Boys Golf: Thomas Worthington finishes strong after early interruption

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Thomas junior Paari Kaviyarasu shot an 80 at district, concluding a season that saw the Cardinals start late because of a school district decision to pause athletics.
Thomas senior Noah Jackman shot an 83 in the Division I district tournament Oct. 13 at Apple Valley. "I started rough and let it get to my head," he said. "It was really just not a good performance."

Despite an early pause that forced the Thomas Worthington boys golf team to miss the first round of the OCC-Cardinal Division tournament, the Cardinals ended up concluding their season by having two players compete in the Division I district tournament. 

Junior Paari Kaviyarasu tied for 35th (80) and senior Noah Jackman tied for 51st (83) out of 72 players Oct. 13 at Apple Valley.

Having two golfers wind up one round from the state tournament probably wasn't the finish the Cardinals expected after the school district — because of COVID-19 coronavirus concerns — suspended athletics temporarily just before the season was set to tee off.

Still, once Kaviyarasu and Jackman qualified for district, they wanted to produce a better showing in the tournament.

“I started rough and let it get to my head. It was really just not a good performance,” said Jackman, who was second-team all-league this season. “But it was honestly a fun experience to get out there. That field is so good that I knew going into it what I needed to shoot (to qualify for state), so I got off track early and just tried to make too many shots up.” 

Jackman shot a 73 in a sectional Oct. 6 at Darby Creek to tie St. Charles’ Leo Walling (73) and Watterson’s Carson Trafford (73) for third. Jackman earned one of the four individual-qualifying spots for district, as did Kaviyarasu, who shot 72 at sectional to finish second in a field of 72 golfers.

Kaviyarasu, who also was second-team all-league, finished only one stroke behind sectional medalist Luke Gutman of champion St. Charles (297).

The Cardinals finished fifth (322) as a team at sectional as St. Charles, Grove City (313), Upper Arlington (315) and Olentangy Berlin (315) advanced to district.

Despite missing the opening round of the four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament after the school district suspended athletics from July 30 to Aug. 6, the Cardinals finished third (9-6) in the league standings behind Dublin Jerome (20-0) and Berlin (16-4). 

“I think our kids made the best of what was a weird situation and ended up having a pretty successful year with all things considered,” coach Jay Addy said. “We went from not sure we were going to have a season to having a season and getting our whole season in. Guys played really well at the right time this year.” 

The Cardinals lose Jackman, Colin Corbett and Owen Appel to graduation, but Kaviyarasu, junior Marshall Wellejus and freshman Will Reis are expected to return. 

“I think (the district tournament) was honestly a great end to a really crazy season,” Jackman said. “We didn’t know if we were going to play, and then we found out other teams were going to get to play and we weren’t, and we missed the first OCC (event). It really was just an unprecedented crazy season for us.” 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

BOYS GOLF 

OCC-Cardinal standings: Dublin Jerome (20-0), Olentangy Berlin (16-4), Thomas (9-6), Marysville (9-11), Hilliard Darby and Olentangy (3-17) 

Seniors lost: Owen Appel, Colin Corbett and Noah Jackman 

Key returnees: Paari Kaviyarasu, Will Reis and Marshall Wellejus

Postseason: Fifth (322) at sectional behind champion St. Charles (297)