The Delaware Hayes High School football team is aware of where it stands in the Division I, Region 2 computer ratings, but won't say much about the situation until the final week of the regular season.
The Pacers were sixth in last week's ratings before playing Thomas Worthington on Oct. 12. The top eight teams in the region qualify for the playoffs.
"There's too much football to be played to talk about those things yet," said veteran coach Scott Wetzel, who guided Big Walnut to the Division III state championship in 2007. "The only thing I will say about that is that it's just good to be in the conversation at this point in the season. If you're in this situation, it means you've had a good season to this point."
The Pacers lost to Dublin Jerome 35-21 on Oct. 5 and were 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Thomas.
Delaware will play Hilliard Darby in its home finale Friday, Oct. 19, before visiting Hilliard Bradley on Oct. 26 to close the regular season.
The Panthers were 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the league before playing Worthington Kilbourne on Oct. 12.
"Darby is a very physical team as usual," Wetzel said. "They run the mid-line veer like they have forever and they do a nice job with it. They have a very sound defense and give up few points."
Darby, which beat Thomas 38-14 on Oct. 5, had allowed 89 points through seven games, a 12.1 average. Key players on the Panthers' defense are linebackers Nick Wile and Geno Sekura, defensive backs Jaden Jones and Hayden Vroom and linemen Blayne Barnes, Grant Hollinger and Charlie Freewalt.
Against Thomas, the Panthers rushed for 462 yards. Connor Jones had 221 yards rushing and three touchdowns and Evan Grose ran for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Delaware lost running back Jahi Broussard-Nash to injury in the second quarter against Jerome when he scored on a 7-yard run to tie the game at 7. He did not return and his status for the game against Thomas was uncertain.
Warren Clasen, Jovan Rodriguez and Luke Jackson filled in for Broussard-Nash against Jerome and combined for 60 yards rushing, with Clasen scoring on a 6-yard run. Quarterback Blake Eiland rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown and was 11-for-16 passing for 106 yards with an interception.
"Good teams get better every week and we need to continue to improve," Wetzel said. "We can't get stagnate or flat. We've got to get 1 percent better every day. It doesn't matter who the opponent is, we've got to get better in fundamentals. Blocking, tackling and taking care of the football are things that always determine the outcomes of games."
Girls volleyball team receives 15th seed
The girls volleyball team looked to gain some momentum for the Division I district tournament when it closed the regular season Oct. 11 against Olentangy Berlin.
The Pacers had lost back-to-back matches against Kilbourne (25-18, 25-13, 25-21 on Oct. 4) and Jerome (26-28, 25-15, 25-10, 25-11 on Oct. 9) and were 13-8 overall and 7-6 in the OCC-Cardinal before facing the Bears.
Delaware is seeded 15th of 49 teams in the district and will play host to 28th-seeded Thomas in the first round Tuesday, Oct. 16, with the winner playing host to 37th-seeded Mount Vernon in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18. That winner advances to a district semifinal Oct. 25 at Whitehall.
Boys soccer team preps for tourney
The boys soccer team was 6-7-2 overall before playing Teays Valley in its regular-season finale Oct. 11.
The Pacers beat Berlin 2-1 on Oct. 9 to finish 2-4-1 in the OCC-Cardinal. Briggy Kannally scored both goals against the Bears and goalkeeper Davidka McCamon made five saves.
Delaware is seeded 23rd of 48 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play host to 41st-seeded Whetstone in the first round Wednesday, Oct. 17. The winner plays at top-seeded Olentangy Liberty in the second round Saturday, Oct. 20, with that winner advancing to a district semifinal Oct. 24.
Girls soccer team set to face Logan
The girls soccer team is seeded 23rd of 44 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play host to 32nd-seeded Logan in the first round Monday, Oct. 15.
The winner plays at eighth-seeded New Albany in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18, with that winner advancing to a district semifinal Oct. 23.
The Pacers beat Berlin 3-1 on Oct. 9 to improve to 4-6-5 overall and finish 1-5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal. They concluded the regular season Oct. 11 against Dublin Coffman.
Payje Wilson scored to break a 1-all tie early in the second half against Berlin.
Runners preparing for district meet
The cross country teams are preparing to compete in the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 20, at Darby.
The boys are in district 3 and the girls are in district 2. In both races, the top six teams and top 24 runners advance to the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
Both teams competed in the OCC-Cardinal meet Oct. 13 at Hilliard Davidson.
Season concludes for girls golfers
Representing the girls golf team in the Division I district tournament Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek, Hayley Dye shot an 85 to tie for 26th of 54 competitors.
One of nine freshmen competing at district, Dye carded a 41 on the front nine and had a 44 on the back nine.
Berlin's Leila Raines (72) and Upper Arlington's Emily Hummer (75) earned the two individual berths for the state tournament Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Ohio State's Gray Course.
Dye finished eighth (79) in a sectional Oct. 2 at Royal American, earning the third and final individual district-qualifying berth by one stroke.
"Hayley had a strong season and has a bright future," coach Rob Stultz said. "She has big goals and we have big goals for her and the entire team. We're a year or two away from really making a run for the team title in our league and being competitive on the district level."
The Pacers placed fifth (387) in the 11-team sectional, behind district-qualifiers Olentangy Orange (306), Jerome (335) and Davidson (360) as well as Grove City (386).
Also competing for Delaware were senior Sophie Zehner (91), sophomores Kenzie Collett (103) and Faith Eden (114) and junior Alyssa Stultz (115). Rounding out the roster was freshman Isabel Crissinger.
Dye had a 75.3 average in the four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament and was league Player of the Year, as Delaware finished second (15-4) behind Jerome (19-0). Collett (96.8) and Stultz (98) both were honorable mention all-league, while Zehner had a 94.3 average in three league rounds.
"We were between 31 and 32 strokes better over the four OCC rounds this year than last year," coach Stultz said. "It wasn't just the addition of Hayley. It was an improvement by all of the girls."
Girls tennis season ends at sectional
Senior Renae Haferman and freshman Evelyn Mignanou of the girls tennis team had a strong showing in doubles in a Division I sectional Oct. 5 and 6 at Pickerington Central, but none of the Pacers' five entries qualified for the district tournament, which was held Oct. 11 and 13 at Reynoldsburg.
Haferman and Mignanou defeated Canal Winchester's Callie Tate and Erin Duckworth 6-3, 6-4 in the first round and DeSales' Elaina Murray and Molly Ballard 6-3, 6-4 in the second round before losing 6-0, 6-0 in a quarterfinal against Central's Ella Culver and Sophie Culver to fall one win shy of advancing to district. The Culver sisters were seeded fourth.
Also in doubles, seniors Sarah Midura and Kailah Breece lost 6-1, 6-2 in the first round to DeSales' Erin Miller and Aubrey Wilcox.
In singles, sophomore Grace Martin defeated Independence's Dahlia Cabiness 6-0, 6-0 in the first round before losing 6-0, 6-0 to second-seeded Tyler Reed of Orange in the second round, senior Grace Brinkmoeller lost to Marion Harding's Maggie Pitts 6-1, 6-0 in the first round and sophomore Alana Kay lost to Canal Winchester's Amayah Gentry 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 in a play-in match.
Delaware finished 7-10 overall and went 2-5 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Darby for sixth behind champion Jerome (7-0). Also on the roster were junior Abbey Eyerman and sophomores Meredith Keller and Lilly Tope.