Delaware Hayes Roundup: Wrestlers planning for successful season

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Junior Thomas Ross is expected to be a key contributor for the Delaware Hayes wrestling team. The Pacers are coming off a season in which they advanced a program-record six wrestlers to state and captured a league title.

The Delaware Hayes wrestling team experienced a season to remember last winter. 

The Pacers qualified a program-record six wrestlers to the Division I state tournament before it was postponed and later canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Delaware won the outright OCC-Cardinal Division title with a 7-0 record. 

Five of those six state qualifiers — Tristan Burton, Emmett Cain, Corbin May, Nathan Robinson and Mason Sutandar — graduated in the spring. Coach Kevin Rieman said the work ethic they displayed will serve as the model for the Pacers to follow. 

“The people that were in the room and were able to see how they pushed each other, it’s just a special group and not many people get to see a group like that,” said Rieman, who co-coaches the team with Josh Lamb. “We are referring to that group a lot, telling stories, using it to motivate guys, and I think it was just a special opportunity that a lot of them got to see that group and see what it takes to be successful.” 

Headlining the roster is senior Clay Ours (195 pounds), one of last year’s state qualifiers after placing fourth at district. Senior Tamas Eder (126) placed sixth at district. 

Senior Marshall Klingel (heavyweight) and juniors Thomas Ross (132), Paolo Sferrella (138) and Isaac Robinson (152) also are expected to be key contributors. 

“These kids work hard,” Rieman said. “(With the graduation of last year’s senior class) we’re kind of able to slow down ... and really hit the technical things hard. I think it’s really going to really help those guys that have been in our program that are going to step up and be ready to contribute.” 

The Pacers also feature some freshmen who will push for time at the varsity level, including Chase Radabaugh (106), Ryan Davenport (113/120), Isaiah Clark (126) and Zane Kinikin (120). 

“This is a good group of freshmen that we have,” Rieman said. “They’re young and inexperienced, so we really have to get them on the mat.” 

After having six girls in the program last year, the Pacers' girls team has grown to 22 wrestlers this season. 

The high turnout is due to several factors, including coaches recruiting new athletes. It's also because of the efforts and success of sophomore Kelcey Dew (121) and 2020 graduate Ari Avant, who placed third and and sixth, respectively, at the inaugural girls state tournament last season. Avant competed at 137.

“Kelcey and Ari’s pictures getting hung up in our hall of fame in the cafeteria definitely played a part,” Rieman said. “And those girls (including sophomore Meredith Milligan at 126) were active in their recruiting also.” 

The Pacers are scheduled to open with a dual Friday, Dec. 18, at Upper Arlington. 

Senior Abby Richardson is one of the leaders for a Pacers girls swimming team that features an experienced roster.

Swimming teams

tune up for season

The girls swimming and diving team returns some experienced competitors, while the boys team features a lot of youth and inexperience. 

The girls expect to be led by returning seniors Rena Ouyang, Abby Richardson and Maddie Richardson, junior Kailyn Smith and sophomore Mackenzie Carter. 

Assistant coach Katelyn Lord said it's a versatile roster. 

“We have a good amount of talent in different strokes,” she said. “Mackenzie Carter, she does really well in our sprint events. ... Rena Ouyang, we can put her anywhere and she’ll put her head down and drive.

“And I know Maddie Richardson has been searching for that 100 breaststroke for a couple years now, so I think she’ll do really well in that event individually.” 

As far as relays, Lord said those groups are still to be determined. 

“We have some ideas where we want to go, but nothing is set in stone right now,” she said. 

Rounding out the girls team are seniors Meredith Keller and Elizabeth Uniss, juniors Arianna Denney and Hannah Sturman, sophomores Allison Raquepaw, Elizabeth Summers and Margaret Wolf and freshmen Natalie Flant, Anna Lance and Audrynn McCuen. 

Projected key contributors for the boys include senior Connor Green, juniors Max Etheridge, Jake Stein and Ryan Gray and sophomores Kaden Gannon and Charles Abahazi. 

Rounding out the team are juniors Gage DeVoe and Mark Sulek — who finished 23rd (132.45) at state in diving last season — sophomore Joshua Bucher and freshman Sebastian Martin. 

“We have a mixed bag. We have a really young (boys) team this year,” Lord said. “But I think we should see some good things out of them. It should be interesting to see who can do what.

“We have a lot of strong freestyle going on with our boys, so we think maybe we can get a decent 200 or 400 out of them this year as far as relays go.” 

The Pacers are scheduled to open Saturday, Dec. 19, against Big Walnut. 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

SWIMMING & DIVING

•Coach: Jordan Nicol, fourth season

•Top athletes: Boys — Charles Abahazi, Max Etheridge, Kaden Gannon, Ryan Gray and Connor Green; Girls — Mackenzie Carter, Rena Ouyang, Abby Richardson, Maddie Richardson and Kailyn Smith 

•Key losses: Boys — Caleb Bucher, Aidan Stojkov and Sam Sulek; Girls — Elizabeth Abahazi, Emily Abahazi, Katie Amrine, Lauren Ertz, Evelyn Fowler, Olivia Reed and Marci Wheeler

•2019-20 OCC-Cardinal standings: Boys — Dublin Jerome (543.5), Hilliard Darby (328), Olentangy Berlin (257), Thomas Worthington (240), Delaware (180), Dublin Scioto (179.5), Worthington Kilbourne (168), Hilliard Bradley (69); Girls — Jerome (499), Berlin (361), Delaware (315), Kilbourne (273), Thomas (185), Bradley (157), Darby (145), Scioto (54)

•Postseason: Boys — Ninth at sectional, 14th at district, 30th at state; Girls — Fourth at sectional, 11th at district 

WRESTLING 

•Coaches: Josh Lamb and Kevin Rieman, third seasons

•Top athletes: Boys — Tamas Eder, Marshall Klingel, Clay Ours, Isaac Robinson, Thomas Ross and Paolo Sferrella; Girls — Kelcey Dew and Meredith Milligan 

•Key losses: Boys — Gustavo Alfaro, Jahi Broussard-Nash, Tristan Burton, Emmett Cain, J’Von Cain, Brian Frisch, Corbin May, Zack Raquepaw, Nathan Robinson, Ethan Rupp and Mason Sutandar; Girls — Ari Avant and Chloe Diehl

•2019-20 OCC-Cardinal standings: Delaware (7-0), Darby (6-1), Bradley (5-2), Jerome (4-3), Berlin (3-4), Scioto (2-5), Thomas (1-6), Kilbourne (0-7)

•Postseason: Third at sectional, second at district