Gahanna Lincoln Roundup: Max Hahn happy to close prep golf career at district
One of the longest trips senior Max Hahn regularly made throughout his prep career for the Gahanna Lincoln boys golf team was to Apple Valley Golf Club in Howard.
Despite being more than an hour away, the course is the site of one of the four rounds of the OCC-Ohio Division tournament as well as the Division I district tournament.
Soon he will be applying some of the lessons he learned at the course — including this season, when he competed at the district tournament Oct. 13 as an individual — to his collegiate career at Mount Vernon Nazarene.
While the Cougars consider Chapel Hill to be their home course, Apple Valley is much closer in proximity if Hahn ever decides to return to reminisce about his prep experiences.
“I’ve competed (at district) three times, two with our team and the last one individually,” Hahn said. “It meant a lot to represent Gahanna (at district) my senior year. I didn’t play the best, but that’ll happen. I left on a pretty decent note.”
Hahn will join former teammates Michael Hahn, his brother and a 2019 graduate, and Dylan Errington, a 2020 graduate, when he gets to MVNU.
After helping the Lions qualify for district the past two seasons, Max shot 73 on Oct. 6 in a sectional at Turnberry to tie for second and earn one of four district-qualifying berths. At district, he shot 83 to tie for 51st.
“I was switching out between (being Gahanna’s No. 5 and 6 player) my freshman year, but the last three years I’ve been top five,” Hahn said. “I learned a lot about my mental game, taking a bad shot and moving on.
“My freshman year, I let little things get to me and now I’m handling bad things going on in my round pretty well, so I’m happy about that. (Being at district last year) definitely taught me I had to shoot low (at district).”
Gahanna finished fifth at 4-12 in the OCC-Ohio Division after the league’s latest realignment, with Westerville Central going 13-3 to win the title.
The Lions were fifth (322) at sectional behind champion Olentangy Liberty (297), but only the top four teams advanced to district.
The only other senior in the sectional lineup was Mitchell Soma, who shot 78 after coming up one stroke shy of making state individually last fall.
Also competing at sectional were juniors Evan Henry and Kyle Lark and sophomore Matthew Soma.
Others eligible to return include sophomores Matt Buocher, Caleb Mason and Eli Orkis.
Judy Ratzenberger, who co-coaches the team with Lori Scott, was impressed with how her program “kept fighting.”
“We had ups and downs big time (this fall),” Scott said. “Right now they’re kind of looking at it as kind of defeated, but they’ll look back as though they’re gaining something good from (the season).”
Football team moves
forward following loss
During a 21-7 loss to ninth-seeded Hilliard Darby on Oct. 9 in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 playoffs, the eighth-seeded football team made the type of miscues on both sides of the ball that coach Bruce Ward hopes will provide teaching moments over the next few weeks.
The Lions split their six games before the postseason, in which every team was eligible. They were 3-4 before playing Oct. 16 at Lancaster.
Gahanna had pulled within a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter against Darby when Panthers quarterback Blake Horvath completed a 48-yard pass to Beau Bridges to set up a touchdown for the game’s final points. It was one of only two passes the Panthers completed.
“(Darby does) what they do very well, but a lot of that is on us,” Ward said. “Missed assignments. That long pass, we’re telling our kids … we’ve just got to do a better job of knowing our assignments on both sides of the ball. We didn’t play real smart.”
Sophomore Maxwell Cummings, who could be the favorite to take over at quarterback next season, saw action against Darby.
Teams in Ohio are permitted to play as many as 10 regular-season games, so the Lions could play up to three additional contests as long as their last game is held by Nov. 14.
“We’ve just got to get our young kids some experience,” Ward said. “The good thing about this is that we can really truly prepare for next year, so it’s sort of like a spring ball for us, where you can put younger guys in and kind of see what they’ve got.”
Doubles team makes
district in tennis
After falling one win short of advancing to the Division I district girls tennis tournament in doubles last fall, junior Caroline Mattox put that disappointment behind her at this year’s sectional.
Mattox teamed with sophomore Frankie Nuss to finish second at the sectional at Hilliard Davidson. They beat Hilliard Bradley’s Dhriti Sanyasi and Grace Hurley 6-0, 6-0 in a quarterfinal Oct. 8 and then defeated Westerville Central’s Vivian Baker and Levi Burks 6-3, 7-6 before falling to Dublin Coffman’s Ria Singhal and Emily Yoshino 6-3, 6-2 in the championship match Oct. 10.
Mattox and Nuss were the third seed, with Baker and Burks seeded first and Singhal and Yoshino seeded second.
The duo advanced to the district tournament, which was held Oct. 15 and 17 at Reynoldsburg. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to the state tournament Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Also in doubles at sectional, junior Sophie Graham and sophomore Alana Amer had a first-round bye and then lost to Singhal and Yoshino 6-0, 6-2 in the second round.
Junior Aubrey Thomas led the Lions’ singles entrants by reaching a quarterfinal, where she lost 6-2, 6-0 to third-seeded Pritika Ghosh-Choudhuri of Coffman.
Also in singles, senior Emily Innis lost in a play-in match and sophomore Natalia Garcia reached the second round.
•OCC-Ohio standings: Westerville Central (13-3), Grove City (11-5), New Albany (7-9), Pickerington North (5-11), Gahanna (4-12)
•Seniors lost: Max Hahn and Mitchell Soma
•Key returnees: Matt Boucher, Evan Henry, Kyle Lark and Matthew Soma
•Postseason: Fifth (322) at sectional behind champion Olentangy Liberty (297)