Notebook: Hilliard Bradley Jaguars boys bowlers to make history at state

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Bailey Miller and Darby competed in the district meet Feb. 27 at Worthington Kilbourne. The top three teams advanced to the state team meet March 5 at Bradley, while the top eight finishers in each event and the all-around qualified for the individual state meet March 6 at Bradley.

The Hilliard Bradley boys bowling team became the first squad from a Hilliard school to advance to the Division I state tournament, but the Jaguars will be familiar with their surroundings.

They will compete at state March 6 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, the lanes they call home throughout the season.

“I think it will give us an edge to be there,” senior Zander Dietz said. “It’s home. It’s comfortable. It’s like having a home-field advantage at the Super Bowl.”

The Jaguars rolled a 4,169 at district Feb. 22 at HP Lanes to finish second to Marion Harding (4,195). Olentangy Orange (3,952) was the third and final team qualifier to state.

“We’ve been close before, but we finally made it through,” coach John Thompson said. “The kids have been working hard and bowling well all year and put it together (at district).”

Senior Joe Dwyer rolled a 717, finishing runner-up to medalist Carter Street (782) of Olentangy Liberty.

“I tried to stay in good spirits and not to let any frame get to me,” Dwyer said. “My team kept me up, and I tried to keep them going.

“A lot of us are seniors, and we have a lot of experience bowling. I have three years bowling here now. We have a great team, and we have no real weak players.”

Senior Brandon Dever (609), Dietz (606) and junior Nick Caruso (491) also rolled three games.

“Our attitudes are definitely more positive as the season went along this year,” Dietz said. “We’ve been bowling as a team. Not one bowler is outshining another from match to match.”

The girls team fell short of advancing, finishing seventh (3,167) as Gahanna (3,938), Jonathan Alder (3,691), Delaware (3,414) and Olentangy (3,411) qualified for state March 5 at Wayne Webb’s.

Senior Olivia Johnson (545, 11th) led the Jaguars. Hamilton Township’s Emily Welch (561, ninth) was the fourth and final individual qualifier.

Seniors Callie Hribar (466, 39th), Makayla Davis (429, tied for 53rd) and Katie Yabroff (409, 70th) also rolled three games.

•Carol Eskay, who coaches the Bradley, Darby and Davidson gymnastics teams, was hoping strong efforts at their OCC meets would be a strong building block heading into the district meet. 

All three teams competed in league meets Feb. 20 at Thomas Worthington. 

“It’s so nice this year that each of our schools are in different divisions, so it’s fun to get to focus on each of the schools,” Eskay said. “They’re in different sections. It was a nice big-meet feel before district. It’s a perfect set-up.” 

Darby was second (138.375) in the OCC-Cardinal meet behind Olentangy Berlin (139.45) and also finished second in the overall standings with 24 points (5-1), behind Berlin (28, 6-0). 

Anne Hassay led Darby, finishing third in the all-around (35.65). She was second on vault (9.125), and third on floor exercise (9.325) and balance beam (8.925). 

Abby Killilea was fifth in the all-around (35.05), placing second on uneven bars (8.875) and beam (9.075), while Laurel Bonn was 10th in the all-around (33.225). 

“I just love gymnastics,” Eskay said. “I love all our meets, but this meet is always fun. This is a group effort by several coaches. We make sure everything runs well for this meet. It’s always a fun day.” 

All three teams competed at district Feb. 27 at Worthington Kilbourne. The top three teams advanced to the state team meet March 5 at Bradley, while the top eight finishers in each event and the all-around qualified for the individual state meet March 6 at Bradley.

—Frank DiRenna

•Lilly Gibbs led the Bradley gymnastics team in the OCC-Central meet, placing third in the all-around (34.25). 

Bradley was second (133.375) in the league meet behind Dublin Coffman (137.275) and tied Upper Arlington (4-1) for second with 16 points in the final standings, behind the Shamrocks (24, 4-0), after going 3-2 in league duals.

Gibbs was second on floor (9.25) and bars (8.675) in the league meet. Avery Jervis was sixth in the all-around (33.35), which included placing fifth on bars (8.425) and seventh on beam (8.275). Gabi Graff was seventh in the all-around (33.325), with her best efforts on beam (fifth, 8.425) and vault (sixth, 8.15).

Paige Hamilton was 12th in the all-around (32.2) and seventh on beam (8.275).

—Scott Hennen

•The Davidson gymnastics team finished third (126.75) in the OCC-Capital meet behind first-place Kilbourne (133.1). 

The Wildcats also finished third (20, 4-2) in the overall standings behind co-champions Liberty (26, 6-0) and Kilbourne (26, 5-1). 

Megan McCabe finished third on the beam (8.75) and fifth in the all-around (33.2). Hope Tageson was seventh (32.2) and Gracie Bryner was 12th (31.35) in the all-around. 

“Davidson had a great day,” Eskay said. “We had several girls finish in the top six. This day was fabulous. My girls had great attitudes in all three schools. They had great effort. They had great everything. They performed well, too, so we’re in a great spot.” 

—Frank DiRenna

Bradley's Hailey Amador attempts to pin Rossford's Kayden Lewis in their 131-pound match during the girls state tournament Feb. 20 at Davidson.

•Hailey Amador placed sixth at 131 pounds for the Bradley girls wrestling team in the state tournament Feb. 20 and 21 at Davidson.

Amador went 3-2, losing to Casstown Miami East’s Natalie Bair by pin in 3 minutes, 22 seconds in the fifth-place match. Last season, she went 1-2 at 126 and did not place.

—Scott Hennen

•Dave Ames has been approved by the school board to take over the Davidson boys lacrosse program.

He succeeds Adam Beasley, who stepped down in September after coaching the Wildcats since 2017. The 2020 season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.  

“I’m excited,” said Ames, whose team opens March 23 at Dublin Jerome. “These kids are hard workers. I know a lot of them. A lot of them played for me in their youth. It’s a good opportunity. It’s a great group of kids. We’re going to have fun and we’re going to work hard.”  

Ames, 45, was an assistant coach at Jerome from 2005-14 and again in 2016. He helped guide the Celtics to seven state title games and three championships.   

Ames also was the first coach of the Westerville North club team in 2003. He led the Warriors for two seasons, guiding them to the Division III state tournament in 2004. 

He also has coached at the club and youth levels and helped form a youth program, the Hilliard Predators, in 2015. 

Ames is a 1994 graduate of the Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts, and played collegiately at Bentley and Arizona.  

Under Beasley, the Wildcats went 36-25 overall and 16-5 in OCC-Central play. 

—Frank DiRenna

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