bradley High School boys soccer team, and he hopes that leads to money in the future.
The senior forward had a program-record 34 career goals and looked to get the season record for goals when the 16th-seeded Jaguars played 14th-seeded Grove City on Oct. 18 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
Kayalar entered the postseason with 17 goals, two shy of the season record set by Sam Darling in 2011.
"Ryan's not flashy, but he just keeps hitting the back of the net, and that's all you need," said coach Nate Byrum, whose team was 8-8 overall after winning three of its final four games to close the regular season. "Usually when Ryan gets the ball, he makes it. It's not high or wide, it goes in. He gets the ball and finishes."
That scoring prowess has given Kayalar aspirations of playing professional soccer, sooner rather than later. He would like play in college, but might forgo that level to head overseas to play.
"I would love to play in college, but I have aspirations to play professionally overseas," Kayalar said. "I think I would have more chances over there to advance to the professional level. Lesh Shkreli of Blast FC (club team) is from Yugoslavia and I've talked to him about getting a trial over there and hopefully make a team.
"Mostly, I would look to play in Turkey because my dad (Deniz) is from there and my uncle lives there. It would be an easy transition over there, but I would be willing to go there and learn a new language to play."
Byrum said Kayalar just wants to play at any level. That's his biggest priority.
"Whether it's college or pro, Ryan wants to go wherever they will let him play," Byrum said. "I think he needs more experience and I would steer him to college. You have to have a backup plan if (playing professionally) doesn't work out. I would give him a couple more years to get that experience at the college level.
"(2013 Bradley graduate) Ben Fitzpatrick plays with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, which is a minor league program (in the United Soccer League). He played a couple years at Urbana (University) and finished up at Ohio State before doing that. That might be a good road for (Ryan)."
Kayalar has been a scorer ever since he started playing the sport at age 4.
"My dad is from Turkey and he moved here when he was 18 and it's their sport over there," he said. "If I want to play overseas, one of the biggest differences is that, in America, they focus on physicality and being strong and fast. I'll have to work on my technical ability for when I get over there so I can keep up with those guys over there.
"I would not play defense, for sure. Defense isn't my strongest suit and I have played forward since I was little. I wasn't one of those kids who has been bouncing around from position to position over the years. I have been in the attacking part of the field ever since I started playing."
With a victory over Grove City, Bradley would play host to 34th-seeded Westerville North in the second round Saturday, Oct. 21.
That winner faces third-seeded Dublin Jerome, 30th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley or 43rd-seeded Franklin Heights in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the home of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 28.
Bradley lost to Jerome 4-1 on Sept. 26 in OCC-Cardinal Division play. The Jaguars defeated Darby 5-1 on Oct. 10 to finish 3-3 in the league.
Runners prepping for district meet
The cross country teams will compete in the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 21, at Watkins Memorial.
The boys will run in district 1, from which the top five teams and top 20 runners advance to regional Oct. 28 at Pickerington North. The girls will compete in district 2, where the top six teams and top 24 runners advance.
On Oct. 14 in the OCC-Cardinal meet, the girls finished third (88 points) behind Thomas Worthington (47) and host Darby (74) and ahead of Jerome (94), Worthington Kilbourne (101), Dublin Scioto (110) and Delaware (158).
Grace Michel (10th, 20 minutes, 8.7 seconds) and Isabella Brooks (11th, 20:09.85) led the Jaguars, followed by Laura Scheiderer (14th, 20:41.04), Regan Corea (19th, 21:17.95), Marin Casey (35th, 22:08.33), Sonja Maragos (40th, 22:23.05) and Ella Richardson (41st, 22:24.57).
The boys finished sixth (143) in the league meet, behind Thomas (35), Jerome (61), Darby (81), Scioto (83) and Kilbourne (108) and ahead of Delaware (224).
Rob McCabe (14th, 16:59.23) led Bradley, followed by Haydon Spaulding (21st, 17:23.64), Max Lanum (31st, 17:56.98), Chad Leugers (48th, 18:39.16), Eli Schneider (50th, 18:40.21), Zach Schroeder (51st, 18:40.27) and Joshua George (53rd, 18:45.39).
Doubles team falls short of state tourney
The doubles team of junior Corinne Dixon and freshman Nina Kisin lost its opening match in the Division I district tournament Oct. 12 at home to Pickerington Central's Margaret Gordon and Rachel Terbovich 6-0, 6-2, ending the season for the girls tennis team.
The Jaguars finished 16-5 overall, setting the program record for wins in a season. The previous-best performance was 15-4 in the inaugural 2009 season.
Bradley went 4-2 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Scioto and Thomas for second, behind Jerome (6-0) and ahead of Darby (2-4), Delaware (1-5) and Kilbourne (0-6).
In a home sectional Oct. 6 and 7, Dixon and Kisin finished fourth after losing to Davidson's Josie Paazig and Grace Wilson 7-6, 7-6 in the third-place match.
Playing singles at sectional were seniors Brittney Burchett and Casey Mignery and junior Cat Whetstone. Seniors Faith Carlisle and Megan Thurston comprised the other doubles team.
Volleyball team begins postseason
The 22nd-seeded girls volleyball team opened the Division I district tournament Oct. 17 with a first-round match at 17th-seeded Upper Arlington.
The winner plays host to 23rd-seeded Westerville Central in the second round Thursday, Oct. 19. That winner faces third-seeded DeSales, 35th-seeded Whetstone or 38th-seeded Centennial in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Franklin Heights. The district final is Oct. 28 at Franklin Heights.
The Jaguars closed the regular season 9-13 overall after losing to Central 25-19, 25-21, 25-19 on Oct. 12. They finished 4-8 in the OCC-Cardinal after losing to Darby 25-17, 22-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-12 on Oct. 10.
Postseason underway for girls soccer team
The fifth-seeded girls soccer team was 10-4-2 overall before opening the Division I district tournament Oct. 18 at home against 26th-seeded Thomas in a second-round game.
The winner plays eighth-seeded Olentangy Liberty or 39th-seeded Franklin Heights in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 28.
The Jaguars lost to Darby 1-0 on Oct. 10 to finish 3-2-1 in the OCC-Cardinal. Goalkeeper Emily Keck had six saves.