Senior Max Wright and sophomore Zach Williams represented the Delaware Hayes High School wrestling team in the Division I state tournament that concluded March 11 at Ohio State.
Both reached state for the second year in a row.
Wright won the title at 195 pounds in the district tournament March 3 and 4 at Hilliard Darby and Williams placed second at 126, as the top four finishers in each weight class advanced to state.
Last year at state, Wright went 1-2 at 160 to finish 53-5 and Williams went 0-2 at 106 to finish 39-12.
"Max wrestles at a fast pace and he is very confident," coach Josh Heffernan said. "He is very explosive and he has a wide array of scoring weapons that he can use. He also is very athletic for a big guy."
Wright was the projected state champion by Borofan-ohio.net. He went 4-0 at district, beating Lancaster's Stephen Deluse 6-3 in the final, and was 29-1 entering state.
"Max hit the 150 career-win mark during the district tournament and he's in the top three of every category we score," Heffernan said. "He is trying to become the highest state finisher we've ever had. Bruce Hambrick was second at state in 1973."
Williams went 3-1 at district, losing to Marysville's Derek Sharp 11-5 in the final, and was 33-16 entering state.
"Zach is a gamer," Heffernan said. "He really steps up during big events and seems to thrive under the pressure of big matches and tournaments. He has had to make some adjustments this year after jumping up three weight classes."
Also competing at district were senior Carter Davidson (182), junior James White IV (138) and freshmen Corbin May (152) and Brystin Coldiron (106).
Davidson went 3-2 and placed fifth, making him a state alternate. He won his first two matches before losing 15-4 to eventual champion Jared Ball of Darby and losing 7-1 to Watkins Memorial's Max Boyd. He then beat Westerville North's Body Bien 3-2 in overtime in the fifth-place match to improve to 36-14.
"It was unfortunate that Carter met up with Jared Ball in the semifinal," Heffernan said. "I thought he refocused, but he lost to a kid (Boyd) that he had beaten earlier this year. Carter wrestled well, stayed in great position, but in the end, just did not score much. I'm proud of him that he came back to place fifth. I'm proud of Carter's finish. He will graduate as Hayes' ninth-winningest wrestler with 104 career wins."
White went 2-2 at district to finish 31-8. May went 1-2 to finish 23-18 and Coldiron went 0-2 to finish 11-15.
Delaware totaled 64 points to tie Olentangy for seventh behind champion Olentangy Liberty (236.5) as 42 teams scored.
Girls bowling team
advances to state
Led by senior Alicia Halstead and junior Emma Wasielewski, the girls bowling team qualified for the Division I state tournament for the first time.
The Pacers placed third in the 20-team district tournament March 3 at Sawmill Lanes, totaling 3,740 pins to finish behind Briggs (3,888) and Whitehall (3,811) and ahead of Gahanna (3,611), as the top four teams advanced to state March 10 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Halstead rolled a 657 series (235-258-164) to finish third of 133 competitors, including 94 who bowled three games. Whitehall's Madison Stiffler (760) won the district title and Eastmoor Academy's Averi Brown (663) placed second.
Wasielewski bowled a 598 (201-196-201) to place seventh.
"It was the first time that all of the girls hit on the same day," said coach Darin Halstead, Alicia's father. "Everyone was above their average, mentally focused and on top of their games. Even though it was at Sawmill again (like the sectional Feb. 24), it was a different oil pattern. We came out strong, performed well and sustained it."
Junior Jenna VanGundy just missed a top-10 finish, placing 12th with a 565 (211-212-142) after cooling off in the final game.
Also competing were junior Reagan Olson (496, 42nd) and freshman McKenzie Cooke (458, tied for 63rd).
Delaware tied Whitehall for second (2,744) behind Briggs (2,785) in regulation, but had the seventh-best total in the six Baker games (966).
"What I like about this team is how close they are," coach Halstead said. "Alicia and Emma are very close and Emma wants Alicia to go out on top. The friendships these girls have developed are fantastic. Everyone wants to do their best for their teammates.
"This is the first time we've ever gone to state as a team. Four years ago, we missed the mark by one pin when Westerville Central took the last spot after we beat them in the regular season."
D.J. Cocherl of the boys team competed at district as an individual. The junior rolled a 570 (186-183-201) to place 51st of 127 competitors, including 104 who bowled three games. Logan's Austin Huffines (646) placed eighth and earned the fourth and final individual state berth.
Boys basketball team
losing four seniors
The boys basketball team is losing four seniors, including 6-foot-5 wing player Will Yoakum.
Yoakum averaged 19.5 points and 7.0 rebounds and shot 88.5 percent from the free-throw line and was named first-team all-OCC-Cardinal Division for the Pacers, who finished 11-12 overall and 4-8 in the league.
Yoakum had 21 points and sophomore Terin Kinsway scored 13 for the 20th-seeded Pacers in a 56-49 loss at 16th-seeded Dublin Scioto in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 25.
The other seniors are Kameron Beekman, Sam Midura and Anthony Rodgers.
Midura averaged 3.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists and was honorable mention all-league, while Beekman was averaging 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds through seven games before a season-ending injury.
"The seniors have been great mentors to our young guys," coach Jordan Blackburn said. "There were no cliques and everybody was on even standing. Will knew he needed to score each night and, with the exception of two games, he was outstanding. Sam is one of the most dependable kids I've coached. He knew every single player's job from all five positions. Anthony made other people better with his presence and had a positive effect on the team. Kameron was our second-most gifted offensive player and best on-ball defender. Our kids responded well when we lost him, but it was a challenge."
Kinsway averaged 11.4 points and 7.8 rebounds and was named second-team all-OCC-Cardinal, as Delaware tied Worthington Kilbourne for fifth in the league behind Hilliard Bradley (12-0), Dublin Jerome (9-3), Scioto (7-5) and Thomas Worthington (5-7) and ahead of Darby (1-11).
Other expected returnees are juniors Paul Frentsos and Tracey Sumner, sophomores Jwan Lyles and Jack Weller and freshmen Paul Burris, Nate Griggs and Addison Harvey.
Griggs averaged 6.0 points and 2.8 assists and Burris averaged 5.4 points.
"We are probably a year away from being a team contending for a district title again, but we think if these kids have another great offseason, next year could be good as well," Blackburn said.