Boys Golf: OCC divisional honors go down to wire

DAVE PURPURA
dpurpura@thisweeknews.com
Hilliard Davidson's Zach Burton (left) was medalist for the OCC-Central and Reynoldsburg's Jamison Boykins was medalist for the OCC-Buckeye.

The Dublin Jerome, Olentangy Liberty and Pickerington Central boys golf teams added to their string of OCC divisional championships Sept. 9, while Olentangy Orange, Westerville Central and Worthington Kilbourne enjoyed titles that have been rarer for their programs.

Jerome secured its 17th consecutive league championship, a streak that began when the school opened in 2004, by winning the OCC-Cardinal title at Darby Creek to finish a 19-0 league season.

The Celtics shot 293 in the fourth and final round of the league tournament to finish ahead of Berlin (15-4), Thomas Worthington (9-6), Marysville (8-11) and Hilliard Darby and Olentangy (both 2-17).

Defending Division I state champion Tyler Groomes of Jerome shot a 70 and tied teammate Ethan MacDonald for league Player of the Year honors with a 72 average. Other first-team all-league honorees were teammates Ryan Miller (72.67) and Jake Yarbrough (75.33) and Berlin’s Bryce Reed (75.33).

Liberty and Orange split the OCC-Central championship, the sixth league title in a row for the Patriots. Both went 18-2 in the league to finish ahead of Dublin Coffman (11-9), Upper Arlington (8-12), Hilliard Davidson (5-15) and Hilliard Bradley (0-20).

The Pioneers earned their share by shooting a 305 in the fourth round at Darby Creek, three shots lower than the Patriots.

Davidson’s Zach Burton was medalist for the round with a 71 and finished league play with an average of 70 to earn Player of the Year honors. He was joined on the first team by Orange’s Corbin Bentley (72.7) and Jonathan Green (73) and Liberty’s Grant Smeltzer and Jack Snyder (both 73.67).

In the OCC-Capital, Kilbourne recovered from missing the first round because of COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic restrictions to go 18-0 and finish first ahead of Delaware (20-3), Big Walnut (15-8), Dublin Scioto (12-11), Westerville North (9-14), Canal Winchester (4-19) and Westerville South (0-23).

Wolves teammates Isaac Henry and Mark Towns both shot 76 in the final round at Apple Valley.

Towns was league Player of the Year with a 75 average, followed by Scioto’s Jack Gawronski (77), Big Walnut’s Blake Shade (77.33), Delaware’s Brady Gazarek and Mark Sulek and Henry (all 78.67).

Pickerington Central polished off a perfect season in the OCC-Buckeye at Turnberry to win its second consecutive title, a program first.

Jaden Thompson shot a 73 to lead the Tigers, who went 20-0 in the league, ahead of Reynoldsburg (16-4), Lancaster (12-8), Newark (8-12), Central Crossing (4-16) and Groveport (0-20).

Reynoldsburg’s Jamison Boykins was league Player of the Year (73.33), ahead of Central’s Blake Bennett (74), Thompson (75.33), Cole Crandall (76.0) and Aidan Allen (79.67).

Westerville Central’s OCC-Ohio championship was the first in the program’s 18 seasons.

Although Grove City finished first (307) in the final round at Denison Golf Club, Central went 17-3 in the league. Grove City was second (15-5), followed by New Albany (11-9), Pickerington North (9-11), Gahanna (8-12) and Westland (0-20).

The Greyhounds’ Jeremiah Bane shot a 70 on Sept. 9 to average 71.3 and was first-team all-league along with Player of the Year Carson Bellish (70.3) of North, Central’s Josh Qian (73), Gahanna’s Mitchell Soma (74) and the Warhawks’ Ryan Dollenmayer (74.67).

All-league honors were determined by the three low scores for each participant.

The OCC-Capital and OCC-Cardinal standings were determined by win percentage because Kilbourne and Thomas both missed their first rounds.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave