Delaware Hayes Roundup: Brady Gazarek leads boys golfers into postseason
The Delaware Hayes boys golf team has experienced consistent improvement over the last four seasons, going from 0-24 in league play in 2017 to 24-3 this season to finish second behind Worthington Kilbourne (21-0) in the OCC-Capital Division.
Junior Brady Gazarek has played an instrumental role in the ascension. Yet, he said the Pacers still have not reached their potential.
“I think as a team we have a lot of room to improve,” he said. “We didn’t play our best (during the four-round league tournament). We have a lot more potential than what we showed there. But I think the guys are really looking forward to sectionals, and I think we have a really good chance of making it (to district) as a team.
“Everyone’s been working their butts off, trying to get to where we need to be to be able to compete, and for other schools to have their eye out (for us).”
The Pacers compete in a Division I sectional Tuesday, Oct. 6, at Darby Creek. The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 13 at Apple Valley.
“I think they’ve accomplished a whole bunch,” coach Andy Graham said. “They need to put it all together at the same time.”
Gazarek, a three-year varsity player, shot a 77 at Apple Valley, a 79 at Darby Creek, an 80 at Turnberry and an 82 at Denison Golf Club in the OCC-Capital tournament. He and teammate Mark Sulek averaged 79.5 to earn first-team all-league honors.
Colin Bibler and Tyler Brown each averaged 82 and were second-team all-league. Ben Madden averaged 83 and was third-team all-league.
Gazarek, who’s been competing as the Pacers’ No. 1 player this season, averaged 86.7 in league play as a freshman and 78 last year to earn second-team all-league honors.
“Getting in the 70s now it’s harder to make those big jumps, but I’m definitely finding the little things in my game to improve, especially around the greens,” he said. “Those are the strokes that we really need to be gaining this year, and going into sectionals that’s what we have to have ready to go as a team.”
Gazarek said his teammates also have pushed him to improve his game.
“I’m really surrounding myself with other people that have the same goals as I do,” he said. “We’re all pushing each other in the sense that we all want to get better.”
Graham said he is seeing leadership qualities in Gazarek that benefit the team.
“He has become a much better team guy. He wants his teammates to play better,” Graham said. “When he was younger and he had (his brother, 2020 graduate Luke Gazarek, on the team), he was out to win. He was out to beat everybody. Now, he wants his teammates to do well, too, because he wants our team to be successful. He sees a great opportunity with the guys that are around him, and he has become a much better leader out there.
“He's grown a bunch. He’s walking with a little more belief in himself. He loves being that No. 1 guy.”
Volleyball team seeks
more consistent play
After going 10-13 last season, the girls volleyball team improved to 9-5 overall with an 11-25, 25-15, 25-10, 19-25, 15-7 win over Hilliard Davidson on Sept. 28 and a 25-8, 25-22, 27-25 victory over Westerville North on Sept. 29.
The Pacers also improved to 5-3 in the OCC-Capital by beating North.
Despite this season’s success, coach Raynard Martin said the Pacers have played inconsistently at times and are seeking to get into a better rhythm entering the Division I district tournament.
“We’re pretty good at times, but at other times we’re a bit inconsistent,” Martin said. “The games we’re playing well, we show up and have the urgency to win and compete with everyone we play.
“Unfortunately I think there’s some games where we’re sort of starting too slow, we’re digging a hole for ourselves and we can’t get out of it for whatever reason. We’re sort of trying to figure that out right now as a team.”
Through 13 matches, Anna Johnson had 98 kills, 185 assists, 141 digs and 22 aces, Ally Gray had 243 digs, 34 assists and 12 aces, Chloe Jeffers had 41 kills, 188 assists, 136 digs and 11 aces, Natalie Davis had 123 kills, 111 digs and 23 aces and Bailey Christiansen had 76 kills and 16 digs.