Since the Division I district tournament drawing on Oct. 6, the Delaware Hayes girls soccer team had one potential matchup circled.
The opportunity for a rematch with Hilliard Bradley was "fueling our fire," according to senior forward Payje Wilson.
Delaware lost 1-0 to the Jaguars on Sept. 17 in OCC-Cardinal Division play and faced the 10th-seeded Jaguars again in the second round of the district tournament Oct. 19. The 26th-seeded Pacers opened the postseason with a 9-0 win over 35th-seeded Mount Vernon on Oct. 16 at home.
Delaware, which beat Teays Valley 7-0 in its regular-season finale Oct. 12, was 6-8-3 before the rematch with Bradley.
"We're starting to want to win," senior forward Sydney McMillin said. "Our team was kind of young to start the season and it took a while to get patterns going, but we've been starting to connect more with our midfielders."
The second-round winner plays fifth-seeded Olentangy or 28th-seeded DeSales in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the better seed. That winner would face fourth-seeded Westerville North, 11th-seeded Grove City, 12th-seeded Hilliard Davidson or 44th-seeded Franklin Heights in a district final Saturday, Oct. 26, at a site to be announced.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal Oct. 29.
Against Mount Vernon, junior forward Alyssa Griner, sophomore midfielder Ava Bruns and sophomore midfielder Taylor McMillin each scored two goals.
"We moved the ball very, very well (against the Yellow Jackets) and finally put some in the back of the net," coach Bradd Smiley said. "They didn't want their season to end, either."
Win over Jerome boosts football team
After losing its first three OCC-Cardinal games, the football team surprised Dublin Jerome 28-7 on Oct. 11.
Coach Scott Wetzel was hoping that would serve as a springboard for what the Pacers can accomplish the rest of the way.
Delaware was 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Thomas Worthington on Oct. 18. The Pacers will continue league play Friday, Oct. 25, at Hilliard Darby.
The Panthers were 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Worthington Kilbourne on Oct. 18.
"In three of our four losses (through seven games), we led in the third or fourth quarter," Wetzel said. "We had opportunities to win all of those games, so it was a frustrating start in the league, but they were convinced that we're a good football team and all week were convinced they could beat Jerome."
Quarterback Blake Eiland rushed for two touchdowns against Jerome and had 523 yards rushing and 612 yards passing through seven games. Running back Jahi Broussard-Nash had 667 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns through seven games.
Darby features an option offense led by quarterback Jack Stultz (502 yards rushing, 5 TDs through seven games) and running back Connor Jones (494 yards rushing, 9 TDs through seven games).
Runners begin postseason action
The cross country teams opened the postseason Oct. 19 at the Division I, district 1 meet, where the top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to regional Saturday, Oct. 26, at Pickerington North.
At regional, the top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to state Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway.
In the eight-team OCC-Cardinal meet Oct. 12 at Lancaster, the girls finished seventh (204 points) behind champion Thomas Worthington (51) and the boys were last (182) behind champion Thomas (59).
Brian Frisch led the boys team with a 14th-place finish in 16 minutes, 48.8 seconds, followed by Blake Frisch (22nd, 17:04.6), Padraig Mumper (39th, 17:35.9), Juan Tello (62nd, 18:24.7) and Eric Stewart (66th, 18:42.2).
Miranda Gemberling finished 37th (21:28.7) to lead the girls team, followed by Brynn McGrail (40th, 21:39.6), Kailyn Smith (49th, 22:05.7), Danica Davelli (53rd, 22:14.2) and Lauren English (55th, 22:19.6).
Volleyball team falls in second round
The girls volleyball team split its two OCC-Cardinal matches against Jerome during the regular season, but the 25th-seeded Pacers won the rubber match with the 23rd-seeded Celtics, winning 23-25, 25-17, 25-7, 25-23 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 14.
The Pacers then lost to 10th-seeded Gahanna 25-19, 25-19, 25-24 in a second-round match Oct. 16 to finish 11-13.
Delaware is losing five seniors in Hadlee Bruns (middle hitter), Sydney Johns (defensive specialist), Lilly Lagando (outside hitter/right-side hitter), Becca Rocassin (setter/right-side hitter) and Mia Thompson (libero).
Among the expected returnees are juniors Anna Johnson (setter/right-side hitter) and Ally Gray (defensive specialist) and sophomores Bailey Christiansen (middle hitter) and Natalie Davis (outside hitter). Christiansen is 6-foot-1.
Others eligible to return include junior Madelyn Kaasa (right-side hitter/outside hitter) and sophomores Ryleigh Hackathorn (defensive specialist), Chloe Jeffers (setter) and Audrey Lenocker (middle hitter).
According to coach Raynard Martin, the junior varsity went 17-5.
"I feel like we have a lot of younger kids that can move up and help our team," Johnson said. "Bailey Christiansen is solid at the net and has high energy. Natalie Davis is someone we can always count on to put a few kills away. Ally Gray in the back row keeps balls off the ground."
Season ends for boys soccer team
The 35th-seeded boys soccer team had its season end with a 4-3 loss to 38th-seeded Whetstone in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 15.
The Pacers are losing nine seniors, including Derrick Brooks (defender), Sam DeLong (goalkeeper), Briggy Kannally (midfielder), Kyle Klump (defender/midfielder), Kyle Martinez (defender) and Noah Smith (midfielder).
Kannally scored 14 goals for the Pacers, who finished 4-11-2.
"This was a season where we looked over our schedule and our roster and personnel and we had what I thought were reasonable but high expectations," coach Robb Morgan said. "The results didn't come the way we wanted them to, but the thing I told the kids is that they play incredibly hard, they fight until the very end and they did not quit in one contest."
Among the expected returnees are junior midfielders Brady Day and Brian Wallace, sophomore midfielders Dylan Ashworth and Abdul Kawa, sophomore goalie Chris DeRosa and freshman midfielder Peyton Fowler.
"It's a small junior class, but we've got some real talent in the pipeline," Morgan said.