The Delaware Hayes High School football team snapped a long losing streak in its series with Marysville last season, beating the Monarchs 21-7.

The Delaware Hayes High School football team snapped a long losing streak in its series with Marysville last season, beating the Monarchs 21-7.

Marysville had won 12 games in a row against the Pacers dating to 1996. The teams did not play from 2008-13.

The Pacers, who opened Aug. 26 at Buckeye Valley, will look to make it two wins in a row in the series when they play host to Marysville on Friday, Sept. 2.

"We want to get out of the gate fast like we did last year," coach Mike Golden said. "We won our first two games (last year) and then dropped off (with a four-game losing streak). With a veteran group like we've got, I anticipate us starting good and building and improving every week."

Delaware finished 5-5 last season, while Marysville, which opened against Jonathan Alder on Aug. 26, was plagued with injuries and went 2-8.

This season began much like last season went for the Monarchs, as they lost expected starting quarterback Nathan Snyder (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) for the first three or four games to an ankle injury suffered during a scrimmage Aug. 9. Snyder, who also is a punter and kicker, was named first-team all-state and all-district in Division I and first-team all-OCC-Central Division last season. He has committed to punt at Ball State University.

Last season, Snyder completed 87 of 177 passes for 983 yards and eight touchdowns.

Guiding the Monarchs' zone-read offense during his absence will be sophomore Walker Heard (5-8, 165).

"Walker is a competitor," Marysville coach Morgan Cotter said. "He's a kid that wants to win and wants to do everything the best he can. He has the abilities and he has the tools to do it. We're going to have to have some people step up around him, also."

Marysville running back Tommy Rush (6-3, 205) ran for a team-high 540 yards and three touchdowns on 132 carries last year after becoming a starter during the season because of an injury.

Other key players on offense for the Monarchs include receivers Jake Gastineau (6-1, 180) and Tyler Bates (6-4, 180).

Cotter said the running game would be a key to his team's success with Heard at quarterback.

"We have to establish the run and control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball," Cotter said.

That's where Delaware has its most experience, as its offensive line has returned intact from last season. Center Mason W. Davis, guards Kole Shaw and Glenn Pauley and tackles Josh McSweeney and Nathan Wilgus should give third-year quarterback Cullen Moore time to throw and open running lanes for tailback Deven Ward and fullback Derreck O'Connor.

Moore, who rushed for 835 yards and 11 touchdowns and passed for 634 yards and four touchdowns a year ago, has receiver Derrick Buford back at his disposal after Buford missed much of last year with an injury.

The Pacers and Monarchs both utilize 4-2-5 defensive schemes.

For Delaware, linebacker Grant Conahan and tackle Stan Sorn lead the way, with Braden Donges and Max Hendrix at ends and Pauley at tackle.

On the Monarchs' young defense, linebackers Noah Wiseman and Anthony LaCella are playmakers behind Xavier Friley at tackle and Noah Danals at end.

Expectations high for girls runners

Senior Alicia Rittenour and junior Ashley Woller -- a pair of Division I regional qualifiers a year ago -- have returned to lead the girls cross country team, which opened Aug. 27 in the Baron Blast at Buckeye Valley.

But the Pacers are deeper than the duo, according to 12th-year coach Jim Bibler.

"This could be the best girls team I've ever had," Bibler said. "This group should be at the regional meet as a team. Our top five runners all have goals to run in the (19-minute range)."

Rittenour is a two-time regional qualifier, placing 58th of 121 runners at Pickerington North last season in 20:16.3. Woller was 63rd (20:23.7), as the top 16 runners advanced to state.

Also back after competing in the postseason last year are senior Kristen Puthoff, junior Grace Fowler and sophomores Valerie Keller and Meghin Sword. New to the team are sophomore Emily Gray and freshman Mary Beth Zimmerman.

"Rittenour, Puthoff, Gray and Woller should all be together," Bibler said. "Emily Gray also plays volleyball. She had a great distance season on the track team. Keller could be with them later. She swims most of the summer, so I hope she is with the top four by October."

Delaware finished seventh (203) in the district 2 meet and fourth (102) in the OCC-Capital meet last season. As part of OCC realignment, the Pacers have moved to the OCC-Cardinal this year with Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne.

"If we can stay healthy and our fourth through seventh runners can near our top three, I think we'll have a strong season," Bibler said. "I'm hoping that Emily Gray can get in the training she needs while also playing volleyball. If she can, it will help us a lot."

The boys team is expected to be led by seniors Justin Hernan and Seth Kern.

"Justin is clearly our No. 1," Bibler said. "He went to regional his sophomore year but dealt with some injury issues last year. He had a great track season last spring and is in good shape.

"Seth Kern can run in the 16s, but the rest of the squad is very inexperienced."

Hernan finished 59th (17:59.34) and Kern was 60th (17:59.82) in the district 2 meet last season, where the Pacers placed 12th (351) and did not have any regional qualifiers.

Also back after competing at district last year are senior Marquis Willis and sophomore Avery Latta. Rounding out the roster are juniors Dominic Byers and Anthony Matus and sophomore Lucas Pape.

"They just have to get faster from No. 2 to No. 7," Bibler said. "Our goal as a team is to see where they are individually, then continue to train and work to improve."

Girls volleyball team loses top player

The girls volleyball team entered the preseason with hopes of producing its first winning season since 2009, when it went 12-9.

However, the Pacers were dealt a severe blow when junior outside hitter and co-captain Julia Kaylor was lost to a season-ending knee injury. Kaylor, who was named second-team all-OCC-Capital last year, suffered ACL and MCL tears during the first set of the first scrimmage earlier this month.

"She has been the rock of this team, so playing without her is a loss that we haven't quite figured out how to fill," said second-year coach Liz Kaylor-Palmer, Julia's sister. "She was our main source of communication, push and energy. The girls are trying to figure out a new team dynamic and how to make it work."

Delaware, which finished 3-20 overall and 1-13 in the OCC-Capital last season, opened Aug. 20, beating Columbus School for Girls 25-15, 26-24 and losing to Westerville South 25-16, 25-16 in a tri-match. The Pacers then lost to Hilliard Darby 25-12, 25-22, 25-15 in their opening OCC-Cardinal match Aug. 23 before playing Dublin Scioto in a league match Aug. 25.

"We have a team goal of hitting .500 this year and finishing at least fourth in (the OCC-Cardinal)," Kaylor-Palmer said.

Delaware returned three other starters in juniors Audrey Hannahs (libero) and Julia Justice (middle hitter) and sophomore Sydney Krewson (outside hitter).

"(Hannahs) brings a very calm presence to the team and is never content with any ball hitting the floor without effort," Kaylor-Palmer said. "She is a strong leader for our defensive specialists.

"Sydney is stepping up and playing all the way around (the rotation) this year. She is a strong force, not only swinging from the outside, but also defensively and attacking out of the back row. She is strong fundamentally and will play a big role for us."

Other returning letterwinners are Gray (defensive specialist), senior Elisha Lowery (right-side hitter), junior Ally James (right-side hitter) and sophomores Mallory Bibler (defensive specialist) and Kaiden Murphy (middle hitter).

Newcomers are junior Lauryn Rocassin (setter), sophomore Isis Parsons (outside hitter) and freshmen Hadlee Bruns (middle hitter) and Rebecca Rocassin (setter).

"Lauryn decided not to come out her sophomore year, but we are excited to have her back for the talent and experience she brings. She can do it all," Kaylor-Palmer said. "She will be filling a much-needed setter role as being a strong outside or right-side hitter. She brings a lot of heart and competitive energy."

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 27 -- Sandusky Central Catholic Panther Run to Fun

Sept. 3 -- Granville Invitational at Bryn Du Mansion

Sept. 10 -- McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial

Sept. 17 -- Galion Festival at Amman Reservoir

Sept. 24 -- Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster

Oct. 1 -- Erin L. Nance Fall Distance Classic at London Country Club

Oct. 8 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington

Oct. 15 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at Hilliard Bradley

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 20 -- at Westerville South with Columbus School for Girls

*Aug. 23 -- at Hilliard Darby

*Aug. 25 -- vs. Dublin Scioto

Aug. 27 -- at Cardington

*Aug. 31 -- at Hilliard Bradley

*Sept. 6 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne

*Sept. 8 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

*Sept. 15 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

*Sept. 20 -- at Dublin Scioto

*Sept. 21 -- at Thomas Worthington

*Sept. 27 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley

Sept. 26 -- vs. Thomas Worthington and Westerville South

*Sept. 29 -- at Worthington Kilbourne

Oct. 1 -- at Marion Harding with Sylvania Southview

*Oct. 6 -- at Dublin Jerome

Oct. 11 -- at Westerville North

Oct. 13 -- vs. Licking Heights

Oct. 14 -- vs. Delaware Christian

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Delaware Hayes boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls tennis teams:

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 31 -- OCC-Cardinal at Clover Valley

Sept. 3 -- Reynoldsburg at Blacklick Woods

GIRLS GOLF

Aug. 30 -- OCC-Cardinal at West-chester

Aug. 31 -- Buckeye Valley and Wellington at Oakhaven

Sept. 1 -- Hilliard Bradley at Thorn Apple

BOYS SOCCER

*Aug. 30 -- At Hilliard Darby

Sept. 1 -- At Whetstone

GIRLS SOCCER

*Aug. 30 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby

Sept. 1 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg

GIRLS TENNIS

Aug. 29 -- Home vs. Mount Vernon

*Aug. 30 -- At Hilliard Bradley

*Sept. 1 -- At Worthington Kilbourne

Sept. 3 -- Caledonia River Valley Invitational

*League contest